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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: EconDiva on December 29, 2014, 08:09:12 AM

Title: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: EconDiva on December 29, 2014, 08:09:12 AM
I usually only have about $20 in my wallet at any given time.  And literally only a few dollars in my house.

Do you keep a certain amount of cash in your house?  If so, what types of unexpected expenses or emergencies do you keep it around for?

Do you think most people should keep a certain amount of cash at home?  I was just thinking to myself the other day that if I got locked out of my apartment and the place wouldn't except cards for some reason, that maybe I should keep enough cash in my unit to pay for it.  (I am getting duplicate keys made, but...just in case.)

Besides that, I'm having a hard time thinking of other things I might need cash stored in the house for.  And what amount I should keep around....
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Mr. Green on December 29, 2014, 08:49:30 AM
I would keep a little cash in the house in case of an area wide blackout that could last for a couple days. Whether from storms or grid issues, or whatever, having no means to purchase anything for 48 hours seems foolish when it could be remedied by $200 stuffed in a book. Personally, I keep a little more in the house because I've been in situations where having $500-1000 in cash readily accessible would have saved me some serious hassle.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: EDSMedS on December 29, 2014, 08:54:58 AM
I like to stash some cash in my backpacking gear.  Usually DW and I leave IDs/CCs in the vehicle when we aim to get lost in the wilderness.  It is nice to know that if we walk in the wrong direction for days, we can pay for some food/water/transport back to our vehicle.

+1 to having some around for natural disasters.  It's not necessary to keep $1,000, but <$100 for some necessities can assuage some stress during otherwise stressful events.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: EconDiva on December 29, 2014, 08:58:58 AM
I would keep a little cash in the house in case of an area wide blackout that could last for a couple days. Whether from storms or grid issues, or whatever, having no means to purchase anything for 48 hours seems foolish when it could be remedied by $200 stuffed in a book. Personally, I keep a little more in the house because I've been in situations where having $500-1000 in cash readily accessible would have saved me some serious hassle.

Do you care to elaborate on what types of situations you needed to have $500-$1000 cash around for?  I am leery of keeping more than say, about $200 around.  What kind of emergency would require that kind of cash specifically (meaning you couldn't just use a card to access the needed funds)?
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Le Barbu on December 29, 2014, 09:14:08 AM
I would keep a little cash in the house in case of an area wide blackout that could last for a couple days. Whether from storms or grid issues, or whatever, having no means to purchase anything for 48 hours seems foolish when it could be remedied by $200 stuffed in a book. Personally, I keep a little more in the house because I've been in situations where having $500-1000 in cash readily accessible would have saved me some serious hassle.

Do you care to elaborate on what types of situations you needed to have $500-$1000 cash around for?  I am leery of keeping more than say, about $200 around.  What kind of emergency would require that kind of cash specifically (meaning you couldn't just use a card to access the needed funds)?

An exemple of that kind of situation, I had to repay my brother for a stay we shared in a vacation rental together for Christmas. He stoped by our place without notice on the 27th and I feel just better to give cash instead of a cheque. I couldn't pay in the first place because it was a multiple family members share with a lot of extras/details so, he just didn't know the amount (that finaly sums to 240$). I usualy keep 200-500$ because I really don't like to go to the ATM for tinny reasons.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Paul der Krake on December 29, 2014, 09:21:25 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: kib on December 29, 2014, 09:25:29 AM
I actually keep a lot of cash at home.  Like, half a year's worth of bare bones living expenses.  It's probably paranoia, I've watched too many bad movies, but I think in the event of a real meltdown or environmental crisis, those green pieces of paper are going to continue being a medium of exchange for much longer than actually makes sense. You can't eat money, but it's going to take a long time for the average bear to admit it. 

-- this is just ... something I do.  I don't necessarily see it as totally rational, it's just a little hedge that makes me feel better.  So no, it's not financial advice.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: EconDiva on December 29, 2014, 09:30:29 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

Hmm....good point.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: TerriM on December 29, 2014, 09:31:34 AM
I don't like frequent stops at the ATM.  I'll take out $200 at a time and split it up between the car, my wallet, and a little in the house.

I prefer to keep food, water, and a BBQ in the backyard in cases of a blackout or other emergency. :)  In fact, I also keep food and water in my car in case of emergency since we're in an earthquake zone and you could be on the road when "the big one" hits.

The thing I want cash for at the last minute is going out to eat as a group where I want to be able to drop some cash in rather than have to check out on a credit card.  Some places don't like having to check out groups on 5 different credit cards.

We also do have a cash-only place around, but i don't go there very often.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: TerriM on December 29, 2014, 09:36:11 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

Hmm....good point.

We have a backup credit card for this purpose.  In fact, we have three credit cards:
1.  Main card for most purchases
2.  Internet card for automatic/recurring purchases where loss of #1 would require logging in to all of these systems to replace it.
3.  Backup credit card should #1 get lost and need to be cancelled.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: EconDiva on December 29, 2014, 09:40:22 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

Hmm....good point.

We have a backup credit card for this purpose.  In fact, we have three credit cards:
1.  Main card for most purchases
2.  Internet card for automatic/recurring purchases where loss of #1 would require logging in to all of these systems to replace it.
3.  Backup credit card should #1 get lost and need to be cancelled.

