Physical cash

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
Topic Author
northtexan
Posts: 194
Joined: Mon Jul 11, 2016 8:11 pm

Physical cash

Post by northtexan »

I was reading a story about Sweden going cashless and how it was hurting the economy due to not enough physical bills in circulation. It seems that it could backfire if there were ever an outage since everything is electronic. Even here in the US a lot of people do not use physical cash to purchase items and if there were a bit outage it could be difficult to get certain things that are needed to survive, some could argue that there could be bartering if there is no cash available.

I am wondering what an average amount of cash on physical possession most keep.

Personally I have a few K in cash either at home or in the safety deposit(won't help if outage stated above happened)
jebmke
Posts: 11463
Joined: Thu Apr 05, 2007 2:44 pm
Location: Delmarva Peninsula

Re: Physical cash

Post by jebmke »

At any given point I probably average ~$25-30.
When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.
Nicolas
Posts: 2233
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 7:41 am
Contact:

Re: Physical cash

Post by Nicolas »

I don't hold cash.
Last edited by Nicolas on Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
livesoft
Posts: 73380
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by livesoft »

Recently I took all the change from my dresser for the past 24 years, added it up, and spent it on a cheap lunch. It was that little.

I see I happen to have a $20 bill in my wallet today. That's more cash than I typically carry.

So put me down for a huge whopping $20 in physical cash.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.
User avatar
Ged
Posts: 3924
Joined: Mon May 13, 2013 1:48 pm
Location: Roke

Re: Physical cash

Post by Ged »

Usually I don't carry much. However after my experience with Sandy and the credit card / ATM system being down for a week I run to the bank every time there is a hurricane warning.
mindboggling
Posts: 459
Joined: Sat Sep 06, 2014 6:35 pm
Location: Upstate NY

Re: Physical cash

Post by mindboggling »

I like to have about $50 on me and maybe another $50 to $100 at home.
In broken mathematics, We estimate our prize, --Emily Dickinson
buckstar
Posts: 231
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:38 am

Re: Physical cash

Post by buckstar »

We keep a couple thousand dollars next to the gun in the safe. Just in case.
User avatar
StevieG72
Posts: 1154
Joined: Wed Feb 05, 2014 9:00 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by StevieG72 »

As little as possible < $100.

Cash can be lost or stolen.

A few thousand in a safe deposit box seems counterintuitive since safety deposit boxes are in the bank.
Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others.
Jnick55
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:55 am

Re: Physical cash

Post by Jnick55 »

$300 to $500 in my wallet. It is handy when I need to pay a restaurant bill and don't want to wait for the credit card process; when the credit card processing equipment is not working; or when I can negotiate a discount for cash. But I realize that I am a dinosaur. That point was driven home to me at the hardware store a few weeks ago when the customer in front of me wanted to buy an item costing $1.89. The purchase was voided when the cashier told him that cards were accepted only on purchases of more than $10 and he did not have the cash to pay it. I could not imagine anyone going to the store and not having $1.89 in cash.
Cheyenne
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:46 am

Re: Physical cash

Post by Cheyenne »

I'd like to keep $1MM in a shoe box in my bedroom closet but haven't been able to so far.
User avatar
blueblock
Posts: 881
Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 6:06 pm
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Physical cash

Post by blueblock »

When I go to the ATM, I usually withdraw $200. It usually lasts 2-3 months, sometimes longer.

We also keep about $500 stashed away at home, just in case it's needed. It rarely is.
Last edited by blueblock on Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.
westcoast
Posts: 190
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2012 6:50 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by westcoast »

a thousand in the house twenty to forty in the wallet.
NotWhoYouThink
Posts: 3187
Joined: Fri Dec 26, 2014 4:19 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by NotWhoYouThink »

Lately my cash has mainly gone to tips. What are the courtesy van drivers and valets going to do if we all quit carrying cash? My kids don't know what to do with it.

