Cash will be King


How much cash do you have on hand, right now? Do you rely on electronic money for most or all of your transactions? You might want to reconsider that philosophy…

Three in four Americans (73 percent) say they use less cash today than 10 years ago (source: Mastercard). From online shopping with credit, debit and prepaid cards to making purchases via electronic apps, electronic money is convenient and easy to use, and is favored by most merchants because it enables electronic book-keeping methods that eliminate most human intervention.

Electronic ‘money’ is speed, convenience, guaranteed payment for merchants, and provides some security for consumers and merchants, while also enabling transactional records for governments.

There are two major risks however, when one transacts electronically.

1. Although not everyone is concerned with this… using electronic money will leave a definitive footprint, captured forever, of your every purchase (‘where’, ‘when’, and ‘what’). Your spending habits are quickly profiled and updated each time electronic money is used, most of it in databases that you don’t even know about.

Cash, on the other hand, is anonymous.

2. Since nearly all of our modern day transactional systems are electronic, if these systems fail us for any reason, we will be left without a commonly accepted means of exchange. This could include power failure (local or otherwise), internet/network failures, or even a financial/banking collapse.

Cash, on the other hand, will be accepted (by most), for awhile – at least up until such time that it may become clear that TSHTF (if it were to get to that point).

So it seems to me, that cash not only is king, but will be king (for awhile) during a system meltdown of some sort.

Consider this…

In today’s electronic world of money, there is only a comparatively very tiny amount of actual cash out there in circulation. If there is ever a panic, and enough people begin withdrawing some or all of their money from the banks, the cash might run out very quickly. Then what?

At least for the short term, if you have cash, you will be able to procure some things. Long term however, and we’re all in a different boat, so to speak…

How much cash to keep?

In a world of electronic money, how much actual cash money should one keep on one’s person and how much cash should one keep at home (be your own banker)? 

Well that depends if you are going to eliminate most of your ordinary day-to-day debit transactions or not, and how much of a cash security blanket that you feel comfortable with.

When I made the transition from using my debit card (although essentially the same as cash) to using cash instead, I started out by simply going to the ATM and withdrawing a few hundred, and when I saw my wallet getting thin, I replenished it.

After a week or two of doing this, you will soon realize the appropriate cash flow for you. Not only that, but by using cash instead of debit (even though it’s the same ‘digits’), you will very likely begin to spend LESS than you did before. For some reason, using cash just seems like more money (because it’s tangible – even though it’s just paper).

A big advantage to using cash for transactions is that you will have more of it, on you, all the time. A merchant will always take cash – provided that their system allows it.

You can use it to get yourself out of a jam in an emergency. Ordinary ‘people’ will accept cash, because they are not equipped to accept your electronic money. If two people were bidding on the same thing or service (especially in an emergency situation), nearly 100-percent of the time the person with cash will win over someone with electronic money (debit or credit). Cash is king.

How much to keep at home (be your own banker?)

While it may sound over-the-top, if you can set yourself a goal to build a supply of 3 to 6-months worth of transactional cash that you would otherwise spend using debit/electronic, you would be doing yourself a favor. Look at it this way… the banks don’t give you any interest, so why should you give them your money?

During normal times, you won’t be tracked. During short term disaster, cash will be king. It’s up to you…

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  1. You are spot on with this post. We keep American dollars, Canadian dollars, and Swiss Francs just incase. Of course silver and barter items too.

  2. Some places even offer a cash discount as they won’t be paying a percentage to the credit card companies. One gas station near us charges .15 cents less per gallon if you pay cash. My husband had to get new glasses several years ago, when it came time to pay they told him the total and he asked if they offered a cash discount. They took a $100 off for paying cash. So it never hurts to ask.

    1. Try Zenni optical for very inexpensive glasses. A friend has bought several progressive glasses for himself and his wife and I have bought single lenses and frames for myself to use at this computer. My cost was $28 which included shipping.

  3. Agreed, cash will get you through the short run. Don’t neglect having a few silver dollars around as they will be worth their weight when the time comes. We keep a variety of bills below a hundred as well a a variety of coins. The grid goes down, plastic is controlled then the cash you have will give you short term piece of mind.

  4. Wondering if anyone knows the answer to this?

    have seen an article somewhere which suggested collecting as much as possible of the “older” coins, both American and Canadian, the ones which had actual silver in them. Does anyone one know, what yrs this would include?

