Survival Disaster Cash For After The SHTF

Cash is King. At least it will be, for awhile, following any disaster (grid down, even temporarily — or economic collapse with a locked-up banking system). That is, it will be King until such time that it is not. But that hypothetical stage is beyond the scope here.

Having a quantity of cash on hand, both in your wallet and stashed in a safe at home, will be invaluable for awhile after any disaster.

Here’s’ why:

Almost all of today’s current money supply is electronic. Digits, computer data entries, one’s and zeros. Cash on the other hand does not need electricity and electronics to be currency. Merchants gladly accept cash as currency exchange for goods and services.

Statistically, only a very small fraction of today’s money supply in the United States is actually physical cash or coin. This is known as the ‘M0’ (M zero) Money Supply. Although the real percentage is elusive, it (cash) is apparently quite less than 10% of all ‘money’.

Nearly all of the transactions that occur in day-to-day purchases are electronic digits. Invisible.

Having said that, imagine the consequences of commerce if the electronic systems that allow us to purchase our goods and services comes to an abrupt halt (for whatever reason).

Disaster Cash

If the power is out and electronic transaction systems are offline, many (most?) stores will not be able to accept ANY form of currency – even cash – because their corporate networked registers and computers are required for their record keeping and transactions.

However, many smaller businesses and/or local merchants will take CASH, because they don’t have the same requirements to network and report to the corporate ‘mother ship’ via computer, etc.

So, in the time following a disaster or collapse scenario, there will be places (merchants) which (who) will accept your cash – even though the electronic systems may be down.

Cash Will Be King. At Least For Awhile.


If the disaster or collapse scenario descends into SHTF, then cash will begin to lose it’s purchasing power to tangible and ‘needed’ real-world practical supplies and assets – whatever they may be. Faith in paper money (and it’s usefulness) will dwindle as the SHTF timeline progresses. But until then, and for any ‘short term’ disaster, cash will be king.

Even though keeping cash on hand is not earning you any rewards (it will be losing a bit of it’s value due to inflation), keeping some cash on hand is an insurance policy that is worth the value lost each year due to real inflation. It (the inflation) is essentially the cost of your ‘insurance’. It’s worth it.

Don’t be the person who’s stuck in a disaster while their debit or credit cards do not work.
Keep some cash on hand.

Having lived on the East Coast the first half of my life I experienced many hurricanes. Where I resided we would typically lose power for a week to 10 days. Cash was the only thing that worked to get food etc from the few merchants that had generators. My friends back east in the hell hole of NYC told me their disaster stories after super-storm Sandy and how fights were breaking out and threats made when people couldn’t use their debit/credit/ebt cards…have some cash on hand.

~ Sgt Bill

It would be best to have $1’s, $5’s, $10’s and $20’s on hand with a good amount of coinage…. With larger bills, other folks might not have the correct change.

~ 21Bravo

So here’s a question… How much disaster cash to keep on hand / at home?


  1. Executive order 14067 signed by Joey on 3/19/2022….is the mandate to establish the digital dollar and to replace paper currency and coinage. This is the ultimate means of government control of all monetary means and also the main tool for a one world government. As a former federal agent working with the comptroller of the currency who regulates all national banks and is a dept of the U.S. Treasury, I performed audits in National Banks in the Midwest. The government’s policy required holders of national bank charters to maintain in their cash vaults “special bagged currency” that was sealed and could only be opened by National Bank Examiners. This was an emergency colored currency to be used in a National crisis due to war or economic necessity. Each denomination of bills were printed in a total shade of color (e.g. 5 dollar bills were all red, 10 dollar bill were all blue and so on) the need in time of a economic crisis (devaluation of the dollar maybe) would work like this a person would exchange current currency of 1000 dollars and they would be given 100 dollars in colored money…..currently any other assets such as bank accounts, investments, retirements funds could be devalued by a stroke of the pen. What is so diabolical about changing to digital currency is that the government would no longer need physical special currency they would have control over the individuals totals assets and with a keystroke devalue net worth in its entirety. This executive order fits in with the U.S. meeting with nato yesterday to unify plans for and I quote Joey…..”a one world government”. The handwriting is on the wall and in your face…..wake up people we are at the slaughter house and it’s not promising.

    1. You probably should have chose something other than monopoly money to troll the boomers with.

      1. Things keep happening as they currently are…..and Monopoly money may be worth more

        1. DAMMIT! You got me, hook, line, and sinker. I was ready to start arguing with you over how I couldn’t find ANYTHING about this grand conspiracy with the national banks. Good job, Realist.