I used to save quarters, starting in college when they were necessary for laundry machines. Then I kept saving them, rolling them, and cashing them in now and then for a nice dinner or other treat. It's been years now since I participated in enough cash retail transactions to collect enough to bother rolling up. There are a few rolls somewhere, maybe if the New Madrid fault ever cuts loose again I'll use them to buy something.
Cycle
Posts: 1697
Joined: Sun May 28, 2017 7:57 pm
Location: Minneapolis

Re: Physical cash

Post by Cycle »

I have $6 USD, my wife probably has $10 or so. Farmers markets are closed this time of year, so not much of a need for cash except for the local 2nd run theater and tips on groupons. Might be time to sell some stuff on craigslist and replenish the coffers.
Never look back unless you are planning to go that way
bhsince87
Posts: 2684
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by bhsince87 »

I keep $200-$400 in my wallet, $200 in my backpack, $200 in each vehicle, and $10k at home in small fire safes. Mostly $20's and $100's

I buy a lot of stuff off craigslist, etc., so I do get some turnover on it.

The $200 in my truck came in handy a few weeks ago when I spent an hour in the grocery store, and realized I didn't have my wallet after everything had been scanned!!!
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams
123
Posts: 6429
Joined: Fri Oct 12, 2012 3:55 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by 123 »

I'm in the old school crowd. Wallet usually has $200 - $400, often another $500 in cash in the house. Even though I've pretty much converted to paying everything with a credit card (and paying them off in full each month) I haven't yet given up the comfort feeling of having cash to pay for most of my purchases if there's a credit card system failure of whatever kind. I used to go to an ATM 3 or 4 times a month for $400 each time in cash, now I got maybe once every month or two. Cash primarily gets used for restaurants and purchases in ethnic markets that don't do credit cards.
The closest helping hand is at the end of your own arm.
9liner
Posts: 211
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2017 1:03 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by 9liner »

I try to keep anywhere from $20-$100 in the wallet primarily for tips. Having worked in a restaurant earlier in life, I prefer to tip in cash. If I'm traveling, I may occasionally withdraw more but tend to use my USAA rewards card as much as possible. The card "makes" money for me. Cash does not.
radiowave
Posts: 2408
Joined: Thu Apr 30, 2015 5:01 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by radiowave »

I withdraw 200 from the ATM and that usually lasts my spouse and I 2-3 weeks. I bring my coins down to my local brick and mortar bank every 3 months or so and get about $50-75 back.
Bogleheads Wiki: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/Main_Page
User avatar
cfs
Posts: 4154
Joined: Fri Feb 23, 2007 1:22 am
Location: ~ Mi Propio Camino ~

Re: Physical cash

Post by cfs »

Currently my travel bag is holding a large amount of dollars and a good amount of euros, all waiting for my next trip to Europe [traveling in the next couple of months, dates pending completion of my 2017 taxes]. What's in your wallet? In my wallet $155.00 USD, and $1.66 USD change in my pocket. Gracias por leer ~cfs~
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~
User avatar
9-5 Suited
Posts: 604
Joined: Thu Jun 23, 2016 12:14 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by 9-5 Suited »

$500 at home as a convenient ATM when we need cash. $20 in the car in case need gas and forgot wallet. $60 or so on average in wallet for misc expenditures that require cash.
jsapiandante
Posts: 147
Joined: Thu Jul 30, 2015 5:58 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by jsapiandante »

We usually have no more than $200 in change every month for tips, church offerings, etc. The only time we carry more than that is if we are going on vacation.
User avatar
oldcomputerguy
Moderator
Posts: 9243
Joined: Sun Nov 22, 2015 6:50 am
Location: In the middle of five acres of woods in East Tennessee

Re: Physical cash

Post by oldcomputerguy »

We keep enough cash stashed at home to cover one typical month of grocery shopping.
"I’ve come around to this: If you’re dumb, surround yourself with smart people; and if you’re smart, surround yourself with smart people who disagree with you." (Aaron Sorkin)
User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 6678
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Physical cash

Post by Kenkat »

Cheyenne wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:18 pm I'd like to keep $1MM in a shoe box in my bedroom closet but haven't been able to so far.
Yeah, I have the same problem. It’s hard to find a good sturdy shoe box anymore, so I am kinda stuck.
User avatar
Kenkat
Posts: 6678
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 am
Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Physical cash

Post by Kenkat »

I usually get $200 from the ATM, usually around 3 times a month or so. I usually pay cash for anything under $10.
User avatar
VictoriaF
Posts: 19451
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 7:27 am
Location: Black Swan Lake

Re: Physical cash

Post by VictoriaF »

$500 to $1,000 in the US Dollars.

~$1,000 (total) worth of Czech Kronas, Euros, British Pounds, Canadian Dollars, and Swiss Franks. A couple years ago, I've acquired some Polish Zlotys. This summer, I will pick up some Serbian Dinars. I like arriving to foreign countries with some local cash. I pay with credit cards wherever I can, but if I come across a place that does not accept cards, I don't want to rush to an ATM.

I am always very selective about ATM machines. I don't worry as much about the exchange rates as the security. I prefer ATM that are inside of or adjacent to a bank, and that look solid. If an ATM machine is stand-alone and does not release my card, it could be difficult to resolve it. If an ATM machine is wobbly, it's more likely to be hacked. Of course, solid ATM get hacked too. And so I inspect them before inserting my card, and cover my hand when I am entering my PIN. I use ATM on weekdays, during daytime, in busy places. I withdraw cash closer to the end of my trip, so if there is a problem I can resolve relatively quickly when I arrive home.

Victoria
Last edited by VictoriaF on Tue Feb 27, 2018 7:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
WINNER of the 2015 Boglehead Contest. | Every joke has a bit of a joke. ... The rest is the truth. (Marat F)
Dantes
Posts: 330
Joined: Wed Feb 25, 2015 6:38 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by Dantes »

We start each week with $400. That's groceries, a dinner out, $40 for the car, and walking around money. We are not particularly frugal. Cash is so much simpler for purchases, the (no longer) new chip cards are painfully slow.
User avatar
Artsdoctor
Posts: 4270
Joined: Thu Jun 28, 2012 3:09 pm
Location: Los Angeles, CA

Re: Physical cash

Post by Artsdoctor »

Good question. Any earthquake preparedness list is going to include cash and I'm surprised that people in hurricane-prone areas don't keep some cash around. Consumer Reports and Center for Disease Control both recommend having cash in case of an emergency. However, the recommendations are really all over the board regarding just how much to keep. It's true that ATMs can go down during a catastrophe and hopefully you'd be able to drive around to find one that's available somewhere out of the problem zone; however, the disasters I've lived through have taught me that everyone else is doing the same thing so I'd like to avoid something as aggravating as standing in a line at an ATM; there's usually a lot of other things to be concerned with.

I don't think you're going to need a huge stash of cash but I'd think most would want to have access to at least a few hundred dollars in case of emergencies.
User avatar
22twain
Posts: 2563
Joined: Thu May 10, 2012 5:42 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by 22twain »

blueblock wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:22 pm When I go to the ATM, I usually withdraw $200. It usually lasts 2-3 months, sometimes longer.
Same here. My wife carries less, probably about $50, and replenishes it with cash back from her debit card when she buys groceries.
We also keep about $500 stashed away at home, just in case it's needed. It rarely is.
We don't generally keep any extra cash around the house.

I get more cash before I travel. These are usually road trips for pleasure, never business-type trips. (I wasn't in a line of work that called for business travel, just very occasional trips to academic conferences.) The last few trips I haven't used any more cash than I use at home. I bring the cash home where it sits in a drawer until I gradually use it up instead of visiting the ATM.
Help save endangered words! When you write "princiPLE", make sure you don't really mean "princiPAL"!
SocalLiving
Posts: 72
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:56 am
Location: California

Re: Physical cash

Post by SocalLiving »

westcoast wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:22 pm a thousand in the house twenty to forty in the wallet.
This is exactly what we do.
madbrain
Posts: 5567
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2011 5:06 pm
Location: San Jose, California

Re: Physical cash

Post by madbrain »

$0 at home, as close to $0 as possible in my pockets.
User avatar
Blueskies123
Posts: 673
Joined: Sat Nov 15, 2014 7:18 pm
Location: South Florida

Re: Physical cash

Post by Blueskies123 »

If you live in a disaster prone area you should have several K. I have seen the power out of 6 weeks in a near by town and I have been without power for a week twice in 23 years. Stores only took cash.
If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging
User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 3594
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by Doom&Gloom »

$200 in wallet.
$200-2000 at home--used to be more. Rarely a need for more now.
stimulacra
Posts: 797
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Physical cash

Post by stimulacra »

I usually keep between $50 - 100 in cash in my wallet at any given time. Helps me stay under budget for lunch and when running weekend errands (haircut, coffee, etc…).

I usually keep four or five dollar coins in the coin pocket of my jeans and it's come in hand countless times for small purchases or giving strangers money without having to expose my wallet.

If there's a hurricane or tropical storm coming I'll take out between $300 - 500 in cash.
gusan
Posts: 35
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:23 am

Re: Physical cash

Post by gusan »

$100 each for me and DW and ~$3K at home for emergencies.
bhsince87
Posts: 2684
Joined: Thu Oct 03, 2013 1:08 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by bhsince87 »

bhsince87 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 6:32 pm I keep $200-$400 in my wallet, $200 in my backpack, $200 in each vehicle, and $10k at home in small fire safes. Mostly $20's and $100's

I buy a lot of stuff off craigslist, etc., so I do get some turnover on it.

The $200 in my truck came in handy a few weeks ago when I spent an hour in the grocery store, and realized I didn't have my wallet after everything had been scanned!!!
Quoting myself here, is that OK?

Anyway, now that Prime MM, etc. are paying close to the inflation rate for the first time in years, I will probably drop my $10k cash money at home down significantly.
"If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace." Samuel Adams
User avatar
welderwannabe
Posts: 1220
Joined: Fri Jun 16, 2017 8:32 am

Re: Physical cash

Post by welderwannabe »

I keep between $100 and $200 in my wallet. I feel better having some cash.
I am not an investment professional, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.
miamivice
Posts: 2238
Joined: Tue Jun 11, 2013 11:46 am

Re: Physical cash

Post by miamivice »

Rather than keeping cash on hand, keep a good supply of toilet paper. It's the most habit forming product that you can purchase, and if anything weird happens, people will want toilet paper a lot more than they'll want cash.
WildCat48
Posts: 62
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2017 8:28 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by WildCat48 »

In the US I keep about $200-$300 on me at all time and about 2-3K in the house. In my house out of the country, I keep about 25K in a mix of USD and local equivalent in cash.
Jnick55
Posts: 45
Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2012 10:55 am

Re: Physical cash

Post by Jnick55 »

My close friend bought the adjacent house from his at the end of a remote road in rural New England a few years ago. It was owned by a family of survivalists who kept largely to themselves. When my friend tore out the walls to renovate, he found slightly more than $70,000 in silver coins tucked up against the studs. An extreme example of keeping emergency cash on hand.
stimulacra
Posts: 797
Joined: Wed Dec 21, 2016 3:50 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Physical cash

Post by stimulacra »

Jnick55 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:13 pm My close friend bought the adjacent house from his at the end of a remote road in rural New England a few years ago. It was owned by a family of survivalists who kept largely to themselves. When my friend tore out the walls to renovate, he found slightly more than $70,000 in silver coins tucked up against the studs. An extreme example of keeping emergency cash on hand.
Junk silver or bullion? What does he plan to do if they remember and come asking about it?
MnD
Posts: 4608
Joined: Mon Jan 14, 2008 12:41 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by MnD »

stimulacra wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:37 pm
Jnick55 wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:13 pm My close friend bought the adjacent house from his at the end of a remote road in rural New England a few years ago. It was owned by a family of survivalists who kept largely to themselves. When my friend tore out the walls to renovate, he found slightly more than $70,000 in silver coins tucked up against the studs. An extreme example of keeping emergency cash on hand.
Junk silver or bullion? What does he plan to do if they remember and come asking about it?
Probably a member of the oldest generation of the family did that and didn't dare mention it to anyone in the next generation before passing or losing mental capacities. Nobody alive and of sound mind "forgets" about $70K in the walls when they sell a house.
Exhibit A about how bright it is to stash physical cash and precious metals.
70/30 AA for life, Global market cap equity. Rebalance if fixed income <25% or >35%. Weighted ER< .10%. 5% of annual portfolio balance SWR, Proportional (to AA) withdrawals.
3dream3
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 2:53 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by 3dream3 »

I keep less than $60 on me and nothing really at home. However, our kids currently have a couple hundred from their allowance and what not at home so I suppose that they won't mind if we raid their stash in an extreme emergency :D

After reading this thread, it does have me rethinking about keeping more cash at home... just in case.
User avatar
unclescrooge
Posts: 5344
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2012 7:00 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by unclescrooge »

miamivice wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:38 pm Rather than keeping cash on hand, keep a good supply of toilet paper. It's the most habit forming product that you can purchase, and if anything weird happens, people will want toilet paper a lot more than they'll want cash.
You can always use cash as toilet paper. Is the converse true?
User avatar
sergeant
Posts: 1612
Joined: Tue Dec 04, 2007 11:13 pm
Location: The Golden State

Re: Physical cash

Post by sergeant »

I'm an AP in blackjack and have kept my gambling money in cash for years. I think there is about 20 grand in a fire safe file box located in the fire proof gun safe.
AA- 20+ Years of Expenses Fixed Income/The remainder in Equities.
Sidney
Posts: 6750
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:06 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by Sidney »

Those holding large amounts of physical cash and/or bullion or coins might wish to review their homeowners insurance policy. Mine has a fairly low limit ($250, I think) on what is covered in that category.
I always wanted to be a procrastinator.
User avatar
willthrill81
Posts: 21007
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 3:17 pm
Location: USA

Re: Physical cash

Post by willthrill81 »

I keep at least $300 in cash on me at all times, and we keep at least a month's worth of spending cash at home, plus another three months' worth in precious metals.

Most of the cache at hand is not insured, but it is very well hidden in a fire resistant box. It's a risk we're willing to take.

I refuse to be subject to electronic banking in order to buy next week's groceries. Funky stuff can and has happened; just ask anyone who's been through a major hurricane if cash is better than plastic.
“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” J.R.R. Tolkien,The Lord of the Rings
hilink73
Posts: 476
Joined: Tue Sep 20, 2016 3:29 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by hilink73 »

northtexan wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 5:36 pm I was reading a story about Sweden going cashless and how it was hurting the economy due to not enough physical bills in circulation. It seems that it could backfire if there were ever an outage since everything is electronic. Even here in the US a lot of people do not use physical cash to purchase items and if there were a bit outage it could be difficult to get certain things that are needed to survive, some could argue that there could be bartering if there is no cash available.

I am wondering what an average amount of cash on physical possession most keep.

Personally I have a few K in cash either at home or in the safety deposit(won't help if outage stated above happened)
I have around 15-20k of Swiss Francs and Euro at home for any emergencies where I need cash fast (grab and go).
(I count that as part of my emergency fund. The rest is in a savings account, which I can access at least the next day.)

(Also: negative interest rates and negative consumer price index in Switzerland in the last years.)
DavidW
Posts: 97
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2018 4:14 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by DavidW »

I am old school so I carry $200 or so with me at all times. I pay everything in cash except Amazon purchases and fuel at cashless locations. Cash helps me spend less. I hear the argument that if you carry cash, you can get robbed. But no one carries cash anyways so the crooks are finding other ways.... Also, I dress like a bum so no one bothers me...
Rhadamanthus
Posts: 597
Joined: Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:48 pm

Re: Physical cash

Post by Rhadamanthus »

I rarely have cash so I never keep any on me, though I have $40 right now somehow. I do plan ahead for when I know I'll need some, but I'd rather just not ever have to touch the stuff (doesn't most have cocaine residue?) but on the other hand, I also hate credit cards. Quite the conundrum. (My preference would be to use debit cards, but I use credit cards mostly as the least of the three evils.)
Cheyenne
Posts: 500
Joined: Sun Jun 14, 2015 6:46 am

Re: Physical cash

Post by Cheyenne »

welderwannabe wrote: Tue Feb 27, 2018 9:35 pm I keep between $100 and $200 in my wallet. I feel better having some cash.
I once had my car towed in NYC and I had to pay $150 CASH to retrieve it from the vehicle impound.
Post Reply