In the prior example of your wallet being stolen, wouldn't you still need cash if all of your cards were in it?

Otherwise, I'm assuming you only keep 1 (or 2) of the above 3 cards in your wallet.  If so, what card(s) do you always keep at home?
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Mr.Chipper77 on December 29, 2014, 10:07:19 AM
I always have my change jug and 20$ stashed on my phone behind my case.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: TerriM on December 29, 2014, 10:12:14 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

Hmm....good point.

We have a backup credit card for this purpose.  In fact, we have three credit cards:
1.  Main card for most purchases
2.  Internet card for automatic/recurring purchases where loss of #1 would require logging in to all of these systems to replace it.
3.  Backup credit card should #1 get lost and need to be cancelled.

In the prior example of your wallet being stolen, wouldn't you still need cash if all of your cards were in it?

Otherwise, I'm assuming you only keep 1 (or 2) of the above 3 cards in your wallet.  If so, what card(s) do you always keep at home?

Sorry.  I should've been clearer.  Only #1 and an ATM card comes out with us.

If we're on a trip where we're not near family, one of us can carry #1 (only) and the other carry, say, #3 (only) just in case one of us loses a wallet, the other has a different card that doesn't need to be cancelled.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Datastache on December 29, 2014, 10:17:44 AM
I keep about $400-500 in cash, "just in case." I'm sure things would be fine if I kept less on hand.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Paul der Krake on December 29, 2014, 10:21:31 AM
I fully agree with keeping a card home. In practice, I even have multiple layers of redundancy by keeping both spare cash, spare cards, and spare forms of ID not only at home, but also locked at my desk at work.

And $20 in the glovebox out of habit.


Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Chrissy on December 29, 2014, 10:35:46 AM
I'm in Chicago.  I keep $1,000 in cash for a worst case scenario which assumes looting and price gouging in the dead of winter... meaning I have to leave the city by any means necessary, or buy propane for my emergency heater in a very competitive market.  The event that prompted me to this was a 3-day blackout in NYC.  ATMs were down. 
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: EconDiva on December 29, 2014, 10:41:30 AM
I'm in Chicago.  I keep $1,000 in cash for a worst case scenario which assumes looting and price gouging in the dead of winter... meaning I have to leave the city by any means necessary, or buy propane for my emergency heater in a very competitive market.  The event that prompted me to this was a 3-day blackout in NYC.  ATMs were down.

FYI, I'm in Chicago too.  Been here for 2 years now...never thought about keeping this much on hand for that type of event...
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: frugaliknowit on December 29, 2014, 10:42:49 AM
No.  Only what's in my wallet.  There's an ATM in my building and numerous ones close by.  I have numerous credit cards.  I realize that if there were a huge power failure or similar emergency with a large span, I'd be S outta luck, but that's never happened to me.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: TerriM on December 29, 2014, 10:46:36 AM
I'm in Chicago.  I keep $1,000 in cash for a worst case scenario which assumes looting and price gouging in the dead of winter... meaning I have to leave the city by any means necessary, or buy propane for my emergency heater in a very competitive market.  The event that prompted me to this was a 3-day blackout in NYC.  ATMs were down.

Wow!  I can't imagine keeping that much in my house.  I'd be worried it'd be stolen.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: MrsK on December 29, 2014, 11:00:16 AM
We actually keep around five grand hidden in a very elaborate way in the house along with food, water, survival kits and generator.  Perhaps it is too many movies, but I think WWIII will involve cyber space and if massive hacking shuts down the grid and transaction records, I want to be able to survive for a year or 2 . . .
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Rural on December 29, 2014, 11:41:35 AM
No cash at all except what piles up in the laundry room, but that's probably $25 or so (small bills and change). That will buy enough fuel for me to go to work for a week in a pinch; there's nothing else we'd need to buy. I do try to be sure I always have enough in my wallet for fuel to get home, and I have $20 in my desk at work for that same reason, but I also try not to go in with the tank empty.


Basically, in any emergency situation where money's still worth something, I need only to be sure I can get home if I get caught out, and any personal banking issues might require the ability to get to work for a short time without accessing our accounts, but no more than that.


A lost wallet on Friday? I wouldn't buy anything until I got it straightened out on Monday.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: hdatontodo on December 29, 2014, 11:57:23 AM
I have a roll of quarters and twenty or so $1's  in the zombie / get-home bags in the car, and about the same in our house. I've been meaning to get $100 in singles for home but haven't gotten around to it.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: I'm a red panda on December 29, 2014, 01:18:54 PM
Nope.
I currently have $3.50 in my purse. I don't use cash.