    1. I don’t know about Canadian coins but for American coins look for pre-1965 coins. Quarters, dimes, half dollars and dollars if your lucky enough to come across any. I work with cash everyday and I recognize the ones with silver by the sound they make when they are dropped into the cash drawer. They have a tinny sound to them. Get a coin with silver and a regular coin and drop them on a counter you will be able to tell the difference. After awhile your ears will be able to pick out the silver coins before your eyes.

      1. By the way, this is known as junk silver. They are not pure silver but there is enough silver in them to make them worth more than their face value. Plus they are easily recognized, not likely to be counterfeit. As the price of silver flucuates so does the value. Last time I checked I believe a silver dimes value was around $2. People are more likely to accept these in trade versus a silver bar as there is no way to verify the bar as silver. Unless you have the means to test it.

        1. Peanut Gallery, thank you…

          it is sort of funny (not really), I am in my fifties…and this is a concern now…(at least to me, can’t say as I paid much attention previously)..

          however, back when I was a youngster, both my parents would save coins which “sounded” heavier…

        2. When Australia converted from the old imperial Pounds shillings and pence currency back in 1966, the government minted some new 50 cent silver coins. On the day they were released the silver content in the coin was worth 65 cents. Within months these coins were recalled and withdrawn. A new cupro-nickel coin was later designed and released.

          Those original 50 cent coins are now worth around 12 – 15 dollars each. Most silver bugs have a collection of them. They’re readily tradable on ebay.
          The bank will pay you 50 cents for them – face value.

          Original silver coins were .925 Silver (22 carat – i.e.Stirling Silver). When the price of silver started increasing many countries reduced the silver content of their coins to 14 carat – 55% silver.
          Ultimately modern coins were changed to cupro-nickel. – i.e. no content value.

          Stirling silver coins are very good trading items. Government minted sliver coins were very difficult to counterfeit and they were very close to thew actual value of silver when manufactured.

          In the late 1920’s a criminal gang in Sydney Australia managed to counterfeit some Australian silver coins. The joke was that the silver content in the counterfeit coins was more than the face value. An expert can detect the errors in striking on these coins. Interestingly these counterfeit coins are highly collectible. The fakes are worth more than the real coins.

          I.M.H.O. when the S.H.T.F. Governments will recall all issued currency and issue coupons – like they did in the second world war. Stirling silver coins and gold will come into play.

  5. regarding point number one, mentioning that using credit/debit card will leave a electronic fingerprint, forever…wonder if anyone realizes that shopping at any retail outlet which “kindly” offers a customer membership card/customer loyalty card, will do the very same?

    and with all the govt access to all internet/computers/etc, I suppose this info is now in their data banks.

    a few yrs ago, Costco and some of the others, used to yearly send you a print out of everything you had purchased in the previous year. Although there was nothing exciting purchased, it still shocked me, even yrs back, when I had yet to read blogs like this. It seemed very creepy to me.

    I guess the best way to avoid this electronic fingerprinting, is never sign up for customer loyalty cards/don’t take any memberships which “allow” you to buy at discount, don’t sign up to be notified of their sales, etc..

    1. I agree with not using the customer loyalty cards as well. There is only one that I use and that is for the grocery store where I shop weekly. I mainly use it for the gas points. For every $100 you spend you get .10 off a gallon of gas. Since we fill up our car and gas cans once a month now the points really add up. As a matter of fact by the time I get gas next I will be getting $2.20 off a gallon. The only draw back is it is limited to 35 gallons. Still with the price of gas that is quite a savings. I figure the government can track what I eat for dinner, nothing sinister in my food.

      1. Peanut Gallery, no, nothing sinister in your food, however…

        Can’t recall where, but in past few months, I read an article which suggested/stated, that Health Insurance Companies/Health Care Companies/Employers were securing access to this type of information, either by outright purchase/indirect purchase (through some third party marketer)/ hacking etc..

        the “thought” was, this type of info (individual or family food consumption) would be used to assess an employee / family as potential health problem/potential drain on health care.

        add this in to some rather bizarre “Laptop Thefts” in the past five or so years, and , it would seem someone can get a rather complete profile of an individuals Health and Healthy (or not) eating habits.

        (re the laptops…in several major cities in Canada and the U.S., there have been some “odd” laptop “thefts” (arranged sales?)…In each case it seems to proceed something like this…A Doctor “reports” or “is found out” to have a laptop theft.. Laptop has been left in Doctor’s vehicle..Now the “weird” part…In each case Doctor would have downloaded the complete hospital patient data/treatment base…that is complete as in past twenty etc years….Myself, after the first couple I read about (and those are JUST the ones which made the news), it seems very dodgy to me. I would suggest someone is paying these Doctors to download this all, and leave said laptop somewhere easily accessible to theft. Each case, the Doctor would claim they had been planning to do some particular research, and just gone ahead and downloaded it all.

        Put all that medical data together, with one’s eating habits , and it makes for useful info for someone ….

        1. was wondering if the laptop/with patient info thefts was still going on. did some googling and it would appear so. (these are in addition for one I read in past few yrs)


          laptop theft hospital
          laptop theft hospital Canada
          laptop theft hospital United States
          laptop theft Doctor
          laptop theft database


          1. When I sign up for the “Loyalty” cards, I always give them a bogus name, address and phone number. That way no one can track you nor know who you really are.

  6. Cash will only be ‘king’ while inflation isn’t increasing exponentially. Remember, the USD is a currency, not true money. We keep plenty of USD-cash on hand, both in small $1 bundles and larger denominations. We have pre-65 coins and PMs and don’t have much faith in the USD. We also keep an envelope for our property taxes for the upcoming year in USD-cash, ear-marked and ready to pay just-in-case we have no ability to write a check for our taxes. They’re collected twice a year so we plan early for that necessary payment. And we have been pre-paying the taxes due to economic uncertainties and the volatility of the USD.

    Most foods are grown at our place but we pay cash for other foods we don’t grow — we buy direct from a few local farmers. We buy our alfalfa and grain for livestock w/ USD-cash too.

    We use a credit card for gas and online purchases. It’s convenient and we get ‘cash rebates’. We don’t have an outstanding balance, pay it off at the end of the month so it’s free. Yes, our purchases are tracked but there is nothing to be done about it all. Being profiled for gas purchases is ridiculous == we are ALL being watched. TPTB have declared that all data is useful information. I question the sanity of that, to no avail.

    No debt so no mortgage or vehicle payments. We bank w/ a credit union but don’t keep more than a few K in there. No doubt they think we are spending it as fast as it comes in. They can track that.

  7. Very interesting topic and comments. I’m with the crowd on this one.

    For the things we really need, food, water, etc. one can still use cash which means in a time of electrical outage or other disturbance that you will ind3eed be “king”. some time ago, probably right after 9/11, airlines went to an all plastic policy for plane tickets [they cannot legally take cash] and most travel agents also require either credit cards or if using cash, some kind of positive ID metric before they will sell you a ticket. The government has made it unbearably difficult to make large purchases with cash as a result of the cocaine cowboy wars in the eighties. To stop the practice of drug lords bringing in wheelbarrows full of cash, a money laundering law was promulgated so any cash transaction over 10K [I think] is automatically reported as suspicious.

    GovCo does not want the sheep to spend money they do not know about, it really is that simple. uncle Sugar wants to know exactly how much cabbage you have so he can peel off his vig. Period.

    1. “uncle Sugar wants to know exactly how much cabbage you have so he can peel off his vig. Period.”

      That is exactly it…
      The sheeple slaves working in unison for invisible electronic digits, of which an ever-increasing percentage is automatically stripped off for ‘uncle Sugar’. It’s so easy that way.

  8. Couldn’t help but laugh after reading this article. The first pop up ad under the article was Bank Of America “easy checking, debit and credit accounts”
    Cash will be King, for a while.

    1. Yes that is a little ironic ;)
      At the moment, that particular ad space is a Google spot, and it inserts ads partially based on the context of the particular article itself, and it often changes. Unfortunately the ads there are not always perfectly appropriate…

      At least it made you laugh…

  9. If and when the S.H.T.F.,Paper currency, gold, silver will be worthless. prices will go threw the roof, how much money do you need to buy items you and your family need? Look at it now, Guns and Ammo, back in 1989, I could buy a Brand New AK for $200 with 5 mags and a 100 round drum. Ammo sold for $3.00 or 20 rounds. Now with Clinton /Obama administration attacking the 2nd Amendment prices of guns and Ammo have exploded in high prices. Now a AK sells for $600 and 20 rounds sells for $20. forget currency in time of crisis. stock up on guns & ammo, medical supplies,food stuff’s as this will be the new currency in a S.H.T.F. World. you can’t eat paper or gold and silver, but you can protect you and your family in a real crisis.

  10. I think disposable Bic Lighters might be great for post SHTF trading. Knives, machetes, water purification pills. aspirins, vitamin c pills, bullets, shotgun shells, matchbooks, jars with lids, metal cups, tampons, bathroom tissue, soap bars, mini liquor bottles filled with rubbing alcohol or peroxide… those kinds of things all probably stuff I’d rather trade with and for rather than silver coins or gold, and far less likely to have an attempted robbery scenario occur over. I would’nt sell food or water or medicine.

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