how much cash/greenbacks do you keep in emergencies?

Page 4 - Seeking answers? Join the AnandTech community: where nearly half-a-million members share solutions and discuss the latest tech.

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,946
2,325
126
Originally posted by: chin311
usually around 1000-1500$

no guns/ammo (im not gonna go shooting ppl to take their shit) :confused:

but decent amount of food & couple stacks of water bottles
The guns aren't so much for taking other peoples shit, well in all honesty I would kill you in a heartbeat if it meant the survival of my daughter, but its mostly to insure some other desperate person does not take YOUR shit.

I'll use Katrina as an example again. I know, and have heard of a ton of people who had their supplies forcibly removed from them. The vast majority of those people where unarmed. Simply displaying a weapon made the badguys go somewhere else. Why would they want to get into a shootout when there are plenty of unarmed people to take from?
 

piasabird

Lifer
Feb 6, 2002
17,168
60
91
So if you were going to keep an emergency weapon, what would you suggest?

Handgun? 9MM, 45, 38, 40, 22?
Shotgun 12ga?
AK-47?
AR-15
22 LR
22-250
30-30
30-06
270
WINMAG 300 (REDICULOUS)

All of the above?
Some other favorite?

I think a 30-30 at close range can stop most people with one shot. Just think winchester repeater. However, the 22-250 is a high-velocity varmit killer. 22 may not be good enough to stop with first round, but I have found them to be very accurate and easy to shoot repeatedly in a tight spread pattern.

The AK-47 is just plain old cheap.
Shotgun definitely is hard to miss with at close range.
 

chin311

Diamond Member
Feb 27, 2003
4,307
3
76
OK OK now im on board, I just have this image of everyone being desperate and roaming the streets shooting people down and taking their goods

but now im going to go buy 9mm, thanks for the tips

 

Kelvrick

Lifer
Feb 14, 2001
18,438
5
81
Originally posted by: chin311
OK OK now im on board, I just have this image of everyone being desperate and roaming the streets shooting people down and taking their goods

but now im going to go buy 9mm, thanks for the tips
Please do it the right way. Don't just go out and buy a handgun, go to a range, do some research, maybe join a couple firearm forums. Train with your firearm. Don't just expect to be able to use it.

Always follow the rules.

All guns are always loaded!
Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy!
Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on the target!1
Always be sure of your target!

Firearm enthusiasts are usually a friendly group (unlike what the media often portrays them as) and many are often willing to take a new guy out and show him the ropes. Its just like riding a motorcycle, you're all part of the same group and so a kind of camaraderie exists.
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Originally posted by: Drakkon
I'd really like to hear this situation where SHTF so bad that your CC wont work, ATM's wont work, and you cant wait a day to get to the bank :confused:
I mean are we like at the end of days or something here? cause if thats the case I'm just looting...
Sure thing, how about Katrina? And I am not just talking in the immediately affected areas. Due to the massive amount of phone lines down there was a HUGE area that could not accept credit cards for at least a week. Same thing with ATMs.
what would $1000 have done for you in the immediate aftermath of katrina?
 

Kelvrick

Lifer
Feb 14, 2001
18,438
5
81
Originally posted by: loki8481
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Originally posted by: Drakkon
I'd really like to hear this situation where SHTF so bad that your CC wont work, ATM's wont work, and you cant wait a day to get to the bank :confused:
I mean are we like at the end of days or something here? cause if thats the case I'm just looting...
Sure thing, how about Katrina? And I am not just talking in the immediately affected areas. Due to the massive amount of phone lines down there was a HUGE area that could not accept credit cards for at least a week. Same thing with ATMs.
what would $1000 have done for you in the immediate aftermath of katrina?
If you listened to the evacuation order, while leaving the area, it would have purchased you fuel and supplies. With communication lines down, stores aren't going to take your credit/atm/debit card when you pull in for anything. Gas stations won't sell you gas, then you get stranded. Once you've left the area, provided you banked with a national bank, you could then do what you needed. If you used say a local credit union where other banks couldn't verify your funds, you're fucked.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, smaller bills, 100's and maybe even 50's won't do you much good.

Of course, this wouldn't have mattered for the well prepared. Flood insurance, stash of supplies and fuel for time to leave. Same for us here in Sacramento, since we're next on the big risk list. Those prepared are also often set upon by those not prepared, so aside from food, water and fuel, you need something to defend it with.
 

foghorn67

Lifer
Jan 3, 2006
11,883
50
91
money overseas (not having anything to do with doom and gloom USD yaddah, blah crap), and lots of ammo.
 

dullard

Elite Member
May 21, 2001
24,329
2,558
126
Some people can't grasp the concept of probability when it comes to risks. I could be hit on the head by a meteor and die. But the chance of it happening is so low, and the cost of preventing it is so high, that I shouldn't really do anything about that risk.

