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Saturday, May 18, 2013

No Cash, no Sale



My lovely wife and I were picking a few things up at a store. We got to the check out and there were a bunch of people just milling around. The cashier asked if we had cash as the credit card system was down. We had enough cash for our purchases so we settled up and left. The other people there were all paying by one type of card or another so they couldn't buy anything.

Now some people like to have gold or silver as a backup for when the plastic cards don't work any more. That's all well and good as long term strategy, but the cashier wasn't taking precious metals. Cash, on the other hand, was perfect. Yes, I know there are some small business owners out there that would happily barter precious metals for their goods, but they are the exception. For your average purchase when plastic won't work, cash is the thing.

With all the solar flares popping off lately, there's a chance that satellites and power systems necessary for electronic purchases might get disabled. Keep a bit of cash available for any last minute purchases.
I don't normally go around with big wads of folding money, but I don't feel comfortable unless I have some. Maybe I'll have to buy some food or fuel in an emergency. Batteries, candles, and lighters won't stay on the shelves long either. Those with cash can score some last minute supplies.

In a long term disaster, cash won't be any good either. The thing is, few of us will know if the problems are short term or long term. From a person's perspective on the ground, they can't tell if it's a local temporary power outage or if a CME has taken out the National grid for years. Don't be that guy hanging around the check out, waiting for your credit card to work again.

-Sixbears

15 comments:

  1. Now that my cash reserves are at an all time low, I couldn't agree with you more! :-)

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    1. I didn't say I had much cash, only that I had some. :)

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  2. No worries mate. Since our cruising days we've always tried to keep a couple thousand on hand in small bills. To include a fair amount in coinage.

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    1. Good idea. It's surprising what gets stowed away on a small sailboat.

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    2. Used to stash ziplocks with $500 in each in various hidden spots around the boat. When we sold it, found a forgotten one.
      Talk about hidden treasure !

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    3. Could have been a hidden treasure for the new owner!

      Once bought a van from a guy kept looking for any missing drug stash.

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  3. Replies
    1. Thanks. Of course, you'd deal in precious metals at your shop, wouldn't you?

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  4. Great advice!I wish my kids would keep cash. When they want a coke they have to be at a place that takes a card.I dont have a credit or debt cards i went cash only years ago.On mondays i top my pocket money back to 100$.Most weeks i still have 75 left.Cards let people spend without thinking.

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    1. For some reason spending cash feels more "real."

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  5. When we were on our trip and the RV broke down, they would only take cash. Sure glad my wife had some on hand. Now I got to pay her back.

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    1. I lent a buddy of mine some cash once as the antique store offered a 40% discount for cash.

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    2. Yes I did.


      However, if you lend money and never see the person again, it was probably worth the money.

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  6. When a tornado tore up our town, an exbf was helping with things I could not handle on my own. The electricity went off for five days, and so did the gas pumps. Before the tornado his.I asked him to let me borrow money to put gas in my car. He put in $30 worth. That saved me.

    After that, there was no gas to be had for love nor money. I needed no money because the stores were not open right away. The next day, I bought a generator from a local store with no electricity, heavy-duty extension cords, and other electrical things I had to figure out how to use on my own.

    He had gone home only to be greeted by a tornado in his town 65 miles away that knocked out the electricity there! His credit card saved me since all the stores I needed to get electrical power took credit cards and somehow used the telephone to verify them since their connection with the card reader was down.

    They took cash, credit cards, and checks. THAT surprised me! They even allowed me to use his cc information without the card being present. They said the card reader did not work anyway.

    All the banks were open, allowing one person at a time to come in and do business. Major chains opened with generators brought in on trailers that were left in the parking lot out back.

    My experience goes against everything I have ever heard about emergencies and power loss.

    The strangest thing happened. The electricity would come on after five days and go off again until ten days later it all stayed on. I went to the service station to get more gas. The lights were on and the doors were locked. However, the gas pumps were on and the credit cards worked. So, one man allowed many of us with cash to use his card and hand him cash. I don't know when or how he managed to cut the line off and refuse to help anymore. It turned out, the owners went home from the gas station when the electricity went off and were not aware it had come back on.

    However, if the grocery store has computer problems during a non-emergency situation, they cannot sell anything!

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