My husband usually has between $10-$50 in his wallet, so I guess that is in the house too.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Albert on December 29, 2014, 01:30:01 PM
I have a huge bowl of coins probably worth 200-300$ I have been too lazy to take to the bank. Other than that not really, very rarely more than 300 francs. I do have a random amount of spare foreign currency laying around. In fact I checked few days ago and found about 150 euros, 50 $, 20 pounds and 500 Turkish liras plus tiny amounts of others in coins in a drawer.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: StartingEarly on December 29, 2014, 01:33:23 PM
I typically carry a few hundred dollars on my person.  I keep about 3000 at home and stock back up when I am low.  I don't like using credit cards and rarely use my debit card.  I like having it there.  It is locked up in a secure safe bolted to the wall so I don't worry about it.  If something were to happen like a family member across the country on their death bed I will be glad I had it there to grab and go.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: MoneyCat on December 29, 2014, 01:38:46 PM
It would be kind of fun to start stashing cash in hollowed-out books and under floorboards and stuff so life could be more like a movie.  Right now, I only keep about $10 in cash on me.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: epipenguin on December 29, 2014, 02:12:07 PM
The only time I have "needed" cash was after a hurricane when my friends wanted to go to a downtown restaurant that was actually open, because they wanted some hot food and cold beer. But the cash register and credit card swiper were not working so it was cash only (I assume the restaurant had gas cooking equipment, and lots of ice for the beer). It was not exactly a life threatening situation so I'm sure I could have said "no thanks" or asked to borrow some cash if I didn't have any. I wasn't in need of hot food because my house has a gas stove that kept working. I always have some food stocked up, and of course with a hurricane coming I stocked up some extras including water as we had advanced notice, and had gotten some cash out of the ATM. But even if we didn't have advanced notice, the emergency services were giving out water for free after a day.

Anyway, since then I keep around $40 at home in small bills for emergencies. But that's about it.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: FarmerPete on December 29, 2014, 02:22:34 PM
I keep cheques for when plastic doesn't work.  I keep ~$20 in my wallet for when cheques wont work.  I keep bullets in my gun safe for when cash doesn't work.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Le Barbu on December 29, 2014, 02:24:39 PM
I keep cheques for when plastic doesn't work.  I keep ~$20 in my wallet for when cheques wont work.  I keep bullets in my gun safe for when cash doesn't work.

silver bullets at least?
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Chrissy on December 29, 2014, 02:33:37 PM
I'm in Chicago.  I keep $1,000 in cash for a worst case scenario which assumes looting and price gouging in the dead of winter... meaning I have to leave the city by any means necessary, or buy propane for my emergency heater in a very competitive market.  The event that prompted me to this was a 3-day blackout in NYC.  ATMs were down.

FYI, I'm in Chicago too.  Been here for 2 years now...never thought about keeping this much on hand for that type of event...

Maybe it's overkill... I dunno.  I had friends go through 9/11 and the 3-day blackout in NYC.  And, I remember being on the street the morning of 9/11, wondering if we were going to be hit next, and planning what I would do if we did.

I don't have a car, so getting out would be problematic, and might require a large sum of cash.  I'm either paying a stranger to take me across the Lake to my BF's vacation home, or Southwest to family.  Or, I'm staying in Chicago and trying to compete for groceries and propane, potentially having to out-bid other buyers.  The city has a history of rioting after all, so I thought through the worst.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: mozar on December 29, 2014, 02:57:20 PM
Last year both my grocery store and bank were hacked so I could use a card or get cash. I had about 20 bucks. Checks came in handy. It was a whole week. Merchants will generally take checks.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: MoneyCat on December 29, 2014, 03:08:47 PM
I keep cheques for when plastic doesn't work.  I keep ~$20 in my wallet for when cheques wont work.  I keep bullets in my gun safe for when cash doesn't work.

I watch "The Walking Dead" too, so I'm right there with you.  Better safe than zombie chow.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: TN_Steve on December 29, 2014, 04:32:49 PM
I'm in Chicago.  I keep $1,000 in cash for a worst case scenario which assumes looting and price gouging in the dead of winter... meaning I have to leave the city by any means necessary, or buy propane for my emergency heater in a very competitive market.  The event that prompted me to this was a 3-day blackout in NYC.  ATMs were down.

+1.  We have the exact same amount tucked away, for much the same reasons, even though we live on the outskirts of a much smaller metro area.  ATMs and card readers won't work in event of an on-target Coronal mass ejection, earthquake, ice storms, or bad tornado that hits power transmission lines.....  Of course, in the event of the first of that list, a grand isn't going to be anywhere enough to make things comfy.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Rural on December 29, 2014, 05:12:00 PM
I'm in Chicago.  I keep $1,000 in cash for a worst case scenario which assumes looting and price gouging in the dead of winter... meaning I have to leave the city by any means necessary, or buy propane for my emergency heater in a very competitive market.  The event that prompted me to this was a 3-day blackout in NYC.  ATMs were down.

+1.  We have the exact same amount tucked away, for much the same reasons, even though we live on the outskirts of a much smaller metro area.  ATMs and card readers won't work in event of an on-target Coronal mass ejection, earthquake, ice storms, or bad tornado that hits power transmission lines.....  Of course, in the event of the first of that list, a grand isn't going to be anywhere enough to make things comfy.


One reason I don't keep so much cash is if it gets that bad, I'm not going to try to buy anything. We have food for at least six months (pantry, not prepper), a woodstove, a forest to fuel it, and a good spring on the property. If anything comes up that those things won't solve for us, then FarmerPete's plan might well help us, but a large stash of cash won't - it would be more likely to make things worse, in fact.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: AlexK on December 29, 2014, 05:32:28 PM
Yes. I keep a few thousand cash in a secret place in the house. It has come in handy many times. It isn't much risk, I mean how often does your house get robbed? Not once in my case.

