Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Hilda » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:23 pm

The other day my "Service Engine Soon" light came on while I was driving. Having never seen that particular warning before, I pulled out the manual to determine whether I should immediately call a tow truck or keep driving.

As I was paging through the manual, a hundred dollar bill fell out. Neither one of us (spouse or self) remembers putting it in there and it had to be one of us since we bought the car new.

My momentary enjoyment of an unanticipated little windfall was pretty much slaughtered by the $1300 repair bill. But I paid cash for that so it's all good.

Except for the part where we can't remember anything. Yikes.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby keystone » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:32 pm

I keep no spare cash at home, except for a nice bucket of change. I would say on average I keep about $5 in my wallet.

I used to work with a guy who said he kept $10,000 in cash in his apartment in case a catastrophe strikes. It was fun to debate with him the value in keeping so many cash on hand. I remember he said it was good to have cash in case the electricity goes out for an extended period of time. I would tell him if there were no electricity, then there really isn't much you can do with the cash. You certainly can't pump gas. And if it is a big enough disaster, our cash won't really be worth more than a credit card.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Riverstwo » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:46 pm

I don't keep more than 40 bucks on me at any time. I keep 10 grand in savings acct for immediate emergency needs.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby obgraham » Fri Mar 15, 2013 12:49 pm

$100 in 5's, mostly for when a kid shows up at the door pushing some school fundraiser.

I also hang onto any pristine bills I run across, to use when travelling in 3rd world places. Amazing how picky they are in Peru about the cleanliness of US currency, when their own bills look like they've been dragged through a truck engine.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby kitteh » Fri Mar 15, 2013 1:26 pm

Exige wrote:I picked up a $50 bill in Target a couple of months ago. (Since it would have been impossible to identify the person who lost it, I kept it). Would not have wanted it to be me that lost it.


I would have turned it in to lost & found. How many people are going to be asking them if exactly $50 was lost.

I keep $100-$200 in the house (start with $200, replenish about when it gets to $100) just in case of a power failure where credit card processing and ATMs are down. As in a hurricane or whatever. I have food, meds, etc. stashed for such an event, but you never know. I sometimes use this to replenish my pocketbook.

I have $100 to $200 in my pocketbook, a lot of it in $5s and $1s, for two reasons. I shop at farmers' markets in cash or buy lemonade from kids selling it as the roadside or eggs from my neighbor, and I have been in situations where I needed a cab after a car problem. There isn't even a taxi service where I live now, so that may be obsolete, but I just feel better having it in case.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Robert44 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:00 pm

I keep between $200 to $300 in $20's, $10's, $1'.
I use these to pay the man who comes by when we are snowed in and shovels us out; for our lawn man who is dirt poor and needs to take cash; for all the children in the neighborhood who sell things for fund raisers.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby fareastwarriors » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:07 pm

lesss than 100 in my wallet and maybe few 100s at home.

cash is still king to me! :moneybag
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby whomever » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:27 pm

I never used to keep emergency cash around - my view was that 'emergencies' might require food or water or first aid supplies, but not cash.

Then one day my wife called me from an airport across the country to report her wallet had been stolen. I immediately cancelled all the credit and ATM cards. Then she called me from another airport halfway across the country to report a)she was a little hungry, not having any money at all to buy food and b)they didn't want to let her board the connecting flight home because ... she didn't have the photo id that was in the stolen wallet. Eventually they let her board based on the photocopied police report from the first airport, but in the interim I was contemplating mounting a rescue mission involving a marathon half-cross-country drive. Then I realized I had cancelled all the cards - and it was the weekend so the banks weren't open.

I could have borrowed from friends and so on, but the incident still changed my view of a small cash emergency fund. Now I keep enough for gas to drive cross country with, and we also keep a card for an account we rarely use in the safe, instead of our wallets.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Busting Myths » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:28 pm

10K in cash and fake passports in my "Go" Bag hidden in a wall...wait that was Dexter.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby scouter » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:39 pm

I don't think it's crazy to consider the possibility of a disruption that knocks out most electronic devices. NASA has warned that a solar storm could disable our electrical grid with little warning.

We each keep between $50-100 in our wallets, and about $2k in small bills hidden at home. (some change, ones, five, tens and twenties)

No, we're not earning anything on it and it's not covered by homeowner's insurance, but we don't care.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby therub » Fri Mar 15, 2013 2:44 pm

travellight wrote:wow, I thought I had things covered but gr8's post about quarters makes sense. In a calamity, I can always raid vending machines with change. Will add to my to do list. (I don't think I need to bury it in my yard though.)


