Survival kit cash

Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by DKR, Oct 18, 2017.

  1. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Everyone is going to need some of it - cash, ducats, cabbage or simoleons - whatever you call it, "it" should be part of your kit.

    The why is simple, with no electricity or communications, your credit card/debit card or ATM card is just a piece of future plastic trash. The recent money issues in hurricane hit areas are proof enough for those that observe the obvious...

    What about alternatives?
    Traveler's checks are rarely accepted these days, most banks no longer bother to sell em. Safe, maybe yes. Worthless, mostly. How about gold coins? Silver bars? Good luck. Those are worth exactly what someone is willing to trade for the item. In a business - forget about it.

    So - US Cash. Dollars. Now the question is - How much, and how to carry.
    This is an interesting point for discussion. I've just returned from a short trip to an isolated rural town in the middle of the West Desert of Utah. Other than the local bank, nobody in town would touch a bill over $20.
    I purchased an old AM radio at the local jumble store for $6.
    (BTW in a disaster, this would be the first place I would go looking for used clothing)

    The clerk used a 'check pen' on both the $1 and $5 bills. Curious about this, I asked why the pen - one rarely sees an employee check low denomination bills. The reply was instructive - it seems the town had been hit with a wave of counterfeit bills - even $1s and $5s.

    So what to do? Mostly, this depends on what you are planning to do. For discussion, at least $100 should (IMO) be part of any kit for leaving home. Any more is up to you and how well you deal with risk.

    I carry $6.50 in quarters - mostly for use with any working pay phones - an increasingly hard to find item in even good times. Why such an odd number? 26 coins will fit into a common 35mm 'can'.
    You can also fit 26 $1 coins wrapped in 3 paper bills in the same container. So, with 3 x 20s, you almost have your $100.

    Why the $1 coin? Never heard of any counterfeit small value US coins. Never had a business refuse to take one. Would they take 20 or more? Dunno, never had to try.

    Silver coins may seem to be an option, but the current melt price varies, and many business clerks would not see the difference in 'value" (silver vs clad coins) YMMV.

    In normal times, it would seem $100 bills are shunned by many - as long as debit/credit cards work. In a disaster, where motel/hotel room might go for $100 to $175/Night, a few $100s may just the thing and appropriate.

    I'd to hear your take, as I wasn't able to find any chat on the board over this.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  2. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    We keep a few small bills around here just for such occasions as listed above.
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  3. ghrit

    ghrit Bad company Administrator Founding Member

    Probably the reason that there's so little talk of keeping cash around has to do with OPSEC. That said, there is some here, but by no means worth it to a burgler.
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  4. 3M-TA3

    3M-TA3 Cold Wet Monkey Site Supporter++

    Mrs. 3M is out right now doing her part to keep us safe in that respect...
  5. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Keeping some negotiable currency available is a wise move, great post. Silver coins will be accepted by retailers at face value, silver rounds will not be accepted and neither will gold as many will not know if it is real or plated. Remember the "V" nickles, often called "Racketeer" Nickles?

    The 1883 "Racketeer" Nickel - CoinSite
    "The lack of the word cents created an opportunity for the unscrupulous. The coins were gold plated and reeds were cut into the edge by hand (nickels have a plain edge) and they were passed off as $5 gold coins.[​IMG]

    The most famous criminal case about altered 5 cent coins involved a deaf mute named Josh Tatum. He would go to cigar stands and purchase a 5c cigar and pay with a gold plated, hand reeded nickel. The attendant would assume that it was a $5 gold piece and give Josh $4.95 change. He was acquitted since he never said that the coin was $5, he couldn’t. The Mint learned its lesson and later that year put the word “cents” at the bottom of the reverse."
  6. Tempstar

    Tempstar Old and crochety Site Supporter+

    There is the front pocket cash, the BOB cash, and the car cash. Largest denomination is a 5.
    My coin dealer has 15 Susan B. Anthony dollar coins that someone plated gold and sold to a "coin collector" for $1200.00 each. When my dealer scratched the plating off the customer turned red in the face and stormed out, not even taking the coins with him. The collector was told they were special edition SBA coins from the U.S. Mint in pure gold. I only buy gold and silver fro a reputable dealer, thus trading with it isn't in my plans..
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  7. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    Most dealers purchasing gold will weigh and test the coin or round before closing the deal. Same with cleaned or otherwise embellished coins. Lots of fraud out there. I had a buddy who bought Morgan dollars off eBay and got burned with a bunch of fakes. Took some of mine to his house along with my electronic scale and they didn't weigh out even close to the real thing.
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  8. Bandit99

    Bandit99 Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I do keep cash in the safe for emergencies but it's hundreds so I might give some thought to getting smaller bills... It is more for floods, fires, snow storm etc. normal type of emergencies (even a Katrina) not serious SHTF like economic collapse, EMP, Zombie Apocalypse...serious stuff... I think if we're hit with serious stuff that paper wouldn't be worth what it is printed on. I doubt anyone would take gold and silver either unless it's the old coins - at least not until things settled down. I wouldn't. Barter will be the method of exchange: food, ammo, liquor, water tablets/filters, toilet paper, soap, clothes, tools, guns and, of course, sex.

    I do like your 35mm film canister full of $1 coins and 3 ea. $20 bills idea - a lot! I think I would go with 2 ea $20 and 1 ea $100 though. I don't have any metal film canisters but do still have some plastic ones and intend to do this. You know, I cannot remember the last time I saw a $1 coin...I bet it was a light-year ago. I definitely haven't seen one since I returned stateside. Are you sure people would even accept them or would they turn their nose up at it like a $2 bill? I are these coins in circulation?

    I need to google... Got it... No wonder I haven't seen any...the reason is people don't like them, prefer the paper. I understand that since you can't get anything for a dollar anymore...they should try a $2 coin.

    "...since December 11, 2011 the Mint has not produced dollar coins for general circulation, and all dollar coins produced after that date have been specifically for collectors and can be ordered directly from the Mint, and pre-2012 circulation dollar coins are able to be obtained from most U.S. banks....
    Whatever the reason, a U.S. Mint official claimed in a November 2012 meeting that most of the 2.4 billion dollar coins minted in the previous five years were not in circulation."
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2017
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  9. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    "Cash is king" in financial cents forum.
    Cash is king | Survival Monkey Forums

    It was literally the 3rd non sticky post down from the top.

    I keep gold and silver mostly for retirement and a stack of $100 bills, but my wife makes me keep all that in the safe deposit box. She is always right so I don't take chances any more.
    A lot of people on here talk crap about safe deposit boxes but try getting almost $20k out of the bank on a given day (I don't have nearly that much any more, I wish I did, I miss it so, moment of silence for the almost 3 inch tall stack of $100 bills I used to have. ......)
    Sure you can keep that money in your house but then you have to worry about fire, flood, theft, tornadoes and remember plenty of people are killed over far less than a few hundred dollars.
    Further luck trying to get that money oit of an account when everyone else is taking what little money they have out too.
    I keep my gun show cash box packed with $1, $5, $10 and a few $20s.
    For change I keep all the $1 coins I get which aren't many, I keep the largest change bin full and nearly over flowing with quarters.
    But if I counted it all up I'm sure it would be well under $300 total, probably wouldn't even break $200.
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2017
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  10. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    Thanks to travel I have varying but worthwhile quantities of Aussie, US, Euros, Pounds and Rand here at home. Most all of the foreign currency except maybe the US would be useless here but it does save conversion hassles for short notice travel. Aussie cash is plastic so you can be a bit more creative about storage if the safe seems too obvious.
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  11. Altoidfishfins

    Altoidfishfins Monkey+++ Site Supporter+

    I was in a small town a few years ago and needed gas. Their connection to the internet was down, so credit and debit was out. There were no storms, cataclysms, etc. Fortunately I happened to have cash and was able to pay for it. I always carry paper now, less than $100 but more than just lunch money.

    Imagine a widespread disaster with internet out to whole cities. Hard core techie types would be incredulous - and out of luck if they didn't happen to have cash in hand.
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  12. Seacowboys

    Seacowboys Senior Member Founding Member

    I have the bank of Nellie and her reserve vaults ( a shoe box) always available for emergencies. There are always two Grants and a few Franklins tucked inside my belt. BTW, I was robbed down in Trinidad once and they took my belt and shoes and even looked inside my mouth to see if I had hidden anything. Fortunately, the police were no-where around so my Jose Quervo intensified situational awareness (read: big mouth) started a squabble among the bandits and I was able to escape and evade in the melay that ensued.
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  13. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    I keep both, bills and silver, about a 50/50 mix by value. Early on in a real SHTF event, currency will have value until the stores run dry, then it will be worthless. Once I have spent my currency on what's left to buy, currency won't buy it back from me, at any price. It will be barter from there, IMO. I don't worry about large bills. If it's truly a SHTF event, $100's will be the new $10's. Right after Harvey came through people were trying to get $28 a $44 a case for water. Illegal in Texas, yes. But without ROL who is going to stop them!
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  14. DKR

    DKR Raconteur of the first stripe

    Yes, I've suggested more than once that 6 months worth of day to day expenses be kept in a Deposit box.
    If a person isn't comfortable with a lockbox, I don't know of any other 'safe' storage. Last I looked, bank vaults have survived tornados, floods and other natural disasters. YMMV
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  15. oil pan 4

    oil pan 4 Monkey+++

    As we saw in Puerto Rico cash was the only form of commerce until the government showed up and stuff got restored.
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  16. Gator 45/70

    Gator 45/70 Monkey+++

    My nephew is still there helping out.
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  17. Mountain mama

    Mountain mama Monkey

    Part of our preps are 1,000 in ones and fives in the safe. No big bills.
  18. T. Riley

    T. Riley Monkey+++ Site Supporter++

    I spent 32 years in the banking business so I have no doubt about the safety of a deposit box. Access is the problem. If it hits the fan on Saturday, your cash might as well be on the moon. They can't open the vault if they wanted to; time locks.
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  19. arleigh

    arleigh Goophy monkey

    I save silver but its for colloidal silver, I've made up generator kits for my family and friends .
    Nothing in gold . How you going to prove it 's real to some novice .?
    Cash is king , though I have only what's in my wallet which ain't much .
    Debit cards have pretty much take over though , so even if you want to use cash the teller may not know how to give you change .
    Gardening ,and chickens and my skills and tools is my best reserve .
    I know guys that are packing away ammo for barter , not a bad idea actually.
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  20. Dunerunner

    Dunerunner Brewery Monkey Moderator

    I won't barter in ammunition unless it is being traded to me for beer, vegies or something else I produce. Give a starving man ammunition and he will use it against you.
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