Last night I checked my wallet and I had no money. Except for a few coins on the dresser, I was BROKE. Though I had lots of money in the bank and in Mutual Funds, 401(k) etc. I went to the bank and pulled out $300 from the ATM and now I will be fine for a while.
Though what if there was a major emergency last night before I got my money out? Maybe a Terror attack? Or maybe a banking crisis? Or maybe a huge electrical outage? We could be on a "cash only" basis for weeks.
(Remember the huge power outage in New York City a few years ago. The people without CASH money were out of luck. NO ATM's were working and businesses could not take credit cards, or checks. Women tried to buy Tennis Shoes to walk out of the City, but were cashless and had to walk bare feeted and throw out the high heals. Others went hungry.
So, do you have money hidden under the bed in case of an emergency?
I definitely do (and I live in NYC. It was only after 9/11 that I started keeping cash around. During the blackout, it came in EXTREMELY handy as I had about $2 in my wallet and was on the way to the bank when it happened.)
I keep around $500. I figure that's enough to cover any cash emergencies.
I never thought about this.. thanks, something I'm definately discussing with my hubby tonight. I think $300.00 is a good about to have for under the mattress
I think it's a good idea to keep some cash tucked away in case of an emergency. I currently have zero, but will start with $300.00 and gradually increase it to a max of $1000.00.
This may seem a little high, but I must admit to being a worry wart
$400, its not under the matress though...
Nothing under my mattress but a family of dust bunnies and a few stray hairs!!!!!!No kidding you have given me something to think about. All my morman friends keep large amounts of cash and food "stashed" but I really never thought about not being able to use the ATM!!!!!! thanks.
In addition to some cash I think that maybe some gold and silver coins might not be a bad idea. Some real value.
I have maybe $25 in loose change and small bills that stays at home. I add to it whenever I have cash (not often) and cash it in when my jar is full. Never thought about an emergency cash fund...
Checks can be taken without electricity... all you need is a PEN.
Credit cards can be taken too... phone them in later.
As for ATMs, the ones at my bank have a generator for power if there is blackout!
WHEN a major terror attack comes to America CASH money will come in very helpful. Credit and ATM cards may be worthless.
we usually keep about a hundred but not under the mattress
It doesn't take a terror attack - during Isabel, power outtages hit everything. We had one day with no ATM's and no gas pumps working. Emergency supplies should include some cash, some extra gas, medications, clorox (of all things), as well as the basics we all know about. We went 6 days with no power at my house!! I almost bought a generator - but then I remembered how the people with generators were stuck with no fuel, LOL. I can camp out.
I sat down and made a list of things I use every day that are dependent on some 3rd party. What if that 3rd party wasn't there?
Good luck finding someone willing to take your credit card on your word.
It's not on your word, its on the credit card issuers word.
I imagine if debit/ATMs ever did go down due to terrorism or something else, stores & creditors would be more willing to take your word for it, if only to prevent rioting.
But that's neither here nor there.
I have about $20 stashed in the laundry room, and add to it whenever we have pocket change to empty. We usually have about $40 in our wallets at any given time, too.
I do remember Isabel. A huge amount of my roof was taken off.
I do keep money in my house, not under the mattress, but I have some just in case.
I agree that they can be phoned in and get that 6 digit authorization code.
Keep in mind that:
1) Some people don't always have available credit.
2) Some merchants don't have the "force-posting" authority on their merchant card account (I think).
3) Imagine all the calls directly into Visa/MC/AMEX/Discover during such a catastrophe.
4) What if the power is out as well as the phone systems of all the calls overloading the system and making it impossible for such a call.
5) The number of people in line behind you with CASH who may cause the riot for taking the clerk's time to authorize your card.
Although checks can be accepted, remember that most merchants use ELECTRONIC means to authorize the acceptance of your check - via Telecheck or other internal database. Also, checks may still clear (hopefully due to check 21), there is still a risk to the merchant if they are unable to get the checks to their bank in a timely manner.
It's best to have TANGIBLE means for such an emergency/catastrophe. Thanks for bringing it up in this thread. Definitely something to think about.
Also, as a side note, some people keep cash in safe deposit boxes for such an emergency. If your bank is closed, you won't be able to get access until they reopen.
I think a cash stash is absolutely essential these days. I keep 5 crisp $100 bills in a hidden compartment of my wallet. Itís there because sometimes credit cards wonít help. For example, I was recently in a very nice restaurant in Santa Fe, New Mexico. When the check came I pulled out my credit card only to be told, ďWe donít accept credit cards.Ē No problem, I had the cash.
A few years back my motorcycle broke down while on a solo road trip. There was a little town ahead and I found a mechanic who could fix it. No credit cards, no checks, cash only. Without cash I would have been out of luck.
More recently I stopped to buy gas in a small town. There were only a few gas stations and none of them could accept credit cards because of a problem with the phone lines serving the town. Without the cash I would have been stuck there until the phones were restored.
Credit cards work almost all the time but itís wise to have some cash on you for those times when they donít.
You've ALWAYS gotta look at the front door or window of the establishment. I look to see the Visa/MC/Discover/AMEX stickers so I KNOW that I can use my cards. If I don't see them, I either 1) don't go in, or 2) make sure I have cash.
I found a nickel and a penny under the bed yesterday!
Seriously, I always try to keep around $100 in cash handy. Sometimes I have to borrow from it, but I try to put it right back.
It was the whole 9-11 thing that got me started with that. I worry about not be able to access funds thru debit cards or atm machines. Like someone said, even just a bad storm could keep you from getting your money in an emergency.
sorry duplicate post.
I frequently buy equipment or cars in cash for my business so I always keep 10-15K on hand in a safe at my house.
I frequently get someone that is desperate for money and willing to get rid of something way cheaper than I can find it elsewhere, so the cash comes in handy often.
A couple of years ago, working late on contract, I ended up talking to one of the regular staff, who had ex-boyfriend problems. Seems that she kept something special on the floor panel of the refrigerator, and El Jerkface had broke in and ripped it out.
So, some places are a little bit more obvious than others, I believe everyone knows about the jewelry in the flour, and dollars in the icebox tricks.
I'm surprised no one mentioned bullion... if things got REALLY bad...