Would a Cashless Society Really Be That Good??

by J. Money -

$500 bill

Read an interesting passage in a coin magazine recently, and it was talking about all the pitfalls of a cashless society, and how we need to be aware (and prepared) if things continue to go down that path.

It’s not very shocking, considering our whole coin collecting hobby RELIES on the physical form, haha… (“Oooh look how nice and shiny that digital coin is from 1787!” – said no collector ever), however, the points the article brought up were certainly things to marinate on.

Particularly this:

No matter how much money may be in your account, it can be impossible to reach it.

Freaky. The internet is a Godsend for all of us, however being completely dependent can cause a world of hurt too. Because in the event of an emergency, whether natural or man-made, we’re all F’d if the electricity goes out! No power = no cash, food, water, candy, communication, Pokémon, and on and on…

According to the article (and, well, technology), the following three things must *always* be connected at the same time in order for digital currency to work:

  1. Electricity must be available at all times
  2. Communication needs to be open between all network components at all times
  3. The network has to be secure at all times

And we all know just how frail that last one can be… My pet rock is more secure than some big institutions out there! And I even let him outside at all hours of the night by himself! (Okay, couldn’t come up with a good analogy here, so just roll with it and smile and nod, haha…)

So what do you do to combat this? Well, according to economist and research scientist, Jay L. Zagorsky, you bring back $500 bills again of course! Those beautiful little specimens that roamed free in this great nation of ours over a half century ago!

Why? “Higher denominations are preferable for the sake of compactness and efficiency”, particularly during disasters. Or you know, zombie attacks. (I literally have $500 cash in my safe just for this (disasters, not zombie attacks), and coincidentally also a $500 bill because they are bad ass! And also worth much more than face value…)

But he’s got a point. Everyone accepts cash, and unless someone robs you, it’s just as easy to store and hold onto than a credit card or crypto wallet, whatever that means.

And as much as I adore me some technology – particularly the internet so I can type these fine words out to you guys – I’m very much still a fan of keeping cold hard cash around. Not only do I enjoy holding and seeing and feeling it (sometimes even smelling it! ‘Cuz it smells so good!), but it also helps me to be more conscious of my spending as well. It’s much harder for me to take out stacks of cash to pay for something than it is to swipe a credit or even a debit card. I become hyperaware and more mindful of everything I do.

And this very much goes for automating other areas of my life and finances too. Great for efficiency, not so much for control. And if you don’t make a habit of checking in on these things every now and then, you’re liable to find yourself in a tricky position.

So really the key with all of this is to just *balance* the two areas of these merging worlds as best you can, and always do your best to be as *aware* as possible. Neither option has completely overruled the other yet, but it’s safe to say which road we’re headed down…

That is, unless, our economist friend pulls off the upset of the year here, making every collector’s wet dreams a reality, haha… But odds are my credit card will be hacked* 13 times before that happens.

So cash still rules everything around me, C.R.E.A.M!, get the money – dolla dolla bills y’all…

(5 points if you can tell me real quick who sang that? And triple the points if you can convince me to join these cashless societies ;))

UPDATE: while no one convinced me to go completely cash-less, I did award gobs of points to reader Mitchell Walker who passed over his ingenious hybrid budgeting/zombie system that does hit a bunch of pros all around – check it out!

———
*Best tip I can ever give on hackery stuff: spend 5 minutes and list out where all your credit cards are connected to right now! The Amazons, Paypals, Netlflixes – everything you can think of. Then when your card does get compromised (and we all know it will), you’ll already have a list prepared of all the places you need to go in and update later. Making the whole process slightly less annoying, but also forcing you to re-evaluate all those services in case you can shed any, giving yourself the gift of savings as well. It doesn’t protect you entirely from the whole ordeal sucking, but you will be thankful that your past self hooked you up like that… And I should know, I had to do it TWICE last year! And this helped!


Jay loves talking about money, collecting coins, blasting hip-hop, and hanging out with his three beautiful boys. You can check out all of his online projects at jmoney.biz. Thanks for reading the blog!