I buy and sell on Craigslist and having cash on hand helps to score the mega-deals.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Primm on December 29, 2014, 06:09:38 PM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

I'm curious as to what emergency expenses requiring cash would pop up between Friday night and Monday morning though.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: zinethstache on December 29, 2014, 06:25:19 PM
DH insists on rations and a +$500 cash stash in our home. We are hooked up with a generator for the home that we also bring camping with us. He keeps a smaller stash in his car. My little car is not zombie apocalypse worthy but I like to always carry at least $10 in my wallet.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Le Barbu on December 29, 2014, 07:11:12 PM
DH insists on rations and a +$500 cash stash in our home. We are hooked up with a generator for the home that we also bring camping with us. He keeps a smaller stash in his car. My little car is not zombie apocalypse worthy but I like to always carry at least $10 in my wallet.

If zombies are coming, fuel will be difficult to find, small car will be better than a F-150 with a dry tank
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Calvawt on December 29, 2014, 07:21:51 PM
I used to keep a couple thousand laying around (hidden of course) when I played a lot of live poker (3 years ago).  Now that I am married with 2 kids, I probably keep less than $100 around.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: StartingEarly on December 29, 2014, 09:53:34 PM
If zombies are coming a deuce and a half would be your best option.  It can run over everything and it can run on everything.  Each of those abandoned cars you find on the side of the road even if empty has about a gallon or more of oil in it.  Drain it out and put it in the tank and go another ten miles down the road.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Davin on December 29, 2014, 10:54:38 PM
We keep a few hundred in small bills in a safe for emergencies. We have had power out in our whole region for days at a time after storms, and after an earthquake it could be longer. In a situation like that  atm/debit/credit cards are useless. I have witnessed a near riot when an ice delivery truck pulled up to the Safeway after the power was out for a couple of days. At that time the store policy was cash only, they were NOT taking checks.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Paul der Krake on December 30, 2014, 01:26:02 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

I'm curious as to what emergency expenses requiring cash would pop up between Friday night and Monday morning though.
Usually, the very annoying situations are when you get two or more annoyances striking at once, combining into a major PITA. For example, you could be scheduled to drive to see relatives several states away that weekend. Or have a potluck on Sunday for which you don't have all the ingredients.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: EconDiva on December 30, 2014, 05:54:06 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

I'm curious as to what emergency expenses requiring cash would pop up between Friday night and Monday morning though.
Usually, the very annoying situations are when you get two or more annoyances striking at once, combining into a major PITA. For example, you could be scheduled to drive to see relatives several states away that weekend. Or have a potluck on Sunday for which you don't have all the ingredients.

I wouldn't quite consider either of those two instances to be emergencies, but rather inconveniences (things that can be cancelled/rescheduled/do not need to take place).

Let me just say what prompted me thinking about this.

This summer, my youngest cousin passed away suddenly.  When I flew in for the funeral, my grandfather (who was like my Dad), fell ill and passed the day of the cousin's funeral.  So I was traveling between Chicago, SC and VA at the time.  (On another note, the parents didn't have all the money to bury my cousin so I gave and raised funds towards that.).  The emergency money I had was in my Capital One 360 account, which took days to get access to.  It was quicker to use my own personal funds from my checking account, credit card, and even transferring money from my ROTH IRA was quicker than getting the funds out of the Capital One 360 account.

I had to travel out of the country for work this month.  It was my first time out of the country.  I got pic pocketed and lost about 200 Euros, my drivers license, credit/debit cards, company credit card and passport.  I had to stay in the country for extra days to get an emergency passport.  When I called my mother in the US for assistance she did not help. 

Upon looking back on these two times this year, I obviously need to do a lot better at planning for (all types of) emergencies.  I learned a lot from the Paris trip.  For instance, about leaving certain cards/backup cash and my passport in my hotel safe (which I had planned to do but was in such a rush to get out and enjoy the city that I left out with everything in my wallet.)

The two funerals over the summer taught me that I needed more money in my EF (which I was building at the time but lost about all of it after those things happened).  And it taught me I needed the money to be in a more accessible place--a place I can access the money the same day if needed.  For this reason I think I will split my EF fund across several accounts.

So, the things that have occurred this year have me thinking...do I need money at home too in case something happens?  If so, how much?  I don't want to keep more than is needed in cash just lying around.  I think enough money for getting locked out of my place is realistic.  It's other things I haven't experienced that I think I need to anticipate.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Rural on December 30, 2014, 06:51:12 AM
Cash in your home wouldn't have helped with either the funerals or the trip, so I guess you're trying to think of other unanticipated problems?


Yes on enough money for a locksmith, assuming you think a locksmith is cheaper than replacing a window. Not something I'd think of since we have a dog door for Great Danes; I'd use that.


Maybe enough cash for prescriptions if electronic systems were down? That's something I should consider - cost of antibiotics, for example.


Yes on keeping at least a good chunk of the EF somewhere accessible within a day, that or keep a credit card with a high enough limit for the deposit on a funeral, for example.


Perhaps consider the likelihood of transportation problems  - what this might look like and the solutions will be location-dependent.


In the event of a natural disaster that cuts off services for a week or so, can you drink (first)? Eat (second)? Stay warm if temps are dangerously low? Ventilate if you're somewhere that gets dangerously hot? Those are the things to try to mitigate, and I'll argue that in a natural disaster you're much better off if you can mitigate by having what you need instead of having money to try to buy what you need - shoot for that whenever possible, because what you need may not be for sale right then.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: JLee on December 30, 2014, 07:05:50 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

I like to keep a slim wallet, so I keep unused credit cards (i.e. the 0% one I have a house project financed on) at home. My passport and passport card also live at home, so if my wallet was lost I would still have some cards and ID.

Just a thought in case anyone else is in a similar situation. :)
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: DeltaBond on December 30, 2014, 07:10:34 AM
Losing your wallet out on the town on a Friday night with the bank not opening until Monday is a common scenario.

I like to keep a slim wallet, so I keep unused credit cards (i.e. the 0% one I have a house project financed on) at home. My passport and passport card also live at home, so if my wallet was lost I would still have some cards and ID.

Just a thought in case anyone else is in a similar situation. :)

I do this, as well, only taking with me what I'll need that trip, or at least, leaving something at home if I happen to lose my schtufff.  Also, some might argue that with interest rates as low as they are, it doesn't really hurt to keep a cash savings at home somewhere.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: MidwestGal on December 30, 2014, 07:37:07 AM
I try and keep a couple hundred in cash and coin in the house, mostly for weather emergencies.  Blackouts can happen here happen year round (big storms in the summer and winter) and I want to be able to run and get something if systems are down.  We do keep supplies on hand but the extra insurance doesn't hurt anything.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: FarmerPete on December 30, 2014, 07:45:32 AM
The way I look at it, the worst case scenarios in the midwest are ice-storms knocking out power for 1-2 weeks (happened last Christmas) or the rare tornado.  Even in the worst ice storm in city history, it only knocked out power to ~40% of customers.  Water and natural gas worked fine.  Our wood stove kept our house > 60F for 5 days before I ran out of wood (I hadn't stocked up for last year since I didn't plan on using the stove due to a 1yr old running around).  During this time, 60% of the power customers were fine.  Yes, there was some inconveniences, but the vast majority of businesses were back up after 48hrs.  My main point is that there were no services unavailable from somewhere in town.  So how can you prepare for something like that?  Well, I needed more wood.  I'd ideally like to have enough to last me two weeks.  I'd also consider having a generator to keep the freezer running.  I thought about buying a propane one.  I've already got 3 20lb tanks, and adding another one or two wouldn't be a big deal.  It also never goes bad and doesn't need electricity to pump.  Plus, everyone has at least one that I could probably pilfer/borrow.  I bought a USB battery that can charge my cell phone 6 times, so that gets rid of communication issues.  Other than keeping the normal stock of food in the pantry, I think we're set.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Spork on December 30, 2014, 08:00:46 AM
Wifey and I keep probably in the $100/200 each.  It isn't particularly targeted at emergencies... more convenience.  If you stumble on some craigslist find and need cash now -- it's easier than driving to town, going to an ATM, etc.

We each take a biweekly allowance for misc expenses.  When I get a new allowance, I dump what's left of the previous one in a drawer.  This becomes my cash stash.

I also use it for gift buying for the wife.  There is something weird about me going out and buying something on a credit card and then her paying the bill a few weeks later.  I will even use the cash to buy online.  Coinstar machines around here can be used to buy Amazon gift cards, making not-so-traceable gift purchases easier.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: TerriM on December 30, 2014, 08:09:33 AM
In the event of a natural disaster that cuts off services for a week or so, can you drink (first)? Eat (second)? Stay warm if temps are dangerously low? Ventilate if you're somewhere that gets dangerously hot? Those are the things to try to mitigate, and I'll argue that in a natural disaster you're much better off if you can mitigate by having what you need instead of having money to try to buy what you need - shoot for that whenever possible, because what you need may not be for sale right then.

Agreed.  Though if you're planning for WWIII, I've no idea how to do that, but I doubt money will be much use either. 

I do occasionally have the temptation to go buy a farm and be self-reliant.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: C-note on December 30, 2014, 08:40:24 AM
We run a mixed cash/debit household. We typically carry between $20 to $30 on our person. 
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Rosbif on December 30, 2014, 09:12:04 AM
I usually have about 10,000 in used, non-sequential, high denomination bills in a safe behind my bathroom wall, the combination is 1-2-3-4-5-6. I'm out all night next Thursday. 

I may be a little paranoid, but I see a thread like this and I just think "stop telling people this". I carry very little cash, as I use debit cards for everything. I have a stash that should be enough to get out of town if the zombies turn up. I sleep a little better knowing it's there. If people are really concerned about this sort of thing, a few small gold coins are probably a better idea.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Jack on December 30, 2014, 10:31:08 AM
In the event of a natural disaster that cuts off services for a week or so, can you drink (first)? Eat (second)? Stay warm if temps are dangerously low? Ventilate if you're somewhere that gets dangerously hot? Those are the things to try to mitigate, and I'll argue that in a natural disaster you're much better off if you can mitigate by having what you need instead of having money to try to buy what you need - shoot for that whenever possible, because what you need may not be for sale right then.

Agreed.  Though if you're planning for WWIII, I've no idea how to do that, but I doubt money will be much use either. 

I do occasionally have the temptation to go buy a farm and be self-reliant.

Indeed: in a real emergency, cash won't help you get out of town. Only already having a full tank of gas beforehand can do that, since everyone else will have already bled the gas stations dry. (You might have a shot at getting diesel, though -- I remember a few years ago, when the hurricane took out the gulf coast oil refineries, that there were gas shortages but diesel was still readily available because fewer people have vehicles capable of using it.)

The other things that might help are four-wheel drive, so you can get past the traffic jams by driving off-road, and guns/ammo, so you can stop people from trying to carjack you.

(Note: I'm not quite paranoid enough to seriously make these sorts of plans. I am thinking about getting an extra 5-gallon metal gas can to keep in my truck, but that's mostly because my fuel gauge doesn't work.)
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Chrissy on December 30, 2014, 12:09:14 PM

Indeed: in a real emergency, cash won't help you get out of town. Only already having a full tank of gas beforehand can do that, since everyone else will have already bled the gas stations dry. (You might have a shot at getting diesel, though -- I remember a few years ago, when the hurricane took out the gulf coast oil refineries, that there were gas shortages but diesel was still readily available because fewer people have vehicles capable of using it.)

The other things that might help are four-wheel drive, so you can get past the traffic jams by driving off-road, and guns/ammo, so you can stop people from trying to carjack you.

(Note: I'm not quite paranoid enough to seriously make these sorts of plans. I am thinking about getting an extra 5-gallon metal gas can to keep in my truck, but that's mostly because my fuel gauge doesn't work.)

Mentioned to my BF last night what I'd posted.  He agrees with you.  Said the money would end up being taken from me, unless I had a gun.  What a pessimist!  Still, I think the amount is right if I was stuck here and needed groceries and/or propane.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Le Barbu on December 30, 2014, 12:52:19 PM
I usually have about 10,000 in used, non-sequential, high denomination bills in a safe behind my bathroom wall, the combination is 1-2-3-4-5-6. I'm out all night next Thursday. 

I may be a little paranoid, but I see a thread like this and I just think "stop telling people this". I carry very little cash, as I use debit cards for everything. I have a stash that should be enough to get out of town if the zombies turn up. I sleep a little better knowing it's there. If people are really concerned about this sort of thing, a few small gold coins are probably a better idea.

I definitely think it would be a must everyone on this thread give their address, schedule, where they hide the dough, safe #### and everything else useful for each other. This way, if we find us in need or emergency, we could have a reliable list of places to get some cash when ATM and plastic money do not work.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Dicey on December 30, 2014, 01:06:59 PM
Sometimes we do, sometimes we don't. It's nice to have a reserve on hand, but I like having a record of expenditures. Every few years, we have a garage sale and I generally keep post-GS cash on hand. Likewise, when DH sells something on CL, he gives me the cash to hang onto.

My preferred strategy is to deposit all random checks into savings, not checking. For example, if a friend writes a check for stuff I bought at Costco for her, I stick it into savings and pay off the Costco bill as usual. Funny how those dribs and drabs add up.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Capsu78 on December 30, 2014, 04:16:34 PM
Yes, I keep cash in my house.  I have spent a considerable amount of time in crisis management and disaster preparedness for business.  I also lived "on" the Hayward fault in Norcal for a couple years...not near the fault, on the fault .  I keep cash for my wife and I, and then some more for my 2 grown childrens families who live closeby and could be impacted if I am.
My calculation is based on what would I spend in the event that we had to bug out for 5 days- even if credit/atm system was shaky.  Cash transactions would be easier and welcome- queing up behind a long line to get cash burns time and may put you with people you would rather not be around on a good day.
If you wish to do a "deep dive" of preparedness without going full on zombie nation, take a look at the thought process of an engineering type who was displaced during Hurricane Katrina.  I will never do all the steps he suggests, but I have done several of them with regards to photos, documents etc.

http://www.theplacewithnoname.com/blogs/klessons/p/0006.html
His process is one of the best "how to do it" guides in a world of "what to do" preparations.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Rural on December 30, 2014, 06:54:51 PM
In the event of a natural disaster that cuts off services for a week or so, can you drink (first)? Eat (second)? Stay warm if temps are dangerously low? Ventilate if you're somewhere that gets dangerously hot? Those are the things to try to mitigate, and I'll argue that in a natural disaster you're much better off if you can mitigate by having what you need instead of having money to try to buy what you need - shoot for that whenever possible, because what you need may not be for sale right then.

Agreed.  Though if you're planning for WWIII, I've no idea how to do that, but I doubt money will be much use either. 

I do occasionally have the temptation to go buy a farm and be self-reliant.


Right, WWIII is beyond anyone's planning ability. But there's a lot of room between the ~weeklong natural disaster fallout I'm talking about and WWIII. Water is the big one in the short term, then heat if it's cold enough to freeze to death or ventilation if it's hot enough to get heatstroke.


Most of us can find a way to manage those things without hoping we can find clean water for sale shortly after the storm hits - that's what I'm saying. Add a few cans of food with pop tops to that and suddenly you're in "this disaster is a major inconvenience" territory, which is a good place to be. Then you can stay inside, avoid the crazy that comes out after a disaster, and save your emergency cash for when you lose your wallet or get mugged, but the rest of the world is still behaving normally.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: davef on December 30, 2014, 07:34:21 PM
I keep 100-200 in my wallet a debit cared and my 2 credit cards that I buy everything on for rewards. I usually take about $100 a month out of the ATM to keep that amount in my wallet. At home in my safe I have all of my other credit cards, (for stores and such) a few are visas and could be used anywhere, and checks of course. I used to keep an extra 100 stashed in my car. this thread has me thinking of doing that again...
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: 2Birds1Stone on January 03, 2015, 07:05:18 AM
I have $2k, a CC, and a form of federal ID on my person at all times. That way no matter what happens, I am never stranded.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: aj_yooper on January 03, 2015, 07:50:57 AM
I usually use  credit cards (2 in wallet), but I have $50-100 tucked in my wallet with several hundred at home and cash in emergency fund along with some buckshot.  We probably should stock some drinking water, more canned goods, and keep up with firewood and backup propane for grill.  Stuff can happen. 
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: TerriM on January 03, 2015, 08:36:33 AM
I usually have about 10,000 in used, non-sequential, high denomination bills in a safe behind my bathroom wall, the combination is 1-2-3-4-5-6. I'm out all night next Thursday. 

I may be a little paranoid, but I see a thread like this and I just think "stop telling people this". I carry very little cash, as I use debit cards for everything. I have a stash that should be enough to get out of town if the zombies turn up. I sleep a little better knowing it's there. If people are really concerned about this sort of thing, a few small gold coins are probably a better idea.

Address please? :)
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: OSUBearCub on January 03, 2015, 08:54:57 AM
Yes on enough money for a locksmith, assuming you think a locksmith is cheaper than replacing a window. Not something I'd think of since we have a dog door for Great Danes; I'd use that.

When your dog is bigger than certain forms of cattle, wouldn't you just call it a "door" at that point? :-)
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Exhale on January 03, 2015, 08:59:44 AM
1) An emergency $20 bill in my wallet

2) An emergency $50 in small bills in each of two locations:
a) Fire safe at home (part of my emergency kit)
b) My emergency kit at work
---
In case of natural disaster, ATMS may not be functional so cash (in small bills) is a recommended part of an emergency kit.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: OSUBearCub on January 03, 2015, 09:13:33 AM
+1 on keeping the gas tank full, I try not to let mine get below half a tank especially in hurricane season

I keep $100-200 cash on hand at home.  Any more and I'd want to split it up/could forget where I stashed it.  I keep it in a cheap little lock box I've had forever along with my super essential documents (in case I ever have a grab-and-go situation).  It saves a lot of trips to the ATM and a lot of ATM fees. Having it at home keeps it from "burning a hole in my pocket". 

$1000 or more seems a bit excessive to me due to loss of interest over time.

Sure you can plan around or reschedule almost any foreseeable inconvenience...until one blindsides you.  I think it's better to have a more frugal option that allows you to avoid ATM fees or an unplanned trip to the bank.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Rural on January 03, 2015, 09:20:03 AM
Yes on enough money for a locksmith, assuming you think a locksmith is cheaper than replacing a window. Not something I'd think of since we have a dog door for Great Danes; I'd use that.

When your dog is bigger than certain forms of cattle, wouldn't you just call it a "door" at that point? :-)


Nah, it's only about half the height. :-)
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: YoungInvestor on January 03, 2015, 09:46:59 AM
I'm the opposite of paranoid, so I don't really prepare anything for natural disasters/looting/WW3.

I do generally have between 0-120$ cash on me.

I generally also have about 100 USD (I'm Canadian) at home left over from my last trip to the US, which is just not worth paying exchange fees on to deposit since I go there about 3-4 times a year. I guess I could use that in a pinch.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: maizeman on January 03, 2015, 10:47:17 AM
So there is cash-on-hand and cash-at-home. I don't really have an at home stash of bills (although after reading this thread I'm really liking the idea of an emergency credit card kept at home in case my wallet is lost/stolen and if I did that I'd probably add a couple hundred in currency as well), but I do always have an extra $200 in my wallet above and beyond what I'll spend and refill from ATMs. I can't think of the last time I actually had to dip into it, but for me the peace of mind is worth the minuscule cost in foregone interest.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: sol on January 03, 2015, 11:09:22 AM
I keep large stacks of cash in my house, along with gold and firearms, and then I advertise about it on the internet.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Annamal on January 03, 2015, 12:14:00 PM
Yes, I keep cash in my house.  I have spent a considerable amount of time in crisis management and disaster preparedness for business.  I also lived "on" the Hayward fault in Norcal for a couple years...not near the fault, on the fault .  I keep cash for my wife and I, and then some more for my 2 grown childrens families who live closeby and could be impacted if I am.
My calculation is based on what would I spend in the event that we had to bug out for 5 days- even if credit/atm system was shaky.  Cash transactions would be easier and welcome- queing up behind a long line to get cash burns time and may put you with people you would rather not be around on a good day.


We're in a similar situation (with the added bonus that there is a decent chance our city will be cut off by road and we might need to hike out if we need out.

I had colleagues who went through the Christchurch earthquake and having some cash on hand (along with knowing how to dig an emergency toilet) seemed to be helpful. Looting didn't really happen and everyone pretty much banded together in the immediate aftermath

Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Primm on January 03, 2015, 10:46:17 PM
In case of natural disaster, ATMS may not be functional so cash (in small bills) is a recommended part of an emergency kit.

I've been through two major natural disasters. Bushfires when I was a teenager and floods up here. In both cases everything (shops, fuel outlets etc.) were closed anyway so cash would have been just as useless as a card. By the time the shops opened again after a week or more there was power and communication so ATM cards and credit cards worked.

A natural disaster worse than these would be on the catastrophic scale, and the issue would be more around availability of resources than the means to purchase them.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Astatine on January 07, 2015, 02:41:52 PM
After reading through this thread, I realise my base assumptions are rather different. Maybe I'm naive (or Australia is v different to the US? not sure) I don't see anyone thinking about relying on friends, family, the local community or government in case of disaster. Or maybe it's that bushfires are the only event that's likely to impact directly on my city (flash flooding and big storms have more minor impacts). The last big fires destroyed 500 homes, took out one sewerage treatment plant and contaminated a couple of our drinking supply dams for a year or two, power was out in some suburbs for a long time, but... nobody affected had to fend for themselves.

Our government has a well-oiled machine of emergency funding handouts of around $1k if you've been badly affected by a natural disaster (bit painful to get if you lose all your ID, but not impossible) so you can get some clothes, food etc, charities get involved etc etc. Longer term recovery from major disasters is not always smooth or equitable, but in the immediate aftermath, there seems to be a lot of support from community, government, friends, family and the like.

I try to avoid overly paranoid thinking cos it's not helpful/healthy for me personally (I tend to withdraw from my social networks and feel like I'm deprived, can't share anything, must keep everything to myself, don't help others etc etc). That's probably entirely due to my own personal hangups and childhood environment, so YMMV.

Edit: I'm also probably a bit fatalistic about thinking about disasters/wars/zombie apocalypses that destroy infrastructure/society. Insulin keeps me alive, and needs to be refrigerated. If things are that bad that refrigeration/big pharma is unavailable worldwide, I'm dead within several months regardless of how well my home is prepped. So I plan for 1-2 weeks of self-sufficiency at most. Maybe a month.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: sky_northern on January 07, 2015, 03:27:26 PM
I generally also have about 100 USD (I'm Canadian) at home left over from my last trip to the US, which is just not worth paying exchange fees on to deposit since I go there about 3-4 times a year. I guess I could use that in a pinch.

Emergency's like girl guide cookies. I had one of my girls come back from night out selling door to door with a 'funny looking money'. Guy really wanted cookies but only cash he had was USD.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: frugaldrummer on January 07, 2015, 05:49:47 PM
A couple of years ago there was a massive power outage in our county.  A couple million people without power.

Luckily it was summer and the climate is mild.  But it was interesting the things that went down in that scenario.  No gas (the gas station pumps apparently have no backup) and all the traffic lights went out, so traffic was totally snarled as people all left their work places to go home, and many people ran out of gas before they got home in the bumper-to-bumper traffic. (I always try to keep half a tank in my car now).

Also - all the electronics at the cash registers went out, so if you wanted to buy groceries you needed to have cash.  (I suppose some places may have taken checks too).
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Dr. Doom on January 07, 2015, 07:26:56 PM
Honestly, no - this isn't something I do or worry about.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: TerriM on January 07, 2015, 07:37:53 PM
Also - all the electronics at the cash registers went out, so if you wanted to buy groceries you needed to have cash.  (I suppose some places may have taken checks too).

Forgive me, but wouldn't most cashiers look at your blankly if they didn't have their cash register to ring something up with?  That's kind of been my experience with the "errr. uhm. the uhm. the computer is not working right now."   I just wonder how many would allow you to leave them cash.

I'd say food and water is the most important.  Living in earthquake territory, there's no way I'm buying water after the earthquake.  I stock up on water.  In the safe in my bathroom.  And the code is 1-2-3-4-5-6. :)
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Greg on January 07, 2015, 09:34:25 PM
Nope nope nope.  If I get more than $50 in cash I put it in the bank.
Title: Re: Do you stash cash in your home?
Post by: Daisy on January 07, 2015, 09:52:02 PM
I wanted to post right after the picture of the daisy above me. ;-)

I live in hurricane country so I always keep some cash around. During Hurricane Andrew eons ago, cash came in very handy to buy ice, water, and stuff like that.

Also, my father and grandfather always insisted on keeping cash around and it's ingrained in me.

Now with the popularity of credit cards it doesn't happen as often, but I always got annoyed with friends during high school or college when we'd want to go out somewhere and they always waited until the last minute to go to the ATM machine when we were on our way somewhere, so I'd have to go with them and sit in the car while we were running late for some activity. So annoying since I was always prepared with cash...