CNN/MONEY: Money Under the Mattress?"
How much money, you ask? Well, enough for me to feel (for lack of a more precise term) moderately "secure" about it. More than two dollars. Less then two thousand.
Where do I keep it?
Uhhh ... hidden. (And no, it's NOT under our mattress.)
Am I a crazy, "end times are a-comin'" nutjob?
Rather, I'm a realist. I like to be prepared for various contingencies.
You Just Never Know
Yes, I'm quite familiar with FDIC insurance. I'm glad it's there. After what happened to my grandparents' generation in the 1930s, FDIC insurance serves a vital purpose. It's there to stabilize the financial system; i.e., to prevent bank runs. Pure and simple.
In the article above, author Gerri Willis notes:
If you're over the limit, spread out your money at different institutions, or consider joining a credit union. Credit unions are just as safe as banks. Instead of the FDIC guarantee, you have the National Credit Union Association to back up your accounts.
One of the worst moves you could make is pulling your money out of a regulated institution and holding the cash yourself.
I'm good with all that. You'll note that I haven't yanked ALL my money out of any of my banks; rather, I just keep a little chunk very close to home. It wouldn't take an all-out financial-system meltdown for that "little chunk" to come in handy, after all.
Suppose banks DID end up being temporarily closed for some reason. Hey — at this point, I'm willing to take NO possible outcomes off the table. Not next week. Not next year. In such a case, I'd be somewhat relieved to have a cash stash readily available. (Key word: "somewhat")
ATM network failure? Sure. Could happen. Terrorist attack, maybe? Computer virus gets a running start from Europe, perhaps? Neither one seems so outlandish to me.
Or maybe the scenario's even worse: Maybe the pizza guy shows up at my door ... and I can't find my wallet.
Yup. Again, "mattress cash" would be handy. Bank failures are nasty, but ticked-off pizza guys?
Whew. Good luck to ya.
In any case, it simply seems to me to be a good idea to keep some cash handy at the ol' homestead.
ATM's are a divine invention, certainly. But foolproof?
The realist in me says "Nope!"