{ 94 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ms99to1percent January 17, 2018 at 5:34 am

Yes, it’s important to have some emergency cash. We have some in the house and in both of our cars along with a few other things that are needed in case of an emergency or zombie attack :-)

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2 Accidental FIRE January 17, 2018 at 5:42 am

So this is a great debate and with the Bitcoin craziness it’s only going to get debated more. The article you link to brings up some great points. What happens in a crypto world when the power is out? I’ll tell ya, they’ll all be lined up at J$’s house trying to steal that $500 bill :)

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3 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 6:36 am

Yeah they will be ;)

I had a friend years ago that actually started taking out all his money from stocks and putting it into gold coins and bars and stashing them at his house, along with guns, very much convinced the world was ending and wanting to protect himself. Hopefully he got back in to take advantage of the incredible turnaround the markets did!, but either way it’s a super interesting situation to consider. You never know – those extreme preppers could be on to something!

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4 Team CF January 17, 2018 at 8:02 am

In that case I prefer to have some land, food, water and shelter, the rest does not really matter, now does it? Gold coins/bars are pretty difficult to chew and fall pretty badly on an empty stomach, guns really are not going to keep you alive either ;-)

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5 Jeebs January 17, 2018 at 6:19 am

Great article – really made me think and made me
realize it wouldn’t hurt to keep some cash reserves around the house, just in case.

Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M.

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6 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 6:43 am

BINGO

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7 [email protected] January 17, 2018 at 6:51 am

I thought you were going to take this one in a different direction. I’ve read studies about how we spend less with cash than we do e-currency. That’s a danger too.

Those $500 bills look pretty sweet. If the blog hits its goals, will you be giving a few of those away this year?

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8 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:07 pm

(I will file that idea away for our “millionaire” announcement party :))

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9 Sean @ Frugal Money Man January 17, 2018 at 7:01 am

I have read about the behavioral finance regarding how we “feel” it more when we spend cash instead of using a credit/debit card. It definitely holds merit! I rarely carry cash, but I am about 93.7689673245% sure that I would think about my transactions more if I were using cash instead of a card.

Actually the last time I carried cash was 2 weeks ago, when I forgot my wallet on the train to work…Luckily a fellow passenger turned it in! When I went to pick it up, they were nice enough to leave everything BUT the cash;)

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10 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:08 pm

Hah! The ol’ Half Thief/Samaritan – gets you every time.

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11 Josh January 17, 2018 at 7:12 am

I’m for keeping cash as well and use it primarily for purchases $20 and under. Although I find myself using it less and less because more purchases are online. I can buy one item at Walmart for $5 or 3 of the same thing for $7 on eBay.

We also don’t go out to eat as much and I’ve made it a personal rule to not go into the gas station where I almost always buy a cup of coffee or snack because there’s nothing like cheap gas station coffee and some other random packaged junk food to relive high school memories.

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12 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:20 pm

Haha oh yeah… Those places ALWAYS suck up your money!!! And it’s all tempting junk food!!

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13 Leo T. Ly January 17, 2018 at 7:47 am

Ever since I discovered the credit card rewards, I pretty much turned into a cashless individual. There is absolutely no incentive for me to use cash at all. If I use my credit card, I know for sure that I won’t be paying full price or at least save 1% or 2% on my purchases.

Another reason that I like about being cashless is, no coins. I start to really dislike carrying coins and paying for anything with coins. Tap and go is so convenient and I may never want to go back to cash again.

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14 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:21 pm

Boooooooo

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15 PaulM January 17, 2018 at 7:50 am

Love those $500 bills but if they become popular, you can be sure they’ll bring with them a thriving counterfeit business. I usually carry no more than a couple of $20s with me and use cards for major purchases to gobble up those points.

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16 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:21 pm

That’s actually one of the reasons they got rid of them – became targets for forgery!

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17 Myfinancekits January 17, 2018 at 7:54 am

Cashless economy has its pros and cons. It is very convenient for people to shop. To certain degree, one can say it is save. But when you think about identity theft, it is like someone pouring cold water on your back. However, no matter how cashless, one may not do away with cash entirely. Some transactions will require that you pay cash

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18 Ms. Frugal Asian Finance January 17, 2018 at 8:08 am

Cool idea! All I know is that I can use my credit cards almost anywhere in the US except for many Asian restaurants and grocery stores that only accept cash or won’t let us use our cards if the purchase is less than $10. Lesson learned: Always bring cash.

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19 Jennifer January 17, 2018 at 8:08 am

A cashless society concerns me. I feel it is another way of losing control over my private life. Every transaction and purchase can be traced. The government would know what your assets were down to the penny. A person would not even be able to buy a pack of gum without it being documented.

