With inflation and gas and food shortages on the rise, it is an excellent idea to have some cash stashed for emergencies. I know we live in a world that believes that there is an ATM around the corner and keeping cash in your wallet or in your home is obsolete, but there are some events that will prove it is good to have some loose cash around.
1. Stolen Credit and Debit Cards
A few years ago, I used to run at a local park after I got off work. My workout sessions were only 35 minutes to an hour, so I was never particularly worried that my car would be broken into. However, one Friday when I returned to my vehicle, my windows were busted out, and my bag, which was hidden, was missing. I should have known better than to leave a bag in the car, but I never thought it could happen to me. (How many times have we heard that phrase and shook our heads?) There is nothing worse than having your wallet stolen and having to contact the credit card companies and the banks to tell them. Immediately, all purchasing power is put on stop. In my case, it was on a Friday, and I couldn’t get my debit card reissued until the following Monday. At that time, I did not have a stash of cash, and I had to borrow money from my family. This one event is what led me to having a stash of cash.
2. Limits on Large Purchases
Many families are experiencing financial difficulties because of Covid, and since people have been unable to pay their card debt, the banks have reduced the limits that they offer. In addition, there are times that your credit cards can be frozen, i.e., bank suspects your cards have been stolen. If you cannot count on using your debit or credit card, you are going to be in a bind when you need to make a large purchase. For example, last year my family needed to purchase a generator before a hurricane made landfall. Our bank places debit card limits and only allows purchases up to $800 per day, and the generator was $1,000. Without having cash stashed, we wouldn’t have been able to purchase the much-needed generator ahead of the storm.
3. Natural Disasters
Speaking of natural disasters, 2021 has proven to many Texans that we need an emergency cash plan. Earlier this year we experienced Snow Apocalypse and this past weekend we just had our first tropical weather event of 2021 (hurricane season doesn’t even begin until June). While the tropical system did not cause damage to our power infrastructure like snow apocalypse did, it did put me back into a preparedness mindset. During inclement weather as soon as you can travel the roads, it is inevitable that retailer debit/credit machines are going to be down. The retailer will not be able to accept the go-to method of payment. Having a stash of cash can make it easier to purchase the supplies you need when retailer machines are not working. In addition, it is preferable that your stash of cash contain mostly bills under $20. Retailers may not be able to give change for larger bills. I also recommend having several hundred dollars of small bills stashed away.
4. Banking Crisis
I cannot predict where 2021 will go, but I often wonder what would happen if our banks failed. There is a lot of discussion around a global reset, and none of us exactly know what that would entail. I know that right now the FDIC insures our money, and we would eventually have access to it again, but there would be a short time period where I wouldn’t be able to access that money. Having cash stashed at home, would be extremely useful because you would still be able to make necessary purchases until the banks are restored.
While it may seem like a daunting task to stash some cash aside, it really isn’t. Any time that I come home with change, I throw it in a jar. If I go to the store and pay with a $20, and I receive $10 back, I stash the cash aside. My family loves to give cash as a gift, if I haven’t earmarked that money for anything, then I set it aside. My home has several safes that I can use to stash my cash, but I have a dear friend that stashes her money in coffee cans and hidden envelopes. Whenever she needs it, the money is there. Stash the cash! You will be glad you have it.