    2. So I should liquidate my Vanguard retirement IRAs an pay the taxes before they are devalued and buy gold and silver?

      1. You chose how you want to live. We’re all polishing the brass on the Titanic. I recommend Jesus Christ.

        1. At one time in the not so distant past, it was prudent to save and have a retirement nest egg, as small as it is. As for picking Vanguard to manage money that I put aside, who knew then that they and Blackrock were trying to change the world? It is a real dilemma.

      2. Retired,
        I already did this. Using fictional values say I had a $$200K in a 401K. I would rather pay $55K of it in taxes and penalties and have $145K in my hands to buy gold right now, than to leave the 401K in dollars and have the whole thing be worth only $20K after the dollar devalues in within what, 2 months to 2 years? And even then they would still tax you on that paltry $20K if you tried to take it out early. There is something to be said for cutting losses early. And its already done for me. And if I get lucky, and the dollar does devalue, the value of the gold I bought will go up by the inverse ratio of the dollar drop which should cover the taxes (in dollars) that I paid the IRS.

        1. So a gold or silver IRA isn’t a good idea. Bannon works with Birch Gold, Beck represents another company, and so on, and they all promote IRAs. I believe that the government will confiscate.

        2. I mentioned a possible government confiscation of IRA gold. What do you think? Also, could they ban the use of gold for those who hold it?

          We know that they don’t want inequality in wealth so why wouldn’t they do the above?


    3. Realist,
      where did you get your news source from. not from facebook i hope.

      1. Hey look at the federal government new site to read the executive orders, fox reported on this for the last two days. Also never ever catch me using Facebook or Twitter for squat. One last food for thought, ever wonder why the federal reserve started recalling all one dollar and fifty cent coins starting in 2004. The real reason they knew they could never cost wise ever afford to devalue coinage thus a 100 dollars in coins would still be worth 100 dollars after currency was devalued and secondly it was to prevent or slow any attempt to horde large amounts of coinage. Time to wake up in this country and smell the government thorns that sprout daily.

    1. Thanks……99% of our population has no understanding of the control that is mounting against us on a daily basis. Paper money is for now is great for a CURRENT short term event…but long term maybe it will be only used as a fire starter or TP.

      1. And do not forget that the ‘global government’ has an agenda and a timeline to get things done. They’ve stated it themselves….by 2030. And it appears to be moving right along….

      2. Thats why IMHO the whole covid thing was a sort of dry run, manipulate numbers, ie deaths etc and from what, control information that goes out, control what people can do. Sure, some people were sick from something, i would bet it wasnt any different than it would have otherwise been, suggestion can manipulate outcome, psychological warfare if you will, its real, it happens and is ongoing, what better way to do a dry run on part of their plan, most people are sheep and oblivious to just how evil our government and other governments in general really are

        1. Kulafarmer,
          yes it was a test run for the people who would wan’t to control us.
          it kind of blew up in their faces didn’t it.
          after two years of that nonsense people stood up and said “thats enough”.
          no more masks, no more lock downs for people or businesses, no more teaching CRT in school, no more liberal green deal nonsense.
          if just one democrat gets elected to office this year i’m going to call shenanigans on that one.
          EVERYONE, and i mean EVERYONE is tired of this crap. even the BLM and ANTIFA, haven’t heard much out of them in a while have we.
          they may not have the money to buy gas to go to the protest’s. : ) they can ride the bus.

        2. scout:
          Yeah, a test run that killed a lot of people and destroyed a LOT of families, businesses, lives, and honestly I believe the economy.
          But honestly I do believe TPTB could care less, they have zero morals, everything is about money and control, God help us all, for we are totally screwed.

        3. scout,

          I wish I could believe that it blew up in their faces, but I don’t. The evil psychopaths switched right over to Russia/Ukraine as soon as enough push back on the medical mandates built up. And while many are distracted with that, they are busy lining up global pandemic agreements, digital currency, ESG scores for businesses (enforced by the SEC), and global food supply/basic essentials/energy collapse – all engineered, or exacerbated by those same evil psychopaths.

          CRT is being taught in schools, even here in Idaho. It’s done by stealth, by re-naming the same crap. Antifa is quietly training; yes, they are training with weapons, instructed by military types. This from the Forward Observer subscription service.

          We’re far from out of the woods yet.