Most importantly, it is bad enough when banks stop paying interest on your savings accounts like they have in some countries, but in some places they are now charging customers interest for the privilege of storing their money in the bank while the bank earns interest on the customer’s money. Currently people have the choice to withdraw their money and not pay the interest. However with a cashless system there would be no choice. There would eventually be a fee charged for maintaining electronic records and balances of your “cashless account”. You would have to pay it, like paying a bank interest for holding your money. It would simply be deducted electronically from your account each month. There would be no choice to withdraw your “cashless money” and store it in your home safe.

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20 G January 17, 2018 at 9:06 am

An interesting thought.

Banks have expenses, and they primarily fund them with interest from loans. They may charge 3%, and pay you 0.25%. And the 2.75% difference is what they use to fund their operations.

However, the interest rate they charge on loans is determined by the market (too high, and no one borrows money from you). So, if the market interest rate is not high enough, they would have to charge more fees to depositors, so it would cost you something to use the bank.

However, if people started withdrawing their money, the bank would have this choice:
1. Close down. The expenses are too high to cover with interest and fees.
2. Increase interest paid to depositors to lure them back and reduce operating expenses to fit into a tighter margin.
3. Increase interest paid to depositors and increase interest charged on loans and hope that people keep borrowing at the new higher rate.

Regardless, I don’t think you can have a long term scenario where all banks charge excessive fees. With competition, someone will come in and disrupt that scenario. Like a low cost airline, somebody is going to do it.

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21 Jennifer January 17, 2018 at 9:41 am

Thanks for your response because I’m interested in reading what people think of this. It worries me. In a cashless society people would have nothing tangible to withdraw and competition will turn into collusion. Your options for storing wealth would be eliminated. People would then be forced to pay negative interest rates on their money in the form of bank fees(which would just be deducted electronically each month from your account) or spend their money in order to save it from paying interest or fees to banks. In a cashless society there is nowhere to “hide” your money or save it from negative interest rates. It is already happening in Sweden.

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22 Debbie January 17, 2018 at 10:37 am

As soon as I read this post, I thought the exact same thing! I think I recently heard China is leaning towards a cashless society. Bingo. Obviously a controlling Communist govt who wants to take away any type of privacy an individual may have. Their way or the hiway. Poof, you disappear! I totally agree with you, Jennifer.

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23 Jennifer January 17, 2018 at 11:56 am

I wouldn’t worry too much about the poor banks not earning enough money on the interest rate spread. For every dollar you have in a savings account they can legally lend out $12 and keep 100% of the interest earned on that $12. (That is just the US Federal Reserve Ratio. I’m not sure what the policy would be in other countries at this point in time) They cannot do this on Checking accounts, however, because they are required to keep the amount you have in Checking on hand in case their customers need to suddenly withdraw everything. They legally have 30 days to pay you the funds in your Savings accounts if you were to try and withdraw everything during a period where there was a rush on the banks (like in 1929).

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24 Jennifer January 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Just to cut down on confusion, the last post by Jennifer at 11:56 am is not my post, ie, the original op and the author of the 9:41 post. the 11:56 posting is from a different Jennifer.

To the second Jennifer (11:56 am) please reread the thread, no one is worried about the “poor” banks not earning enough money.

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25 Jennifer 2 January 17, 2018 at 9:53 pm

“However, the interest rate they charge on loans is determined by the market (too high, and no one borrows money from you). So, if the market interest rate is not high enough, they would have to charge more fees to depositors, so it would cost you something to use the bank.”

My original response was to the sentiment above from G. Even if the interest rate is “too low” the banks are still not losing money enough to justify charging customers higher fees to use the bank for checking/savings accounts because they still make money off of the ability to earn interest on the additional money supply they create through being about to lend out $12 for every dollar in savings accounts and earning the interest rate off of that. That doesn’t mean that they don’t want to charge more fees to meet shareholder demands for every increasing quarterly profits, but it didn’t work out too well for the big banks during the last recession. My response wasn’t to anything else further along in the thread.

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26 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:25 pm

This is so fascinating!!! Hadn’t even considered this but yes – totally! Every swipe is trackable whether used for good (finding your whereabouts/killer who went after you – hah) or bad (gov’t spying/owning/controlling you). Can never go “off the grid” using plastic!

