Friday, October 1, 2010

Bare Minimum: Cash


      As one of my close friends always says: "cash is king".  Cash keeps you from spending money you don't have, or over-spending.  You can get better deals at stores and businesses if you offer to pay cash.  You don't pay interest payments, like those from credit cards, when using cash.  And the list goes on and on.  In many of my posts on kits, you will see that I mention having cash in these kits, and on your person at all times.  Having cash on me, has made many an unexpected 'cash only' situation in the city much easier to deal with.  Running to an ATM, just to pay a "fee" for their service is wasteful and unnecessary in my opinion.  My 'Bare Minimum' post today is about cash as you can see, but it's not the cash I mention in those kits.  This post is about a 'bare minimum' cash reserve I suggest you have hidden safely in your apartment at all times.  

     Money in the form of cash can be a literal life saver in a disaster situation.  Having all your money tied up in investments, and in accounts will not do you any good when say; you need to withdraw cash from an ATM after a black-out (no electricity...)  Another example would be; if there's a long term disaster scenario, banks will be forced to limit withdrawal's of cash each day by their patrons, as we saw in the Argentina economic crisis.  After 9/11, ATM's were empty an hour after the attacks from people withdrawing all they could.  There are a million sleep preventing reasons, and disaster scenarios I could go over justifying why keeping cash in your apartment is a good idea, but I'll save you from that pain.

     How much cash to keep stashed is really up to you, and depends on your financial situation.  If you are in major amounts of debt, I suggest keeping only about $500.  Doing your best (I know it's tough, and I feel for you) to get out of debt as soon as possible should be one of your first priorities when becoming a prepper.  If you have a bit of savings, you can keep as much as $3,000 in a safe spot.  Any more is dangerous, and really unnecessary, as cash will lose it's value if a disaster goes beyond a certain time frame.  Food, supplies, and fuel will be much more important/valuable to people than a piece of worthless paper. 

     You should tell your loved ones about your hidden money, and explain to them the importance of it always being there when needed.  You too need to remember it's intended use, and save it for times when it is truly needed.  Though I'm pretty sure I don't have to remind you, don't tell acquaintances or casual friends you store cash in your apartment, doing so makes you a target.

     Whether the disaster is major or not, having available cash in your home is an intelligent investment in my opinion.  With the market the way it is right now, how many investment opportunities can promise you a dollar is going to be worth a dollar in six months?  One-hundred dollars in cash, will be worth just that in six months, and you have the added benefit of knowing that if something goes wrong, you are prepared!


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