        4. Farmgirl,
          CRT has been outlawed in our state along with abortion and if there are any ANTIFA’s or BLM’s within a thousand miles of us i have not heard of it in several years now. if they are, they keep to themselves and just play with each other. maybe because open and concealed carry is legal without a permit, we have castle doctrine laws here and good LEO’s who have families here as well. people in the So. East don’t play that game, they- just- don’t. we are all friends and neighbors here and we like it that way. a few tried it a couple of years ago and it didn’t work out well for them. the black,white,Hispanic’s and Asians, we all ran them out of town under police escorts to protect them from us, it was awesome, they ain’t been back.
          everybody gets along with each other just fine here. masks, yea we heard of em
          it must really suck to live in some other areas.
          BTW, reg gas is 3.74 and OTR diesel is 4.84 here now. farm diesel in 4.35
          this place ain’t heaven, but you can see it from here.
          good luck and loosen them bloomers, you’re getting to full of yourself.

        5. scout,

          Lol, loosen them bloomers is one I hadn’t heard. I’ll confess that I can get full of myself sometimes. Wasn’t meaning to this time, though, just sharing what’s happening on the ground here in north ID. Glad you don’t have any of that nonsense going on where you are.

      3. I’ll keep enough cash on hand to pay property taxes with for the next couple of years if they keep their grip on us that long. Give them back their worthless fiat currency. It would be fitting exchange, worthless money for their thefts against us.

  2. Don’t know if this comment fits in here or the open forum, but Putin has announced that all future energy purchases from Russia (oil, natural gas, etc.) by “unfriendly countries” (those helping Ukraine or participating in economic sanctions against him) will have to pay with Russian rubles, not dollars or Euros…forcing these energy begging countries to deal with Russian banks and Russian exchange rates.

  3. Just watch as the world trades in whatever the Chinese/Russians use for currency become the new normal and the dollar dies off.

  4. I keep all the $1 bills I get and put them in the safe. I call it my striper money. That is what we take vacations with. It is also our emergency fund. It may be wise to skip the vacation this year and keep the money. Or use it to buy more ammo. I like to invest in precious metals like lead and brass.

  5. Cash can come in handy at stores other than mom and pop stores….I needed a tire pressure gauge once to see if low pressure warning was real or not….went in a auto supply store (O’Reilly’s I think)…got a gauge and went to pay…clerk said computers were down, sorry…I went and got another gauge identical to the one I wanted,.. handed it to the clerk with a $5 bill,…the gauge was only $2-$3 as I remember…told him to ring it up when the computers came back online and keep the difference….He hesitated briefly…I could see the mental gears turning,..then he said OK and I left with with the gauge

    1. Which raises another interesting point. If you need an item that costs $6, and all you have is a $20, the cost of that item just jumped.

      If you’re part of a group trying to buy water, as one example, and 5 people each have $10 and one has $20, guess who wins?

  6. I would think that, should the ability to deal in digital currency vanish, businesses would be as ill prepared as the general population.

    Say your average small town Wally World, which let’s face it, is most likely the largest, best stocked food outlet in most towns now, suddenly cannot do digital. If they continue to sell for cash only, the banks won’t be able to convert it to digital to transfer to the home office…the home office can’t transfer it to the wholesalers…who can’t transfer it to the producers…who can’t transfer it to their suppliers of raw materials.

    …and let’s face another reality…only about 10% of the available “dollars” exist in actually printed currency. If you and I know that, surely the corporate retailers know that. How long before orders come down…no more dealing in paper? Two-three days…a week?

    What then? Barter for food at Wally’s?… not likely… Government take-over of food distribution? Likely…rampant stealing, anarchy? Most likely.

    Oh well…just speculation at this point….Oh! I know…let’s send everybody another check from Uncle Sam!

  7. How much business is actually conducted outside of the banking financial system?

    Think about many small businesses like: farm direct sales, casual labor, private barber and beauty, back yard auto repair, construction and home repair, personal care services, ….. and millions more private or under the table workers.

    The number of people becoming unemployed by a “cashless society” would probably result in the demise of the country. We don’t know how many because these workers never show up in employment stats.

    1. i know of many businesses that will give a discount for cash, it does not have to be reported to the IRS.
      just put in your pocket.
      we have truck farmers all up and down the main hwy in the summer, they do a good business and it’s all cash.

      1. That’s why the stores will continue to sell in the short term even though Corporate cannot receive the funds in digital format. Because what the store owner figures out it will never come back online, the cash is pocketable or otherwise allows them to at least continue selling the things still in the stores. The cash will be king for a short time. Saw it on another thread here on MSB. When SHTF, spend all your cash first and quickly.

  8. I feel bad for selling my silver collection a while back but I needed cash to fix my car.
    Was a few hundred coins, it really gave me mental security when I had it.

    Now I’m down to around 20 silver coins plus 2 I used for colloidal silver a while back.

  9. Beans, Band-Aids n Bullets.
    Done know if isee Cash in that mix.
    If the financial system fails, aka Second Great Depression, what you have is all you’re going to get cash or no.
    BUT, What/If we land somewhere between?
    Maybe just a simple Cyber Attack on the internet. If it’s down for more than 3 days the 95# that have 3 days of food are done for and “It” begins.
    That Roll of TP is going to be worth a HELL of a lot more than that IRA.
    “Is 600 rolls really enough”?
    At 257 sheets per roll…. that’s about equal to 257 Venezuelan dollars….
    Just Saying.
    Yes have some cash on hand, but you sure as he’ll better have those 3-Bs covered.

    1. NRP & Blue,
      well said friend, and in small bills or the short squares of Charmin to make change. HAHA
      me, i’m going to keep my BBB’s. money is just a tool to me.

  10. NRP & Blue,

    I don’t see gold or silver in that mix either….

    That’s the problem with precious metals at ground zero of survival as I see it. Stores aren’t set up to deal with them. Even if they accept them, they can’t and won’t give full value due to handling and exchange fees. If your neighbor has a fresh beef hindquarter you would like to obtain from him, and needs a box of 30/30 shells you have but the store doesn’t…would he take gold in trade hoping to find the shells elsewhere, or swap for what he needs right now, right there. You can’t eat the gold and he can’t feed his old 30/30 with it…

    Of course…either party might decide to just shoot the other and take what they want….

  11. Anyone have thoughts about goldbacks?
    Supposedly they are legal tender in Utah, but I don’t live in Utah. It’s an interesting concept, but I’m not sure if it will catch on soon enough.

    1. As I understand it goldbacks are still gold and collectable(s)
      As of now good in Utah, Nevada, and New Hampshire.
      I don’t see anything special about them that’s different from
      gold coins aside of being pretty, especially in a crash but you may get lucky.

      If I was able I would still acquire some silver, at some point it could
      retain it’s value, far better bet that dollars.

    2. I’m generally in favor of them. Their advantage is being highly fractional gold for small transactions. Though you don’t need to wait for legal tender status. You just need to start using them. They first started to take off at farmers markets in Utah so that is where I’m starting here in Michigan. The biggest hurdle is just getting people to accept it and it you can get a couple business to accept it you’ve stepped over the greatest hurdle for you area.

      Starting at the farmers markets give a couple of advantages. It gives a lot of exposure of them to people, which is a good opportunity to educate. Secondly once you can get a few stands to start accepting them. Now you got them in circulation. Cause for me generally the first question that comes up; “What can I do with this?”. If you start talking about its gold value you’ll lose most everyday people. However if you say you can go down the street and buy a loaf of bread, soap, vegetables, etc. It becomes real to them.

  12. In hurricane zone we always cheap some cash.. power goes out gas station with generators, pump but only take cash. Think bitcoin is new gold, or gold in latest crisis would have had bigger run. Buying some as hedge on portfolio. If stagflation runs this summer, it will help. Buying freezer to stock meat, fish and chicken. Also pasta ,rice and canned veggies. Restaurant owner in Key West thinks food triples this summer.. Vacuum seal everything!

    Preps all in place…if SHITTF. Bullets and food are best. Adding more ammo every week…prices suck, but better to have then not. Last thing looking for used RV Trailer…plenty of people went crazy during covid and bought trailers and now need money…buy on the cheap. Just my thoughts, all be safe and please continue to get ready.

  13. Cash is a fiat money. A means to make trade more efficient. Like cryptocurrency, I refer to it as a token of barter. It’s only worth is the belief that if I accept cash I will able to trade it for similar value in the near future. Unless it’s outlawed, as long as people are willing to believe in its exchange value it will still have value. I read an article about a small community in northern Alaska extremely isolated. Their local currency included cash, coins and various 2 party checks that would likely bounce if ever taken to the out of town bank.

    Has anyone considered the depressing impact of the loss of float with digital? How many financial transactions are provided free because of the money made on your funds between the time it comes out your account and when they remit the money. Or all the payments issued that will be covered by tomorrow’s deposits.

      1. I don’t. The article was in National Geographic and it was probably at least 20 years ago. It just struck me that out of necessity the community found a way to continue to engage in business without direct barter. So I do wonder if in smaller rural communities cash may continue to serve the same purpose it does now in facilitating indirect barter after SHTF.

        1. MamaLark
          Thank you for responding. I’ll ask around if anyone remembers anything about this. The ‘big’ concern 20 years ago was Prepping for Y2K.
          Most communities here are isolated. Access by air or rivers only… Our road system is small…

  14. Apparently Ol Joe said that folks in the US. better expect food shortages…well duh
    Unfortunately cash won’t help people if there is nothing to buy…

  15. Well, we know at least 50% (or more) cashiers’ simply don’t know how to count your change back!!! One of the things my Mother taught me when I was five or six. Thats not gonna help when TSHTF!
    I must say, for the last 40+ years I’ve came home from my day, work, play or whatever and emptied my change in a bank on the dresser. I won’t bore you with how many 3lb “Chock-Full-of-Nuts” coffee cans I’ve filled over the years. I can hardly pick one up off the now in my old age. I did count one out a while back . . . over $900!
    Ha! just a side note, since I’ve found Ken’s site here, I maintain 18 to 27 cans of coffee for prep and maybe for barter.
    I’m probably addicted to coffee.

    1. I have been adding coffee to the prep. So far six 5 lb mylar sealed bags of beans. I’m worried it won’t be enough. Maybe 2 more bags next week. I’ll pay cash for them :-)

      1. Don’t forget that freeze dried instant coffee will last pretty much indefinitely and we have a lot of Folgers Freeze Dried Instant jars stored. I realize it is no where near fresh brew but it is quick and easy to make (just add hot water) and after a week with no coffee, even the most snobbish of coffee snobs would be thankful for a cup. Can’t be too picky during the apocalypse.

        1. You can buy one cup serving of Folgers also. I have a couple of hundred for barter. I also keep jars for personal use

      2. Since the important thing is taken care of, add to the salt and sugar. There have been many times in history, Mankind has been paid wages with some form of both.Just Sayin’

  16. There’s got to be an upper limit on what would be useful. Presumably you would want to have everything you needed to get by. Cash would be used for “nice to haves” and not “must haves”. But its there if you must have it. But it likely won’t be good for too long. I’m thinking no more than 2 G’s.

  17. If you can find any gold or silver to buy get fractionals. Ten 1/10th ounce gold coins will be easier to use than one ounce of gold
    no matter how it is configured.

    The pre-1964 U.S. dimes,quarters,and half dollars are mostly silver. They are recognized by most people and will be easy to
    use in a barter situation.

    The prices are crazy high and will soon be unattainable. Silver is still a bargain,however the premiums are running around
    thirteen to fifteen dollars an ounce.

    I think that the dollar collapse or a move to digital currency will give life to nation wide black market for goods and services.
    It is hard envision what is coming but getting out of the system now will be the best thing for you future.
    It’s not too late but it’s getting close.

    The saying is old and some would say worn out,but it has never been more relevant.”If you don’t hold it you don’t own it.”

    1. Chuck,
      Its kinda good to have both Gold and Silver. They are slightly independent to the point that you can trade one against the other in normal times. Its like a stock market without taxes (except the spread you pay the dealer is a lot less than what your uncle wants) I happen to think that silver is undervalued and artificially being held low. After all, silver is a commodity, gold is not. In a supply shortage situation where something like silver is needed for products, why is the gold ratio still hovering at 80:1? But all in all instead of trying to pay premiums for smaller 1/10th oz gold, just have equal values in silver 1oz rounds and 10oz bars. The gold if for high value barters. The silver is for buying dinner and beer at the bar. Just like it always used to be since we have started trading the metal.

  18. How much….. LDS recommends $300.00 to $5000.00, My take is, $200. in singles, $200. in fives, $200. in tens, $200. in twenties with an additional
    $200. in quarters… then there’s always the junk silver stash……….dimes, quarters, halves and dollars, don’t use Eagles as the collector value isn’t
    the trade value in a SHTF situation.

    1. k-bay,
      Why not nickels? They are the only US coin still in circulation that are worth more in their composition metals than face value. They have been the same composition since day one. They’ve already changed the penny twice from its original copper content because the value of the metal was greater than face value. No idea why they haven’t changed and pulled the old nickels. I’ve got $500 in nickels left after going through and pulling all the war nickels and valuable dates. Maybe the value of copper-nickel goes up 2, 3, 5 times. Its still a valuable metal. The majority of the metal value in the nickel though is the copper.

      1. Prepared,
        I too have nickles in rolls in .30 cal cans. I didn’t list them as part of the active disposable fiat, for just that reason. The metal value, I think
        out weighs the potential monetary value as do the pre-82 copper pennies ( yes, I know some ’82’s are copper but those go into a separate bottle until I get around to weighing them.) that I keep in liter soda bottles. ( good for head knockers too!)
        The war nickle are trading at about a dollar per, and as it contains 30% silver, I have been converting them into 90% dimes and quarters, junk silver.

      2. Prepared, The Fed has changed to nickel content in nickels, did it a while ago, and they changed the makeup of the nickel again when they came out with the new design.

  19. Cash in the form of greenbacks are just so handy and convenient, I try to keep anywhere from 4 – 700$ set aside either at home or in my truck. Since my place of employment does not allow me to carry a handgun within my vehicle, I use those storage boxes for cash storage. For coins I have a sack made from a leg from a pair of jeans. It has a zip closure and the bottom is double stitched and reinforced to hold the weight of the coins that accumulate in the bag.
    During the pandemic (and still going on today) I will lighten the load of coins on a slow day by going into a local small business and trade coins for paper money. There are several stores in my town that post signs seeking coins for the drawers. I will go in at a slow time and trade dollar for dollar value in order to save the manager making a bank run. I keep this bag on my driver side door so when I leave a store or fast food outlet, I place the change in coins in the bag. Over the course of several months, a good amount of coins can accumulate. I also have a metal can beside the washer/drier at home where I put all the coins from pockets prior to dropping in the washing machine. Once in a great while, I will go to those coin vending machines that will take your change and give you a coupon which you take to store manager for cash. Those machines charge a fee butt in my mind, they are mighty handy when you have a +6 lb bag full of pennies.

  20. To NRP and Dennis: In my AO west of the Willamette River is a different county where the tax base is lower and the steady jobs are few and far between. Homes are large yards with small houses in unincorporated areas. The most common deer rifle in Polk County is the 30-30. Many of my steadiest customers of 30-30 reloads are from this region and they express their gratitude by sharing some of the cuts from the venison they harvest. These folks are typically mill workers so cash is used to pay the bills and cover taxes. Over the years, a few have purchased the dies and shellholders from me. Most come back to me with 10-20 shells each summer several weeks prior to the season opener. This customer base was established and growing before this last election. They were sighting in their old lever-actions in the summer as Portland burned during the riots of 2020. They always have a few shells around the house but they give me a call when they have 10 or less on hand and opening day looms large in the near future. If I want beef, I’ll shoot squirrels from the pivots where the ranchers raise alfalfa. (ranchers are very grateful for a high body count at the end of the shoot)

  21. After experiencing times where the plastic couldn’t work due to outages, I keep between $200 and $1000 in cash on hand. I have a gallon pickle jar where I accumulate change. Don’t know how much is in there now but it’s half full and it weighs in at 18 pounds.

  22. I invest in physical PMs (mainly silver rounds and bars), NO PAPER gold or silver (ETFs) and I don’t think the average person has a clue what the Spot price on gold and silver is on any given day or what a troy oz is. The vast majority of the population especially those under 60 have no idea that junk silver coins are actually made with silver and only understand the stated value on the coin itself. To them a 1955 dime is worth 10 cents same goes for a 1960 quarter. They understand $1,5,10,20 paper money, debit/credit cards and many (especially the 18-30 year olds) pay with a phone app and never have any cash.

    Using PMs in a SHTF situation will be confusing, aggravating and sometimes impossible if the person or business you are trying to trade with sees a silver dollar as worth only $1 (because that’s what is stamped on the coin) and they don’t understand what a troy ounce of silver is worth. Same goes for gold coins, silver rounds and bars that only have Apmex, Sunshine Mint etc and 1 troy oz. stamped on them and there most likely won’t have the internet to “educate” them.

    In the very beginning of SHTF, spend the fiat dollars as quick as you can on extras you may need or can barter with in the future but be ready for a lot of arguing and ignorance when trading in PMs.