I shall grant you 15 bonus points today for pushing me even *further* towards cash, haha… Well done ;)

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27 Mike @ Balanced Dividends January 17, 2018 at 8:15 am

“C.R.E.A.M!, get the money – dolla dolla bills y’all” = Wu-Tang Clan, but I was too late to on commenting today :(

Anyway, nice post. I like your mentioning of *Balance* – it’s very important to keep this in mind, as you suggested.

We also have a couple hundred bucks in cash at home in case of emergencies. But besides that, 99.999999999 percent of everything else is digital/electronic.

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28 OMGF January 17, 2018 at 8:15 am

That last question is way too easy so I’ll do you one better. The rapper who said, “Cash rules everything around me. C.R.E.A.M. get the money. Dolla dolla bill, y’all” was Clifford Smith, better known as Method Man, also known as my future baby daddy.

My mom used to admonish me to never leave the house without at least a quarter to call home. I never listened. I’m the worst about carrying cash and if I do have it then I spend it fast. I prefer credit cards for the ability to track my spending. However, I should get better about having just a few dollars at my disposal at all times.

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29 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:31 pm

Clifford Smith! Hah! Never knew that… You got your 5 points + another 5 because you’re awesome.

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30 OMGF January 17, 2018 at 6:08 pm

A girl should know her baby’s daddy’s name. LOL!

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31 Budget on a Stick January 17, 2018 at 8:25 am

Being a software engineer I am the first to say computers aren’t everything! (I drove all manual cars before I got my EV. Pretty sure I know when to change gear better than the car’s computer.) We keep cash on hand at all times and it concerns me when I don’t have $40 in my wallet.

The internet is far too new and insecure for a viable digital currency system to be the only method. I have Android Pay on my phone but am still more likely to use a credit card and cash because I don’t want to pay for data ;)

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32 Candice January 17, 2018 at 8:40 am

I’m mostly cashless except for a bit for buying small stuff, and some smaller bills stashed away for emergencies where no one would ever think to look.

But…if the world did go to pot and you couldn’t get your cash – a lot of other people will be in the same place. The $500 bill is sexy, but it will be hard to break if the world has no cash and you need a sandwich. Keep the $500 for posterity, but get some $10s and $20s and $100s in there, too. :D

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33 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:33 pm

Totally. The $500 I have in my safe is all $1s, $5s, $10s and $20s…. for exactly that reason :)

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34 Mr. Tako January 17, 2018 at 8:45 am

I’m with you J$… cash or some other form of physical equivalent will always persist. Mankind needs a form of exchange that is off the grid, unplugged, and always available.

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35 G January 17, 2018 at 8:54 am

I don’t think bringing back $500 bills would actually help anyone. A lot of places refuse to accept anything over a $20. And if there is a disaster with no electricity and you need to buy something in cash, it’s going to be hard to make change for a $500.

“Yes, sir. And your change is $482.35”

They may not have that much change to hand out.

A stash of $20’s seems to be the best way to go about it.

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36 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:35 pm

It’ll have to only be used for bigger items, like when you have to buy a house or car or new bunker, unless you’re bunked at a strip joint ;)

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37 fin$avvy panda @ finsavvypanda.com January 17, 2018 at 9:16 am

It’s a great point! I think I rely on cc too much for the rewards and now using Apple Pay is just too damn easy… I’m too lazy that I think I’ve become brainless… it’s so sad but i think counting bills and coins doesn’t come second nature the same way it used to when I was a kid :/ pls don’t laugh or judge… yikess

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38 Miss Mazuma January 17, 2018 at 9:19 am

When the market crashed and recession was lurking, my then husband convinced me to take all my money out of the bank and keep it in a safe. Paranoid? Maybe. But he had lived through a war in his country (far before the joys of internet banking) and only managed to flee based on the small amount of currency they had in hand and the good reputation (and connections) of his family. Looking back, having 40k in cash this day in age is crazy (especially being a robber could pick up our fire safe and easily walk out with it!), but it made him feel in control.

I look at the banks and how reliant we are on the network and it’s scary! Mind you, I still have all my money either in banks or invested, but should anything desperate ever strike, the real winners will be the people who are resourceful. Those who are able to thrive and survive without the use of currency. People with skills to barter or lessons to teach or seeds to grow. Look at Season 1 of Walking Dead – it had nothing to do with money! It was all about survival – not cash. I am forever preparing for the zombie apocalypse!!