You need to compare
(A) (The cost of having something bad happen)*(Chance of it happening)

to

(B) The cost of preventing that bad thing from happening.

If (B) > (A), then don't prepare for it. Or find a cheaper way of preparing for it. I suspect, Gregshin, that you are way over estimating the chance of that emergency happening, way over estimating the cost of that emergency, and way under estimating the cost of preparing for it.

I have between $20 and $120 in cash at all times (depending on when I last went to the bank). That cash will get me enough food for several months if I eat cheaply, or enough gas to get me at least 280 miles away ($20 buys 7 gallons at 40 mpg in a Civic). Heck, with the gas light on, I can still go 80 miles. Or with the food in my cabinets I could probably go 2 months (you do have an emergency cabinet of rations right?). I really am prepared for the PROBABLE emergencies. Credit cards (not stored in the same place), a debit card, and checks can take me a lot further or feed me a lot longer. Lines of credit, bank accounts, pawning items, selling my retirement account, or even going to friends/family will get me another 10 years at least. All on that $20 in cash.

The chance of me ever needing more than $20 in cash is quite minimal. This would all have to happen:
(1a) I'm mugged AND my house is robbed so that I can't use CCs or debit cards. or
(1b) The entire banking system would have to fail, so I can't withdraw anything or use my checks.
(2) I'd actually NEED to buy anything. Lots of emergencies don't acutally require you to go shopping.
(3) That my emergency supplies run out.
(4) That in all those horrible simultaneously occuring events that people will actually accept cash. Bad things have happened before where cash is useless (10000+% inflation in a day has happened in the past in other countries).

What is the cost of having that $1000? Well if you take $1000 in cash today and put it in a safe, you'll be able to buy something that is worth $200 now in 50 years (due to inflation). So, you lose $800 worth of stuff. But, on the other hand, you could invest it at a good return of 10% and in 50 years, you'd have $117,391. That would buy you a brand new car in 50 years (if cars follow typical inflation rates). Which would you rather have? $200 worth of stuff, or a brand new car? $1000 or $117,391?

The real risk that people ignore is the risk of living too long. The risk that you'll have no money to support yourself in retirement. That risk occurs daily to millions of people (soon to be billions?). You may very well face this yourself. The odds are quite high (compared to the SHTF odds). In that case, you are screwing yourself from preventing a real and common pain in hopes that you might avoid a rare and nearly unrealistic SHTF situation.

Plus, what if you are mugged and lose that $1000, or if a hurricane hits your home and blows away that $1000 in cash. Two events that could easilly happen, and would destroy your whole "safety" plan. In other words, even if you are willing to risk all those costs for a minimal chance of a gain, you still might not gain a thing in the SHTF scenario.

Basically, try for a compromise. Get $300 in cash, splitting your credit/debit card storage into multiple locations, access to near instant emergency cash (such as a sellable item), access to overnight emergency cash (such as a bank account or home equity line of credit), keep your car half full of gas, and an emergency cabinet of supplies. You'll be prepared for virtually every probable emergency without the tremendous costs of having that cash.
 

nageov3t

Lifer
Feb 18, 2004
42,816
83
91
Originally posted by: Kelvrick
Originally posted by: loki8481
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Originally posted by: Drakkon
I'd really like to hear this situation where SHTF so bad that your CC wont work, ATM's wont work, and you cant wait a day to get to the bank :confused:
I mean are we like at the end of days or something here? cause if thats the case I'm just looting...
Sure thing, how about Katrina? And I am not just talking in the immediately affected areas. Due to the massive amount of phone lines down there was a HUGE area that could not accept credit cards for at least a week. Same thing with ATMs.
what would $1000 have done for you in the immediate aftermath of katrina?
If you listened to the evacuation order, while leaving the area, it would have purchased you fuel and supplies. With communication lines down, stores aren't going to take your credit/atm/debit card when you pull in for anything. Gas stations won't sell you gas, then you get stranded. Once you've left the area, provided you banked with a national bank, you could then do what you needed. If you used say a local credit union where other banks couldn't verify your funds, you're fucked.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, smaller bills, 100's and maybe even 50's won't do you much good.