  23. One Goldback holds 1/1,000 of an ounce of 24c gold and is worth roughly $4. There are other denominations as well that hold more gold. If you live in the states that have approved them, they may be used for things like taxes and such. It’s a very interesting solution for using PM’s for trade. I wish that my state would get on board with it…worth checking it out imho.

  24. On the subject of gold and silver as currency or barter in a shtf scenario…and admitting I have no dog in this hunt, as the only gold and silver in our safe is a goodly amount of jewelry I’ve bought for my wife over the years….

    Outside of U.S. issued silver coinage which would be a little more difficult to counterfeit…all merchants who deal with or buy precious metals have equipment and methodology to test for purity and weight…nothing is taken at “face value” as being real…

    I’m guessing here, but are these test kits suddenly going to start appearing everywhere after a shtf, grid down, dog eat dog event? Are folks who have the supplies you need going to trust you that that shiny yellow little “gold bar with the purity stamp” is really an ounce of .99999 pure gold?

    Like I say, I’m not in this hunt…I’m just asking a question and looking for answers from people who may know. Had a friend who owned a pawn shop years back who bought gold and silver. Watched him test everything from gold jewelry to gold bars…he bought nothing without agreeing he was buying the gold content at a certain point below spot prices based on weight and purity, and only after testing…on bars, the testing included drilling a small hole through the bar for testing the shavings, not just the surface.

    1. Dennis,
      Very true. I know a guy that “got a great deal on some silver” at a flea market and they turned out to me a silver CLAD disc made with a composition of lead and other metals. Look at the “coins” they advertise on tv and magazined from places like the Cook Islands. They “mint” these silver and gold CLAD tokens that appear to be real coins and sell them as a PM. Thieves and forgers have always been around and will come out of the woodwork when the bottom falls out.

      1. Don’t wait and just start using them! Utah is the only state that has gone that far. Most states have only removed sales and capital gains taxes on them.

        If you want them to be successful in your state you need to start transacting in them. A good place to start is your local farmers market. These are people who generally will see the value in it. Once you get a few stands to start accepting it you’ve over come the greatest hurdle for your state and that is getting them in circulation. If you know a couple of friends who are interested have them go out with you. The key though is that you need to frequently try to use them at these markets and not the same ones each time. That way people will start to become familiar with them. This is how it took if in Utah and its how its going to take off any the other states.

        If you know know a small business owner and you got the capital you can offer to back them. For example my dad runs a Snowmobile Salvage yard, for him his greatest fear was them becoming dead weight. So I made an arrangement that I would buy them back from him at their exchange rate. Now when you’re trying to pitch them and people say and what can i do with this? You got an answer as an example. Plus it means that they won’t be the first actors.

    2. Talking bullion, Junk silver hasn’t cost enough individually to be worth offshore faking, except for common date Morgans, of which I’ve seen many highly deceptive examples. Smaller coins are less likely to be valuable enough to make a near-undetectable counterfeit worth the time and trouble it takes to make. Later “Mercury”dimes, 25c.Standing Liberty culls,
      worn 50c Walkers and Franklins are cost-efficient and immediately recognizable as American silver coinage, and are the last thing anyone would bother to counterfeit. Going for 24x face value here, supply is tightening per my coin guy. Morgans, Peace, and silver eagles carry higher premiums. Bars and rounds give away easy acceptance for a smaller premium at purchase. Of course, everybody is snapping them up right now thinking the price is going to skyrocket. Junk silver was 11x face with few friends five years ago. Canned/ dry food was cheap thirty months ago. Berkey’s were reasonable twenty months ago. I have to save as much money as possible.
      I have been able to find no evidence that the alloy composition of the “nickel” five cent coin has changed from the post-Civil War “V” nickel through the present design, excepting wartime silver issues. Mega-Red(book) says 3.75g copper and 1.25 nickel. Have some seven thousand loose from roll-hunting in .30cal boxes. rick

  25. Just mho. PM are really a store of value for after you come out the other side of a shtf or financial reset etc. They are unlikely to be of any use during such a situation. That said I do have a small amount and do keep some cash on hand. Your mileage may vary.

    1. Deep South,

      On this, I agree. Gold and silver is a hedge against inflation…no doubt. As currency in a world gone to heck…I can only see abuse from folks taking advantage of the terrible circumstances. Won’t make no difference what PM’s might be bringing in some far away market…only how bad you need what you are trading for, and how bad conditions are where your transaction is taking place.