PS – Regardless of all above, I still keep a small bit of cash on hand JUST IN CASES. ;)

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39 the Budget Epicurean January 17, 2018 at 12:08 pm

Totally was thinking the same thing! My dad had a “get stacks of cash and silver and stick them in the basement” phase, which didn’t do anything but lock out some gains when the market turned back around. He eventually sold them (at least I think he got a tiny profit) and invested it back in the market.

My theory is that if the electronic systems go down, we all go down, and all you have left is your knowledge and skills anyhow. Even the best of prps will run out someday, so you better know how to garden, cook, can, knit/sew, trade, etc. So just always be learning, and expanding your connections. A little cash on hand won’t hurt… but to withdraw all your portfolio? A great way to be bankrupt but for a few grand in a couple decades.

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40 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:36 pm

YUP!! And there will be NO YOUTUBE VIDEOS to help any of us too!! We’d all be screwed these days left alone!!! :)

(Also – you were married???? I never knew that!)

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41 Kate January 17, 2018 at 9:26 am

Wu-Tang! One of my all time faves.

Cash is king.

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42 G January 17, 2018 at 9:38 am
43 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:37 pm

Oh jeez…

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44 Dave @ Married with Money January 17, 2018 at 9:45 am

I hate cash. Hate it hate it hate it. When I have it, I overspend it or lose it (literally lost like $300+ last year in the back of a taxi, I don’t want to talk about it).

When I lose my cards I can call and do something about it. When I lose my cash, I’m totally screwed but the taxi driver gets a nice tip – or the next passenger does.

That being said I still can appreciate its uses and think it’s important for right now :)

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45 Amy @ Life Zemplified January 17, 2018 at 9:50 am

Definitely, need to be prepared for the Zombie attacks. ‘Cash is king?’ Maybe, maybe not, but I sure as hell want some, especially if the power goes out.

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46 FullTimeFinance January 17, 2018 at 10:19 am

I’m largely cashless, living using cards…but I deal with the annoyance of paying with cash occasionally. But I have no interest in paying with my device. Too much risk of loss imho. If they added credit card style protections my opinion would change.

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47 Mrs. Groovy January 17, 2018 at 10:19 am

You’ve given me something to think about. I’m not crazy about the cashless idea but unless it takes hold, it wouldn’t hurt to have some extra bills in the house. I may also lean towards Len Penzo’s bunker, stashed with gold bars.

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48 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:39 pm

I feel like Mr Groovy would be allll about staying off the grid? Is that true, or am I totally making that up?

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49 Mrs. Groovy January 17, 2018 at 7:54 pm

He’s not that far out. Well, I mean mentally he is. But he likes his creature comforts. He’s sitting in front of the gas fireplace right now.

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50 J. Money January 19, 2018 at 10:57 am

haha….. awesome.

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51 Joe January 17, 2018 at 10:29 am

I’m concern about the security, but there aren’t good alternatives. I prefer to invest my money rather than stuffing it in the mattress.
All our money are electronic and we have very little cash. A bunker stashed with gold bars, bullets, and can food? I don’t think we’ll get there in the next few years…

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52 Nick January 17, 2018 at 10:46 am

Natural disasters are a great reason to have at least a little cash hidden away in the house.

I was having a similar debate with a friend about gold.

His cousin went all “conspiracy theory” and started exchanging US dollars for gold. His reason being you can’t trust the government and currency can be devalued.

While gold used to be the standard, if governments start collapsing, I don’t think gold (or silver, or copper) is going to all of a sudden be the new currency of commerce.

I think we’ll be back to the barter and trade days.

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53 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 4:42 pm

I think so too… But just in case, i’m gonna have some silver and gold and cash if it’s a temporary thing :) Cuz ain’t no way anyone’s going to turn that down at least in the first few weeks!

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54 Dads Dollars Debts January 17, 2018 at 10:31 am

Our credit card was skimmed at 2 different gas stations last year. What a pain. Now we see a small rinkity gas station in the boonies and say we should get gas just to see if we get skimmed. Like Russian Roulette.

I imagine Cash will always be king, and after our natural disaster (which was luckily just localized) I can see the reasoning of you keeping some of it around. Just be sure to grab the stuff in the safe before jetting out.