I didn't quite get it.

First, why bury it? That would only make in inaccessible 5 months of the year where I live, and pretty conspicuous the rest of the year if it had to be accessed.

Second - vending machines? In a calamity, while looters are breaking into stores and mobs are in the streets, taking a bag of quarters down to the local 7-11 to purchase from an out-of-power vending machine might not be effective.

Lastly, while gr8 is right that you're not going to find change for a $20, I also doubt it's a time to be frugal, and I doubt much will be for sale for less.

Naturally, it depends on the emergency. I don't believe in predicting markets or emergencies, so I prepare and diversify for both.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby gkaplan » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:31 pm

I prefer paying by cash to paying by credit card.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby midareff » Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:38 pm

I keep $2 - 3 hundred in my wallet and maybe $1K more in the safe. After that it would be a drive to brick and mortar but who doesn't take plastic or a check these days?
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Epsilon Delta » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:11 pm

whomever wrote:I never used to keep emergency cash around - my view was that 'emergencies' might require food or water or first aid supplies, but not cash.

Then one day my wife called me from an airport across the country to report her wallet had been stolen. I immediately cancelled all the credit and ATM cards. ... Then I realized I had cancelled all the cards - and it was the weekend so the banks weren't open.


We each keep a separate credit card in addition to our main, joint account. This means that we would always have one left if we canceled one wallet's worth. For these types of problems access to five figures of credit is a bit better than a few hundred in cash and can also be used for remote payment for tickets, hotels, etc. I also use mine for Birthday and Christmas presents, which also serves to keep the card active.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby SamB » Fri Mar 15, 2013 4:51 pm

I think it is a good idea to keep some cash on hand. It becomes what I would refer to as a dead, depreciating asset, but does serve as some form of insurance. It goes in the same category with a supply of drinking water, food, flashlights and batteries, a portable radio, whatever. If you live in a Hurricane prone area, or an area with frequent storms and power outages, then the ATM cards are not much use, and cash may be necessary.

The amount depends on your comfort level.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby enebyberg » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:22 pm

I try to keep $1500 at home in $20s, $10s, $5s and $1s kept in the home safe and a $20 bill and $10 in coins in each car.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Toons » Fri Mar 15, 2013 5:30 pm

20 in my wallet and 100 buried in the back yard 8-)
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Grt2bOutdoors » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:01 pm

midareff wrote:I keep $2 - 3 hundred in my wallet and maybe $1K more in the safe. After that it would be a drive to brick and mortar but who doesn't take plastic or a check these days?


Thieves.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby fareastwarriors » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:02 pm

Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
midareff wrote:I keep $2 - 3 hundred in my wallet and maybe $1K more in the safe. After that it would be a drive to brick and mortar but who doesn't take plastic or a check these days?


Thieves.



Thieves might prefer plastic/digital since most people don't carry cash these days...
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Saving$ » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:48 pm

natureexplorer wrote:I don't see the need to stash cash. In what scenario will checks, ATM cards, and credit cards all not work at the same time?


Extended power outage. Stores won't take checks if they can't run them through the Chex system, and they can't do that or run credit cards without power. The ATM also shuts down without power.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby ddunca1944 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 6:55 pm

Saving$ wrote:
natureexplorer wrote:I don't see the need to stash cash. In what scenario will checks, ATM cards, and credit cards all not work at the same time?


Extended power outage. Stores won't take checks if they can't run them through the Chex system, and they can't do that or run credit cards without power. The ATM also shuts down without power.


Where I live most of the grocery stores have power generators (they'd lose a fortune in frozen foods without backup power). We did have a power outage a couple of years ago. They ran the generators enough to have minimum lighting and keep the freezers & refrigerators going. And I had no problem with either writing a check or paying by credit card (they had to use the old manual swiper for credit cards).
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Default User BR » Fri Mar 15, 2013 7:11 pm

whomever wrote:I could have borrowed from friends and so on, but the incident still changed my view of a small cash emergency fund. Now I keep enough for gas to drive cross country with, and we also keep a card for an account we rarely use in the safe, instead of our wallets.

What you should have learned was to have at least one credit card that isn't carried around to be lost.


