Nowadays, people don’t carry around money as much as they used to and use credit cards instead. However, cash still trumps all other types of payment, especially during emergencies. Here are some reasons why:
1. Credit cards will fail you
Sure, having a credit card is a convenient way of paying without having to bring a load of cash with you. And in everyday situations, this will serve you well. But when SHTF and the power goes out, you will be grateful for storing some cash in your EDC kit.
2. For last minute supplies
When disaster strikes, cash is the best form of payment. People will run to the nearest grocery stores in a panic buying craze. With so many people using credit cards, the system will crash eventually. Though you think you’ve prepped enough, there may be some items you’ve overlooked.
3. Vending machines
When all that’s separating you from sustenance is a vending machine, money will be your salvation. Food is good for a quick fix for when you’re hungry and is convenient to carry. Don’t break the glass if you can’t help it. You’ll be better off going unnoticed if you don’t want to end up fighting for a bag of chips.
4. Avoid the long lines
Save yourself from waiting the long lines at the ATM. To avoid bankruptcy, banks will most likely impose withdrawal limits on each person. Before you known it, the ATM may just run out of cash when it’s your turn. And you never know how long the power will keep running for you to make a withdrawal.
For bugging out situations requiring some driving (check out our article on bug out vehicles), be sure to bring some cash with you. Aside from grocery stores, people will sure hit the nearest gas stations. If you’re too late, your best bet is to buy gas from someone. And they sure won’t give it to you for free.
6. For finding shelter
In evacuation scenarios where establishments are still open for business, carrying cash will make it easier to find a place to stay. You can check into hotels, motels, or even camping grounds to spend the night.
7. People will still accept cash when SHTF
Even if the economy collapses and you think your money is just a meaningless piece of paper, it will still hold some value to some people. Remember this if you need getting a ride, medical assistance, or some heavy lifting.
8. Buy your way out of tight situations
In bug out situations, when you’re running away from a threat, you may have to bribe your way into crossing borders, seeking a hiding spot, or getting out of a riot. When anarchy arises, you can’t really count on people to lend you a helping hand for free.
Guide to Carrying Cash When Travelling
When SHTF, there will be a lot of desperate people looking for some cash. And they will do so using WROL (without rule of law). Be one step ahead by hiding your money in the most inconspicuous items. You can carry them with you and it’ll be the last place they will look.
1. Inside a Chap Stick container
This is an ingenious way to hide some cash. Remove the Chap Stick from the container and roll up a few bills inside. It easily fits inside your pocket and thieves wouldn’t think anything of it.
2. Inside a pen
If you don’t own a Chap Stick, try using a pen instead. Just roll as much bills the pen will allow, and tuck it away inside. It’s convenient to carry and will save you when you are running low on funds.
3. Under your shoe insole
Your shoes make a good spot for stashing some money. Go the extra mile by placing it under your soles. I suggest putting it in a plastic wrap first to prevent it from getting wet from the moisture inside your shoes.
Socks like the Zip It Pocket Sock have a zippered section designed for holding cash. These socks are designed to carry your valuables while still providing comfort and ease of use. They also have a fast-drying feature to prevent your bills from getting wet.
5. In your underwear
If you have to carry a hefty sum of money with you, keep it secured in your underwear. Companies like the Clever Travel Companion have developed underwear with zippered pockets to let you put your cash, passport, credit cards, and other valuables.
There are some travel belts with a secret wallet compartment as a crafty way of storing money. In this way, even if you get robbed out of your wallet, you still have money to spare. Check out this belt from LeatherBoss.
7. In the waistband of your pants
Upon closer inspection, you will see that the waistband of your pants is a folded piece of cloth. Slicing it open with a razor also makes it a good hiding spot for your money. It’s best if you place it on the front and tuck your shirt out to hide it from view.
Hats make a great hiding place of money. Some like Tilley are known to contain pockets to put money in for safekeeping. It’s easy for someone to grab your hat or for it get wind-blown, so best to put just a small amount in it.
9. In your shirt
Some shirts have well-placed pockets that make it hard for pickpockets to rob you. The pockets are usually on the sides under your arms or in the chest area so you can keep a good eye on your cash at all times.
10. In the small pockets of your wallet
Placing some cash in the small sections of your wallet keeps it hidden from your sight. This lets you avoid spending them as you’ll probably forget about them being there until the time comes when you do really need the cash.
11. Behind your clothes tag
Sewing paper bills inside your clothes tag will pay off in case of emergencies. No one would suspect a thing and you won’t be tempted to spend it. But make sure to remove it on laundry day. Your money wouldn’t be much of use soaking wet.
12. In your cell phone case
There are also cell phone cases, like Otterbox, that come with a concealed holder for your cash and credit cards. Cell phones also make great bait for thieves so be sure to keep yours out of sight and don’t put too much money in it in case it gets stolen.
13. Use a dummy wallet
This is not hiding place for your cash but an extra precaution against thieves. Should you get robbed, you can breathe easy, knowing that your money is still safe with you. And you may be far gone before they realized they’ve been duped.
How much cash should you have in case of emergencies?
Since you know all about why and how to keep your money with you, the question that remains is how much should you carry with you? It should be enough to cover emergencies and a little bit of extra, just in case. Here’s what I usually carry.
1. A $50 bill and four $20 bills
In case of a disaster, this should be enough to get by for a few days. Though you may have a long-term plan all figured out, this will keep your options open and buy you some time before you head out into full survivalist mode.
2. Five $10, four $5 bills, and five $1 bills
This is good for paying tolls and buying small items. This should be accessible and not to be mixed with your larger bills. You wouldn’t want to end up giving $20 when you only intended for $5.
During SHTF scenarios, especially, at the beginning, cash still rules as payment. Having some money safely tucked away for these situations is a smart move that every survivalist should do. You wouldn’t need much, as it is meant to cover emergency situations only.
And in carrying cash, distribute it so that even if you get robbed or lose some of it, you will still have some cash left to keep you going. Some robbers may be clever enough to figure your hidden stash, but you’ll still outsmart them if you keep them in multiple locations.
One last piece of advice. Don’t be tempted to spend it on something unnecessary. You may justify it as a one-time thing and replace it as soon as possible. But if you do it once, chances are you’ll do it again. Before you know it, you have no emergency money when there’s an actual emergency happening.
Do you know other places where you can put your money for safekeeping? Feel free to comment below.