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55 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 5:15 pm

Totally! Just praying in that even that I not only have time to crack the puppy open, but also sane enough to remember the combo!! :)

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56 Debbie January 17, 2018 at 10:49 am

We mainly use credit cards for the points/cash back but always have a little cash on hand for the day old discount bakery bread which doesn’t accept credit cards. Also like to leave tips in cash at restaurants so the server isn’t charged a fee. Recently a kid living next door asked for $10 cash for a school benefit. One Halloween we ran out of candy (had 200 kids that year) & gave kids change (coins) we had on hand.

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57 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 5:16 pm

Haha – that’s brilliant!! I might have to steal that idea in order to pass on the love of coin collecting :) One foreign coin for you, one silver coin for you, one gold… NOT.

$2.00 bills also make for good tips too – people love ’em! (And always feels like they’re getting more than $2.00 too even though they’re not worth a cent over)

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58 Phil January 17, 2018 at 10:55 am

Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill) by Wyclef Jean, Akon, and Lil Wayne has the lyrics “Cash rules everything around me, dolla dolla bill ya’ll!” Holla!

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59 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 5:18 pm

Does it really?? Those sampling thieves ;)

I do love me some Wyclef though… Hung out with him once when he toured our college campus and was super chill. His whole posse hung with us for hours playing guitar, just chatting – really down to earth.

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60 lisa January 17, 2018 at 10:55 am

Sweden is very close to being cashless. Mobile apps are used for payments, even church collections. Unfortunately, as the millennials are being trained to go digital, they are getting very used to using online and mobile payments. As us older folk remember cash as king, the younger ones will not. And they’re so used to a digital age, that it is easy to introduce cashless societies and chips in phones/hands that are connected to their bank accounts.
I don’t wanna go Biblical here, but it’s been prophesied.

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61 Slow Dad January 17, 2018 at 11:44 am

Funny you should write about cashless society, I have been experimenting with this myself lately.

My experience was it helped me plug a budget black hole I didn’t realise I had, but I echo the sentiment that I’m less conscious of spending electronically than with cash.

For what it is worth cashless society would be great for coin collectors. No cash means no new coins, creating scarcity for those already existing. That would push prices up, great for existing collectors!

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62 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 5:23 pm

Probably true!! Haha…

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63 Mitchell Walker @thePouchPlan January 17, 2018 at 11:57 am

Hey J. I will take you up on triple point offer! Actually, I’m going to want 1.5x in brownie points as I’m going to convert you to a hybrid system.

1. Put all your “Regular” expenses on autopay from one bank account. “Regular” = fixed expenses (including savings) in accounting terms.
2. Deposit enough, but only enough, in that account to cover the Regular expenses that come due until your next paycheck. For most people this will amount to 40-70% of their monthly spending. Consider every dollar deposited to this account spent the moment it is deposited.
3. Withdraw the remainder of your pay in cash.
4. Divide the cash up into your “Irregular” expenses in the amounts you would like to spend on each in a perfect month.
5 Doll out the cash as needed. If you run out of cash in one category, you can decide which area of you spending life needs to take the hit to subsidize the shortfall in that area. (makes you decide if the overspending is a necessity, bad planning requiring an adjustment or just crappy willpower on your part)
6. Repeat for next paycheck

Here is why this works so well based on the semi-doomsday scenario you wrote about.

No electricity to transfer funds for a payment that is due? Not to worry, the bank or vendor cant tell you haven’t paid because their system is down too!
Even if they could tell you haven’t paid, they can’t come get your stuff because they don’t know up where you live because that too is only in some e data base.
Even the utilities can’t shut off your power because it is already off due to the zombies

So there you sit with your little pouch full of cash from which you can buy groceries and toilet paper. Pretty nice. And who knows, since you are one of the few shoppers with cash, the grocery store may be open to huge discounts on their perishables and frozen foods. So enjoy your flame grilled steak and lobster tonight that you bought for less than the mac & cheese was going for.

Upon official notification, I’ll shoot you my brownie point bank account number so you can send my winnings electronically.

Cordially,

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64 J. Money January 19, 2018 at 11:12 am

okay, that was GOOD haha…

I might need to share this in a future blog post, well played :)

pass me that brownie point bank account number!

