Monday, May 04, 2009

Mattress Money

Mattress Stash!
Okay, I admit it: I've made a practice of keeping some money "under my mattress."

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?

Not usually.

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:

And remember, if you think your bank might be in trouble, don't panic. As long as your bank is a member of the FDIC, your money is protected up to certain limits. Through the end of this year, individual accounts are fully protected up to $250,000, and the same goes for all retirement accounts, including IRAs.

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!"

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— Posted by Michael @ 8:42 AM


I agree that it is important to keep some money at home for emergencies. Just make sure that it is in small bills - cash registers might not work if the electricity goes out.



I can see that being effective. The same way people carry a hidden $20 in their wallet just in case they are strapped. Having extra cash lying around can be really helpful for that random time when you just might need it.


i think you're on the right track, really. Keeping some cash nearby sounds like a great idea. Wish I had some to keep w/me!!!!

Anonymous Dana C.
, at 4:21 PM, May 05, 2009  

I used to do that. Then I had a cash-flow crisis one month and ended up spending it. But it's a great idea, and I want to replenish my stash one of these days.

I also have a very small amount of gold (which I'll mention because i'm anonymous right now). Unfortunately very small, because the gold prices went sky-high before I could buy any more. But gold makes a terrible investment, because the only time you can sell at a profit is the very time you don't want to sell it.

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