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Painthappy 01-28-2013 03:13 PM

Thinking out loud: How much cash should you have at home?
Here's a thought... How much physical cash should you keep at home? I got thinking about this when our power went down a while back. Ice storm, no power, no ATM's, no cash.

Stores had stuff to sell, but no machines for taking debit cards. (generators for power, but the lines were down so no point of sale purchases being made).

And the ATM's that WERE working, were out of cash due to everyone taking out what they could when they could.

Most of the younger generations just don't carry cash. I'm one of them. I rarely have cash on me, but having a bit at home for emergencies is probably a good idea.

Heck even ATM's limit the amount you can take out in a day.

So right now every month I'm taking a little bit out and putting it in my safe. I'm not sure how much to actually put aside, but I figured starting it is the right way to go about it.

desertT1 01-28-2013 03:20 PM

If I needed cash, I'd raid my kids' little stashes. They probably have about $100 total at any given time. We deposit cash into their accounts from time to time though, so that well could be dry. When the wife and I were serving, we'd have anywhere from several hundred to a few thousand dollars on hand because we didn't ever deposit cash tips. It's easier to just bring some with you and spend it than it is to deposit it and then spend it.

I like the subject though. Out here, water is more valuable than cash in the summer. If there was an outage, I'd rather be sweating, temporarily broke, but with plenty to drink.

paintslinger16 01-28-2013 03:28 PM

I am the cash guy, I have the ATM card but dont even remember my pin.
Pay days I take my cash out so I am never caught without at least 100~200 bucks on me.
We have had two ice storms in NNY and that was the hardship with some places they had gensets to power the gas station, but you better have cash.
Worst case you may need to fill up just to drive out of the damaged are that is 50-100 bucks and if your going to wait it out, you need at least that much for some staples that will keep without having power.

Dave Cameron 01-28-2013 03:28 PM

I don't generally carry cash on me but I keep about a grand in the safe for situations like you mentioned.

Mr. Hick 01-28-2013 03:31 PM

Why would I tell you how much cash I store in my home??? :P

I do a LOT of side jobs for cash. Cash is king. I use my checking/debit for bills. Practically all other spending in done in cash.

Painthappy 01-28-2013 03:41 PM


Originally Posted by Mr. Hick (Post 2606878)
Why would I tell you how much cash I store in my home??? :P

I mean.. Only hypothetically speaking ;)

I think having $1000 is a good safe number. At minimum, at least enough to fill up a tank of gas and hit the grocery store for a weeks worth of items. So maybe $300 minimum on the safe side?

But I'm the overly cautious person, and figure a months worth of bills (including your mortgage) in cash might be enough for the truly prepared.

Of course the REAL trick will be to have it and not touch it.

Dave Cameron 01-28-2013 03:43 PM

That's easy, just forget the safe combo! At least that's how I handle it.

808raoul 01-28-2013 03:43 PM


Originally Posted by Dave Cameron (Post 2606874)
I don't generally carry cash on me but I keep about a grand in the safe for situations like you mentioned.

This would be my thoughts also.

forstgump 01-28-2013 03:48 PM

What is cash? I haven't used it in so long!

desertT1 01-28-2013 04:34 PM


Originally Posted by CJOttawa (Post 2606951)
I see the issue as "access to funds", not so much "access to cash."

There are small businesses around that accept PayPal or other forms of payment.

Interac Electronic Funds Transfers are available here in Canada - sort of like a debit transaction but between email addresses.

There are just so many ways to move money around, I don't carry cash at all.

Remember these?

When I worked retail in high-school, we had one of those and used it all the time. Every cashier seems to still have one under their cash register.

We have enough food to last a few weeks. The car is fueled up so if we need to we can drive several hours away, if needed.

I've seen those card slider press things (no idea what they are actually called, but have seen them used many times) tucked away at several checkout lanes. I'm only slightly put off by the fact that I have been in places trying to check out when they lose their connection to verify transactions. Even though the devices are there, guess how many cashiers and managers knew how to use them?

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