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65 Lily @ The Frugal Gene January 17, 2018 at 12:36 pm

My husband always carry a $20 on him. On Monday we went out to eat for MLK day and our bill was just under 20. It was a small Asian hole in the wall so they didn’t accept cards under a threshold, I told Jared “alright honey, whip it out” and he’s like…”I stopped carrying the $20.” Ughhh!! We might be cashless but the rest of the world is still trying to figure out proper government. Until that, don’t depend on the electricity.

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66 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 5:23 pm

He needs to get back on it!!!

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67 [email protected] January 17, 2018 at 12:56 pm

I’ve been thinking a lot about this one lately. I also remember reading a blog post several years back that advised to have your plastic card with you when natural disaster strikes. What BS! the first thing that will stop when a disaster strikes, natural or not, is the electricity will go out. No electricity, no ATMs, no electronics, access to your money. Another scenario is hyper-inflation; yes, it happens and I lived through it once. This is why, I keep cash (a bit) and I have easy access to cold coins (small ones are easier to trade). Yeah, I’m really concerned about the state of the world.

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68 Debbie January 17, 2018 at 1:41 pm

Yes, you’re right about the electricity. Think about those poor people in Puerto Rico still without electricity all these months later after Hurricane Maria.

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69 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 5:24 pm

I know :( They’ve gone MONTHS without it now – crazy!!

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70 JoeHx January 17, 2018 at 1:56 pm

I definitely see your point, and I know my wife would whole-heartily agree with you (I joke that she likes to hide money around the house “just in case”). My only frustration with having cash on hand is that it’s not working for me. And in the event of something catastrophic or apocalyptic like a zombie uprising, would cash have any value at all?

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71 Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life January 17, 2018 at 2:14 pm

I’m terrible at carrying cash and terrible at not spending it so I avoid it BUT I would never want a cashless society. I’ve seen BSG and Gattaca, I don’t want every action of mine to be networked and linked and trackable!

And of course in a disaster situation, a credit card would be useless. I do wonder if even cash will matter in certain situations where communications are down and help is far away. I tend to think that in those situations, our skills are going to be worth more than any THING we had, except food and medical supplies.

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72 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 5:26 pm

I think you’re going to be right. And sadly most of us has forgotten/never learned how to do basic things because there’s always the internet to teach us!! (Except when there’s not, womp womp…)

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73 Krystal @ Simple Finance Mom January 17, 2018 at 2:26 pm

This keeps coming up in conversation in my real life. Even Chuck E. Cheese uses a card now instead of tangible tokens. Check my Instagram, I promise! It is kind of surreal to think about where our nation might be in twenty or thirty years when it comes to cash versus cards versus virtual money.

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74 Mike Ingram January 17, 2018 at 4:24 pm

I have gone the opposite direction where I am using cash more often. I had an episode last year where my bank shut down my account (had business and personal accounts with the same bank) due to suspicious activity. It took one month to clear it all up. Meanwhile, they did not care that my bills were due and that I needed money from the accounts to pay them. That taught me a lesson – always have cash, at least to pay 2 month’s expenses. If all your money is in the “system” be afraid. They can play games with you anytime. They take first, then they will explain later – without any regard to how that affects your finances or credit.

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75 J. Money January 17, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Whahhhhh!! They are the KING of coins! What kid wants to swipe a card?? You need those tokens jingling in your pockets! :)

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76 Debbie January 18, 2018 at 4:50 am

Chuck E Cheese? I’d rather have a root canal then go there! LOL

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77 Mrs. Picky Pincher January 17, 2018 at 5:30 pm

Oops, I’m so guilty of this. I’ve never really been one to carry a lot of cash. I love the added security of purchasing with cards. I’ve had my wallet stolen a few times and, aside from the annoyance of getting a new driver’s license, I didn’t lose any money. I agree that a balanced approach is probably best!

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78 Fritz @ The Retirement Manifesto January 17, 2018 at 5:48 pm

I’ve always been a fan of keeping some Emergency Cash on hand. I try to target close to month’s spending. Peace of mind, and doesn’t cost much in today’s low interest rate environment. And, oh yeah, I also keep gold coins! I hope I never need them, but I have them if things go apeshipcrazyouttacontrol.

