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Your Take: Why I Keep Cash at Home

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CashTell a few personal finance bloggers that you keep cash in your house and you will invariably be asked why. Why keep cash in your account when you can put it into a high yield savings account and earn a percent of interest? What if there is a fire? What if you get robbed? Why not put it in the warm embrace of FDIC insurance at th ebank?

I don’t keep much, usually only one or two hundred dollars, and the reason I do so is so I can get cash easily if I need it, whatever the reason. I don’t keep a lot, I don’t see the point given credit cards, but I do want to keep a little for those times when cash is king and credit can’t be accessed. I’m talking about those rare cases, like a black out or a big snowstorm (like the major snowstorm a few years ago in the Baltimore Washington metropolitan area), where you need some cash but just can’t get to a bank.

To be perfectly honest, the number one reason I do this is because I’m lazy. I don’t really think that there will be a calamity where I won’t be able to get to an ATM or use a credit card, but sometimes I’m going out somewhere and I need cash but don’t want to make a trip to the ATM. It’s nice to have a few bills at home so that I can tap that reserve instead of make that trip. That’s why I keep some money stored away at home, instead of earning a few pennies at the bank.

One final bit of warning, cash is usually not completely insured by your homeowners or renter’s insurance. So if you are robbed and they take cash, or there is a fire and the money burns, you may be limited in how much cash is covered – that amount will be listed in your policy. I don’t recommend keeping thousands of dollars at home, but a few hundred will probably be covered by your policy.

Do you keep cash at home? If so, why?

(Photo: amagill)

{ 30 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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30 Responses to “Your Take: Why I Keep Cash at Home”

  1. Jason says:

    Yes I keep some cash in a safe at home and have for many years for the same reasons already mentioned. It has come in handy a few different times including a late night when a friend had to leaver her house suddenly due to a domestic violence situation. Yes I could have found other ways to get cash, but having it on hand allowed me to quickly help her get where she needed to go.

  2. Wilma says:

    I always have several $100 dollars at the house since I make a game of going through my change and bills. Any old style bill (face inside a circle) goes in a jar. Bicentennial, state and regular quarters get their own jars. Dollar coins, nickels, dimes and pennies too. The regular quarters go to the laundry mat. I don’t touch the bills. They’re for a true emergency like the power outages mentioned or if I were to some how screw up the checking account or any number of other unexpected things. This method has saved my butt in the past. Cash is king.

  3. Intentionally Blank says:

    I have a couple of hundred in cash for all of the reasons already stated, but another thing I have is a second bank account with a different bank than my main account. I use this for two things

    A) This is the account my paypal account is tied to. If the account gets hacked my max loss is hundreds not thousands.

    B) If some screw-up results in my main account being inaccessible this account can get me through a few days till the mess gets straightened out.

    I asked my bank change something on one of my accounts one Saturday morning. Unknown to me the guy fat fingered it and deactivated my accounts. No credit or debit cards. No checking access. No savings access. Here I am sitting at a restaurant Saturday night trying to pay my bill with $2 in the wallet and no access to my money until after that bank opened on Monday. Boy was I glad I had an account at a different bank that was unaffected.

  4. Rachella says:

    I have a coin jar with about £5 in it. I don’t trust myself to keep anything larger than that.

  5. Frank Furtive says:

    40,000 cash is too much for a home stash, but it is the only way to keep an evil half-brother from stealing it from a parent with dementia. Mom, aka patsy banker lady, was giving him ALL of her monthly income until the parasite threatened with financial exploitation. The creep disappeared when confronted with an old e-mail message revealing an awareness of his victims diminished mental capacity. He never expected it come back and bite him in the behind big time. The wire transfers were so regular/excessive a bank employee expressed concern.

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