Author Topic: How much cash is too much?  (Read 2189 times)

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oceanus

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How much cash is too much?
« on: December 23, 2012, 04:48:16 PM »
I was having lunch the other day with a brother and we got into a discussion about different peoples’ habits of carrying/not carrying cash and also keeping cash in their homes.

I usually carry $20 cash in my wallet.  I use my debit and/or credit cards for purchases.  I keep maybe $50 cash at home, often less.  If I’m going to need more cash I know in advance and will go to the ATM.

My brother and I were discussing our deceased father, who carried a lot of cash.  He was never mugged/robbed.  My brother then said his wife usually has no cash on her, but he said “I never leave the house without at least $1,000.”  I said I thought that was foolish, and asked “Why?”  He just smiled and shrugged.

Apparently this isn’t all that unusual.  My aunt and uncle mentioned once that they keep a rather large amount of cash at home (they have a safe).  But – I can’t help but wonder under what circumstances a person would need to keep (what I consider to be) a large amount of cash.  I remember once I had slightly over $1,200 on me and I was very nervous about it – couldn’t wait to get to the bank to deposit/get rid of it.

What precipitated the discussion was a series on one of the local news stations.  A former burglar was telling people how to protect their homes and valuables.   For example, he said most people foolishly keep cash in the woman’s lingerie drawer, and he said the best place to keep cash and jewelry is a floor safe, and most home invasions are during the day (which I knew).  They usually work as a crew in coveralls/uniforms, but sometimes wear business suits and carry a clipboard.

Anyway, just wondering about opinions about a sensible vs unwise amount of cash to carry or keep in the home.


« Last Edit: December 23, 2012, 05:23:57 PM by oceanus »

CakeBeret

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #1 on: December 23, 2012, 04:56:58 PM »
I don't carry more cash than I can comfortably lose. I generally carry less than $20 and often nothing; I'm fairly uncomfortable carrying more than $50.  If I need to take a larger cash deposit to the bank, I go straight there and refuse to make any stops along the way.
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oceanus

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #2 on: December 23, 2012, 05:06:28 PM »
I also don't carry my checkbook (I write very few checks anyway), or social security card with me.  I leave all that at home.

I keep a few dollars in my wallet secret compartment, for "just in case" money.

kckgirl

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #3 on: December 23, 2012, 05:17:32 PM »
I don't have any money at home, and rarely have more than $10-20 with me. Most of the time, I pay with my debit card or do without.
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Luci

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2012, 05:29:18 PM »
I get $500 every couple of months. We live in a small town, and I prefer to use cash for purchases at every place but Walmart - small businesses, you know.

When we were in Staten Island NY recently, because it was a long way from home, I had my 3 credit cards and about $1000 in my wallet in my purse, over my shoulder!  We took the train, ferry, and subway to Manhatten. When I realized what I had, Lucas put most of it in his front pants pocket - trust me, he would notice a pick-pocket even as crowded as it was!

The other day, I had $1100 dollars because we give the grandchildren cash for Christmas - even here at home, I was a little nervous.

I'm sticking with a $500 max and $100 minimum except on vacation over 500 miles from home, then maybe $1000, some hidden in the motorhome.

JoW

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2012, 05:37:26 PM »
I get $100 at the ATM any time I have less than $40 on me.  But if I'm doing something where I know I won't need much cash I'll leave all but about $20 at home.  I don't carry my social security card or checkbook.  The PIN for my ATM card isn't in my wallet.

I once saw a tv show with a security presentation by a female police officer.  She said you should hid your cash and other valuables in a box of feminine hygiene products under the bathroom sink.  Most thieves are men, and most men won't touch those things. 

oceanus

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #6 on: December 23, 2012, 05:40:53 PM »
As much as I like the convenience of ATMs, I have to admit using them sometimes makes me nervous.  I took out $200 recently (gifts to put in several young relatives cards) and I noticed several people waiting in their cars to use the machines (or maybe just watching), people driving/walking by, etc.

Carotte

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #7 on: December 23, 2012, 05:44:45 PM »
I have mostly 50€ bank notes, so I usually have one, two max if I just got my allowance and didn't put it in my room. I always try to have a bit of cash, bills go in my wallet, coins end up in the bottom of my bag, unless I know I'm making a big purchase (I'll carry more) or if I know I won't need anything I'm ok with a 5€ note or nothing.

SamiHami

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2012, 05:47:40 PM »
Usually around $20 or so cash, but I use my debit card for most things. I personally think it is foolish to carry around large sums of cash on a regular basis (and to me $1000 is definitely a large sum of cash). It's just not necessary to carry cash nowadays.

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oceanus

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #9 on: December 23, 2012, 05:50:17 PM »
Quote
I have mostly 50€ bank notes,

What's that in US currency?

Amara

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #10 on: December 23, 2012, 05:54:56 PM »
But – I can’t help but wonder under what circumstances a person would need to keep (what I consider to be) a large amount of cash.

Living in earthquake country, I do keep cash in the car and house. The amount varies. It is highly recommended because if there is a big one grocery stores and gas stations are not going to be able to take cards, and they won't take checks in all likelihood. Plus, I prefer to pay in cold, hard cash (rather than debit cards or checks) anyway. More privacy. 

kherbert05

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #11 on: December 23, 2012, 06:03:17 PM »
For me it is a trade off. What am I willing to lose, if I get robbed vs. cash on hand for emergencies. I have a set amount I put in my Hurricane kit* each June 1st. Then each week I add the what is left over from my cash budget that week. End of November that money becomes my Christmas budget. If we are "in the cone" I take out enough money so that I have $1000 with me if a storm hits. No electricity, no internet, no phones means credit/debit cards don't work. I put the money back after the danger has passed.




*Another thing I do with the Hurricane kit is rotate the canned/shelf stable food. I donate about 1/2 the kit each month to a food pantry and buy new food for the kit. That way the food doesn't go to waste (it still has months when I donate it). 
 
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Carotte

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #12 on: December 23, 2012, 06:06:42 PM »
Quote
I have mostly 50€ bank notes,

What's that in US currency?

I just checked, that's around 65$,  I do feel weird because it's a 'big' note so I try to have some spare change when I'm out shopping, so that I don't need to break  that with a single item grocery trip.
I'm also not very fond of ATMs if they're not inside a bank, I worry to much about skimmers.

oceanus

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2012, 06:31:40 PM »
I forgot - I toss my loose change  (no quarters) into a container in the freezer and take it to a 'Coinstar' machine every few months.  $10 - $15.  I usually use it for lottery tickets.

Burglars don't want to bother with that.

From what I've learned, they want to be in/out in 5 minutes or less.  They don't want to riffle thru a lot of stuff.  However, the show I saw said a surprising number of people keep a wad of cash in a cookie jar or other canister in the kitchen.

rose red

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Re: How much cash is too much?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2012, 06:44:16 PM »
I usually don't carry more than $100.  I carry more if going to Vegas, but not other vacation spots.