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79 J. Money January 19, 2018 at 11:01 am

I WANT TO SEE YOUR COINS!!! Are they modern ones, or older ones?? The moderns are only good for the metal, but the older ones could be worth much more in collector value :)

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80 Tonya January 17, 2018 at 9:42 pm

I can’t remember what I was listening to on the radio, but with the fairly recent hurricane impacting Houston, there was mention of how people were having a hard time getting what they needed even if they were able to find it because they could not use debit or credit cards for several days (weeks?) due to power outages. This is terrifying! We definitely have emergency savings in a bank account but I hadn’t thought about keeping cash for a natural disaster or a situation where I may not be able to access cash from a bank account.

Also, dolla dolla bills y’all, Wyclef Jean.

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81 J. Money January 19, 2018 at 11:02 am

Exactly.. If you’re in Puerto Rico right now (and especially RIGHT when they got hit), you’re dealing with this for months and not even days or weeks – it’s freaky… And of course once you realize you *need* cash it’s too late and everyone else is needing it at the same time! So good to stash some aside now before the chaos hits ;)

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82 Moshe Chayon January 18, 2018 at 12:09 am

I’m sure offline transaction can be made with crypto. We need to have a system that saves a snapshot of your balance and some way to forward a new link in the blockchain. I don’t know that much about bitcoins but it seems logical that we would have fail-safes.

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83 J. Money January 19, 2018 at 11:03 am

you would still need electricity for all that though, no?

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84 Frankie January 18, 2018 at 2:22 am

Fascinating to think about – cash definitely helps with the self-control aspect, the impact of physically handing over your hard earned dollars can makes you pause and think. But I love how easy it is to track what you spend digitally, just download the credit card transactions and you can analysis everything so easily!

Perhaps a combination of the two would work well? You make payments with a card, but see some holographic coins floating out of the card? Admittedly holographic coins are absolutely no help in an apocalyptic scenario….

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85 J. Money January 19, 2018 at 11:05 am

HAH! It would not be, but it sure would make for a helluva experience the 99.9999% of other times in life :) I think we need to explore this!!

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86 jen13 January 18, 2018 at 7:59 am

The point has already been made but there will be an electronic record of everything you buy. There would be no hiding of assets. The government would know the gold and silver coins you’ve bought or how many guns you have etc.

With no cash how would people buy their weed? Or gamble with friends, Sunday night football or Friday night poker. I think we need to think about this some more.

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87 J. Money January 19, 2018 at 11:06 am

Haha agreed… Cash ain’t going nowhere anytime soon…

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88 PJ January 20, 2018 at 5:25 pm

Years ago we had a deadly F4 tornado go through our area. In many spots power was out for over a week. What we learned from that is how important it is to also keep small denominations and change on hand. You need dollar bills to purchase some small items because change for larger bills quickly ran out at the stores and they couldn’t take credit cards. I try to keep at least $500 in singles stocked away and at least $100 in change. They take up more space but they can come in handy during natural disasters.

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89 J. Money January 22, 2018 at 1:22 pm

YES!!! EXACTLY!!!

And glad you escaped okay to be able to share this with others!! :)

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90 ZJ Thorne January 23, 2018 at 11:17 pm

Also, it is important to have small denominations in case of emergencies. If that $500 bill is all you have and you need a tank of gas to get your family to safety, well… If power is out for a few days, there won’t be ATMs. Enough around to cover anything that absolutely must be purchased in that time will give you peace of mind. Or just always have enough food in your house to be able to shelter in place for awhile. A pantry is a good investment. ;)

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91 Darcie February 2, 2018 at 2:40 am

The Canadian government tracks all cash deposits and bill payments at banks, so it is extremly difficult to live on the proceeds of illegal business and avoid paying taxes. We are very close to living cashless like Sweden does. However, this results in higher bank fees for people. Japanese on the other hand rarely use plastic despite being a technology superpower, maybe for a few that exactly reason?

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92 J. Money February 2, 2018 at 10:03 am

That’s def. interesting!

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93 Jesi April 26, 2018 at 10:32 am

Mr money. Are gift cards a good idea. An other form of cash if cash loses value….

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94 J. Money April 26, 2018 at 11:22 am

I like the creativity there, but if cash loses value I’m pretty sure most businesses and their gift cards will also be in trouble as well :) They still make for great gift ideas though! (I LOVE getting gift cards, no matter how faux pas it may be, haha…)

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