Of course, this wouldn't have mattered for the well prepared. Flood insurance, stash of supplies and fuel for time to leave. Same for us here in Sacramento, since we're next on the big risk list. Those prepared are also often set upon by those not prepared, so aside from food, water and fuel, you need something to defend it with.
that's a lot of gas to drive a little ways inland where the communication lines are fine :p
 

Darwin333

Lifer
Dec 11, 2006
19,946
2,325
126
Originally posted by: loki8481
Originally posted by: Kelvrick
Originally posted by: loki8481
Originally posted by: Darwin333
Originally posted by: Drakkon
I'd really like to hear this situation where SHTF so bad that your CC wont work, ATM's wont work, and you cant wait a day to get to the bank :confused:
I mean are we like at the end of days or something here? cause if thats the case I'm just looting...
Sure thing, how about Katrina? And I am not just talking in the immediately affected areas. Due to the massive amount of phone lines down there was a HUGE area that could not accept credit cards for at least a week. Same thing with ATMs.
what would $1000 have done for you in the immediate aftermath of katrina?
If you listened to the evacuation order, while leaving the area, it would have purchased you fuel and supplies. With communication lines down, stores aren't going to take your credit/atm/debit card when you pull in for anything. Gas stations won't sell you gas, then you get stranded. Once you've left the area, provided you banked with a national bank, you could then do what you needed. If you used say a local credit union where other banks couldn't verify your funds, you're fucked.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, smaller bills, 100's and maybe even 50's won't do you much good.

Of course, this wouldn't have mattered for the well prepared. Flood insurance, stash of supplies and fuel for time to leave. Same for us here in Sacramento, since we're next on the big risk list. Those prepared are also often set upon by those not prepared, so aside from food, water and fuel, you need something to defend it with.
that's a lot of gas to drive a little ways inland where the communication lines are fine :p
Really? How far inland do you think you had to go? How bad do you think the interstate traffic was to get there? What if you had to move your family to a more permanent place to live that happened to be to the east?

Trust me bud, I lived it. $200 cash would not have gotten my family to Orange Beach, AL where they could live for an extended period of time after the storm. Hell, Orange Beach didn't get touched at ALL and a good number of the gas stations (the ones that still had gas) could not accept your plastic and this was a week after the storm.
 

Triumph

Lifer
Oct 9, 1999
15,031
13
81
In my lock box:

~$250 in 20's and smaller bills
~150 Euro (you never know)
Two passports (civilian and government)
Social Security card
Spare credit card
List of various account numbers

When on the move, I don't want to be stopped somewhere due to lack of identification. Passport is a must if you want to get to Canada or Mexico, or points further.
 

Lonyo

Lifer
Aug 10, 2002
21,939
6
81
Originally posted by: xeemzor
Originally posted by: GagHalfrunt
Originally posted by: Drakkon
I'd really like to hear this situation where SHTF so bad that your CC wont work, ATM's wont work, and you cant wait a day to get to the bank :confused:
I mean are we like at the end of days or something here? cause if thats the case I'm just looting...
How about a lost wallet where CCs and ATM card disappear and need to be cancelled?


I keep $500 in cash at home and in my car I keep another $80 in cash and $20 in quarters. I've never needed the home money and likely never will, but it's nice to know it's there. The car money has come in handy several times where I've been weather-stranded, low on cash and nowhere near an ATM.
That's why you never keep ALL your CC/ATM cards in one wallet. I only keep the essential cards in my wallet at any given time. There is nothing wrong with keeping a few hundred bucks for emergency situations where you can't use a CC, but keeping thousands in cash stored under a mattress somewhere seems kinda silly.

Originally posted by: kranky
Originally posted by: Drakkon
I'd really like to hear this situation where SHTF so bad that your CC wont work, ATM's wont work, and you cant wait a day to get to the bank :confused:
I mean are we like at the end of days or something here? cause if thats the case I'm just looting...
Massive telecom system failure is all it would take. And even though banks would probably be open, would they fork over cash to people if the bank had no way to verify the customer had money in the account? Not that such a thing would last for weeks, but I prefer to have some cash on hand just in case it took a few days.
Has there ever been a precedent set of this happening? I'm sure they have to have a decent set of backup systems at a bank.
He also seems to forget that businesses might not do business if the banks were down, so he'd have nowhere to buy anything FROM.
 

Squisher

Lifer
Aug 17, 2000
21,207
65
91
On me? Maybe $200.

In the safe at home. $1500.

Started that after the blackout of a few years ago.
 

shortylickens

No Lifer
Jul 15, 2003
82,076
15,909
126
I keep a hundred bucks in an emergency bag in my car.
Along with a first aid kit and blanket and an MRE and some other good stuff.

The cash is in case I get out to an isolated little place in the country with no AAA support and a tow truck driver that wont take checks or plastic.
 

desy

Diamond Member
Jan 13, 2000
5,409
189
106
You have to separate SHTF like in the movies where cash won't do any good at all Like Jericho
To Katrina or the NE blackout that lasted a few days a few years ago where cash on hand is just fine
I keep about $500 20s 10s 5s
 

GTaudiophile

Lifer
Oct 24, 2000
29,776
29
81
What difference does it make if your cash stash is in Dollars? Soon that will be like having a stash in Pesos.

<--- Looking at moving a savings account or two to Euro-backed bank.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY