> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Cash is King



Cash is King

How much cash do you have on hand--right now?

Imagine your favorite personal disaster scenario. The power is likely to be lone-gone. No power, not ATMs, no credit or debit cards. All of our electronically held wealth becomes completely and utterly inaccessible. Sure, for the first little while, stores might still accept credit cards (writing down your info) or checks, but after the disaster situation becomes clear, you can forget that.

Cash talks. It's fast, anonymous, no-hassle. It works--for anyone, anywhere. Everybody takes cash. It's not dependent on a computer, electricity, the weather, phone lines, incompetent employees, or anything else that "plastic wealth" can fall prey too.

Some people imagine an immediate descent into anarchy and chaos. Sorry, but the world won't devolve into 'Mad Max' over night. Your horde of ammo, medical supplies, and precious metals will have to wait a while for their true "survival value" to surface.

Until it becomes apparent to the average person that the government will not recover from a given disaster and that the dollar is little more than worthless paper, cash will hold some value. Not the same value as pre-disaster--the laws of supply and demand work overtime after TSHTF, inflating prices drastically. But it will hold some value. Yep, if things get bad enough, it may become worthless, but you will have spent it long before then. And hey, it doesn't cost you more than a few percentage points of interest to have some cash stashed safely at home.

I recommend packing some cash with you, as part of your every day carry gear. Stash it somewhere in the back of your wallet and forget about it. If you're planning on bugging out, stash some in you BoB as well. Some pack a roll of quarters for use in pay phones, vending machines, etc. Quarters are always handy to have, but they can add a little bulk.

How much is up to you? I've heard $1000. I've heard enough cash for a tank of gas. I'd sure like to have $1000 to stash in my wallet, but enough for a tank of gas is a lot more plausible. $50 can buy you enough gas to get home, enough food for several days, or a cheap hotel room. It's a good place to start. More than that and you give yourself more options. For example, $1000 cash could buy you a plane ticket halfway across the world, a month's rent (in most parts of the U.S. at least), plenty of food and supplies, or pay to fix your car.

Resist spending it. Personally, I'm horrible at this. One tip for those who are like me: get $2 bills. I received a few $2 bills a couple months back, and for whatever reason, they've been easier to stash in the back of my wallet and forget about.

There are, of course, situations when your "emergency" stash of cash will come in handy--bargains at flee markets, garage sales, and emergencies.

When that happens, let that sly "I'm prepared for this" smile cross your face, reach into your wallet, and use it.