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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby henry A » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:15 pm

natureexplorer wrote:I don't see the need to stash cash. In what scenario will checks, ATM cards, and credit cards all not work at the same time?



Unnamed country/group performs a cyber attack on the US and clears out all the bank accounts. Or worse... just randomly changes account ID's.

It would take a while to restore the bank accounts with the correct information.. Maybe I've been watching too many TV shows, but some days it doesn't seem too far fetched.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby crowd79 » Fri Mar 15, 2013 8:51 pm

The only loose change I keep on hand is leftover foreign currency inside my in-home safe from all the travelling I do around the world.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Hub » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:28 pm

I charge all my day to day expenses, but I keep $500 in cash in my safe in 5's, 10's, and 20's at all times. Never know when you may need to transact after the power has been down a few days.
Last edited by Hub on Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Candor » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:28 pm

I never used to keep any cash in the house until recently reading a thread similar to this one either here or ER that prompted me to rethink that and now I'm throwing $20's here and there until I get $1k built up for emergencies. I have what I would guess is $4000-5000 in a change bottle that I have been working on for years but I don't really count that.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Atilla » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:39 pm

Heh, In addition to the grand or two we keep in the safe...we also keep a few thousand rounds of various calibers of ammo along with a few cases of wine and top shelf liquor.

When things go bad, cash is king.

When things go really really bad, cash liquor and ammo are king.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Mill » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:41 pm

I keep about 100 to 400 in my wallet. I did win a few hundred from a bookie this past football season, and that got "hidden" around the apartment until my wallet-cash ran low because I didnt feel like going to the ATM.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby leonard » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:47 pm

A few hundred dollars on hand - in case something interesting pops up on craigslist.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby livesoft » Fri Mar 15, 2013 10:50 pm

It seems I survived hurricane Sandy with no power and no cash. I survived hurricanes Ike & Rita with no power and no cash. I survived a tornado that damaged the neighborhood and the house I was in and guess what? Yep, I had no cash and no power. On my honeymoon, my spouse threw out the travelers checks, but it was in a remote place, so we could not replace them, so I survived my honeymoon with no cash.

I can see that one may have reasons to stash cash, but a natural disaster nor a man-made disaster is not one of them.

Or maybe I am a bit more antifragile than most folks?
It's all about short-term opportunistic rebalancing due to a short-term change in one's asset allocation, uh, I mean opportunistic rebalancing, uh I mean rebalancing, uh I mean market timing.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby TF Hutch » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:38 pm

Love flea markets and yard sales. I have equiped several homes with bargins found. I have bought cars, boats and even an airplane with cash. None of the deals would have been possible without cash on hand, and I made a profit on each of these transactions. Cash is Just another tool. It's amazing what a person who needs cash, and has no cash, will do or sell to get cash. I don't get involved in anything illegal or immoral, but I do get great prices on goods and services.

I don't carry a lot of cash on my person, just enough for a small deposit, but large amounts of cash are readily available on very short notice.
Hutch | A fool and his funds are soon parted! - Thomas Tusser (English Farmer and Writer. 1524-1580)
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby Mudpuppy » Fri Mar 15, 2013 11:41 pm

henry A wrote:
natureexplorer wrote:I don't see the need to stash cash. In what scenario will checks, ATM cards, and credit cards all not work at the same time?



Unnamed country/group performs a cyber attack on the US and clears out all the bank accounts. Or worse... just randomly changes account ID's.

It would take a while to restore the bank accounts with the correct information.. Maybe I've been watching too many TV shows, but some days it doesn't seem too far fetched.

You've been watching too many TV shows. The likelihood of any human group, government, criminal or otherwise, having the skills and coordination to use a cyberhack to simultaneously bring down or alter every single financial institution is extremely small. I'd sooner worry about terrorists employing EMP blasts or other generalized disruptive technologies.
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby pennstater2005 » Sat Mar 16, 2013 8:53 pm

No cash at all. Once the debit card came around I stopped carrying cash. Some stores didn't take my debit card, I don't go there anymore. Problem solved.
To hell with circumstances; I create opportunities. - Bruce Lee
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Re: Cash - do you keep a stash on hand?

Postby lwfitzge » Sat Mar 16, 2013 9:13 pm

I rarely carry cash. I keep about $5 in my car's glove compartment. When a major storm is forecasted my regular routine is to take out $250 from the ATM.
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