      I personally hope none of us have to find out the answer.

      1. Dennis

        “I personally hope none of us have to find out the answer.”

        Amen and Amen!

  26. A few years back DH and I instituted a “savings” account in this manner: Every 100 dollar bill that gets broken…all 1s,5s and 10s go to the envelope. twenties and fifties can continue to be used. The “house/food” budget is 1000….each of those 100 bills gets broken and change goes into the bucket.
    I am amazed at how fast the 1s, 5s and 10s have added up. They are in the vault for SHTF days. easier to walk away without getting change if need be (though we keep all the coins as well). Just don’t want DH out there shopping with 100 dollar bills when change might not be given! I figure if we never see a shtf scenario, the kids can have fun with whatever is in that vault.

  27. ammunition will always have trade value and use over silver and gold – get it while you still can!

    1. None… NEVER, I repeat, NEVER barter ammunition. Your opfors may return it to you via a barrel and combustion chamber. (my opinion, though)

      1. Agreed. Besides returning it to you they might talk about where they got it.!!!

  28. Food will have far greater trade value than either gold or silver.

    You may never fire a weapon at someone, but you will sure as hell eat.

  29. A lot of interesting comments on this subject! One of the personal finance writers for a national newspaper in Canada did a poll on peoples feelings about having cash on hand or in a safe place close to hand. He got over 6600 replies and it was interesting to see the following;
    1) the average cash on hand was about $5k but if you took out the high stakes holder most folks had on the order of $2 K.
    2) 40% of people had between 1-5$k often in a range of bill denominations as many have noted as well as having some coins
    3) many respondents noted that they had cash in US dollars, pounds, euros and pesos not just Canadian dollars
    4) a number of folks had PMs
    One point to note was that for many of the respondents this was not just a recent move and that many had been building up their reserves over at least the last 2 years!
    The main reasons given for having cash were for emergencies, house or car repairs, ATM or bank problems and interestingly the war in Ukraine and supply change issues. ( the Globe and Mail, 25/3/22 Rob Carrick article) BTW I respect the writer and have been following his column for years.

  30. I do not believe these numbers as it is widely reported that up to half of Canadians are living month to month and up to a third of kids are going to school hungry.

  31. One of the best items to store, time proven, is LIQUOR !
    Stack it deep.
    It will get you Anything you want.

    1. Traveler,
      no joke. when a hurricane is forcasted for our area the first stores to run out of stock are the liquor stores, really.
      if i had the money to put back ten cases or more of 1/2 pint bottles of cheap vodka, i could rule my world.

  32. Chuck, I do not have any experience with Heirloom Organics seeds. I thought I’d pass on the info that Burpee is having a BOGO seed sale right now–ends Sunday 3/27. The discount code is SEEDS322. They are out of some stuff, but they do have a variety of heirloom and hybrid seeds. I recently planted two-year-old seeds from them, and most of them have popped up and are growing well.

  33. Liquor is a good trading item as is cigarettes. The must have items which are better than cash is medical supplies- Band Aids, Gauze Pads, Bandages, antibiotic creams, antibiotic pills-Cipro/ZMax, OTC drugs like Advil, Extra Strength Tyenol (needed to combat a fever), Alieve, Thera Flu, Dayquil/NiQuil, tooth brushes/tooth paste, Dental repair kit, Midol (especially if one is married), prescription painkillers, Cipro, get the idea…???

  34. I recommend keeping enough cash in every vehicle you own to buy food and a couple tanks of gas in a not easy to find location (under carpet, taped to the inside of a kick panel etc). I have done this ever since I was I was on an over night trip to a town that was a 4 hour drive from my house and though I lost my wallet. If I loose my wallet I still have enough money to get home. The funny thing is I wind up using it all the time. I had my wife call me the other day asking where the stash was in her car as she had taken her wallet out of her purse and forgot to put it back in and was at the store with a cart full of groceries. She took the cart to customer service asked them to hold it for a few minutes while she went and raided the emergency money in her car.

  35. Being it is just me and my dog now… I safety pin inside a jacket pocket- car key, house keys to my everyday jacket and other jackets. If one locks themselves out, you will still have a set of keys with you providing one has their jacket with them…..

  36. The best thing you could own besides one ounce gold coins, is 90% junk silver. Everyone can identify it, understands its value, hard to counterfeit, easier to barter and trade than gold, hard to confiscate, easy to hide.

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