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My question is rather specific, how much cash is "ideal" to have for a family of 4 with no debt?

By "cash" I mean the green stuff, not pm's, not IOU's, NOT in the bank and not on plastic.

By "have" I mean in your possession but not necessarily on your person and definitely NOT in the bank.

Before you say the more the merrier - please consider that if you have "too much cash" and you are caught with it it may be confiscated by your local authorities (if you can't prove when and how you got it). If you think that a receipt from your bank from last week is good you are likely correct but what about the receipt from last year or 5 years ago?

Please also keep in mind that if you want to use your cash currently it can be difficult buying big ticket items. In 2020 I wanted to use some cash to buy a new car and they had a limit of $5 or 6k.

One last thing to keep in mind you can keep a lot of cash at home but there is always the possibility of a fire, robbery or a family member stumbling on it and yes you can buy a safe or better yet a fireproof safe or even better yet a hidden fireproof safe but then it gets more and more expensive & complicated.

So my (not so) simple question is in todays world we all should have some cash, how much cash is ideal please feel free to explain your thought process.
 

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5k has been the magic number for me and 4 other family members. I think you can handle most situations at 5k or less before you can access more cash.

If you wanted to go higher like I've considered, think about stashing in a shed, pump house, barn, or just a separate building from the main house to avoid a total loss of on hand cash.
 

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50 or 100 grand, that equates to a few years expenses. If there is a banking collapse coming, which I believe there is, else why would so many governments have passed bail-in laws in the past 3 or 4 years, then any money you have in the bank will be 'gone' anyway. This happened in the 1930's didn't it, back in a time when government and banking was a lot more 'proper' than they are today. Lol, the people unconcerned with a collapse of this sector, are typically those with nothing to lose.
 

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Before you say the more the merrier - please consider that if you have "too much cash" and you are caught with it it may be confiscated by your local authorities (if you can't prove when and how you got it). If you think that a receipt from your bank from last week is good you are likely correct but what about the receipt from last year or 5 years ago?
Even if you prove where you got the cash, they can confiscate it if they choose. Then you have to sue to get it back, and they don't pay your attorney fees.

Not worried about bank failures, end of the world or any of that. More concerned with what just happened in Canada, with their Internet outage, so we keep it reasonable. Local gas station I frequent daily (call me Joe 6-Pack) lost power for a few hours last summer. I did not have cash on me and likely didn't at home either ... fortunately he's old-school, so he gave me credit until the next day. Have since fixed that.
 

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If you have no debt, what are your monthly expenses?

What are your yearly expenses?

I'm comfortable with $1,000 in cash that would cover a lot of items for us.

Car repairs are one that we've hit it for when something happened over the weekend.



My question is rather specific, how much cash is "ideal" to have for a family of 4 with no debt?
 

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Most Financial Planers I have spoken with desire their customers to have 3 months of bills liquid and easily attainable. This DOES NOT include your retirement accounts.

If you have a mortgage, two vehicle payments, utilities, groceries, other various bills, kids/teenagers.... that amount quickly grows to $10,000-$15,000....maybe $20k+. I am aware of many people that purchased houses in the $1M-$1.5M range with a mortgage around $7k a month and they don't have the monthly disposable income to buy furniture. Too many Americans are WAY over-extended.

I don't know many people that have that much in savings or hidden in a sock. According to the internet, 62% of Americans live month to month. That other 38% have an average of $5,600 cash liquid. That basically means Americans are in deep poo poo. Heap on top of this.... The average credit card debt is nearly $6,000.... that's per adult, not per household. Deep, deep poo poo.....

Personally, I have four months and then I have about $5,000 in Silver at current values and I have zero credit card debt. It took many, many years to change from living in debt and month to month and saving all this up. It doesn't happen overnight for most people, as there are few Trust Fund Babies out there..... (and the ones out there have already blown their dough).

Get discipled and be focused and patient.



.......
 
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Fleet Bank had a major computer glitch that lasted a couple of weeks back in 1998, that not only froze the money already in my checking and savings accounts, but froze my direct deposits as well.

Thankfully I had three (3) months of cash in my safe deposit box (see note below) to weather my family through that storm, but it also realize that it might not be enough, as well as realize that currency alone might not be wise choice.

As a result, I doubled the monetary amount to six months, and placed a few ounces of precious metals along with it.

Unless it is a high end fire rated safe, most home safes are not sufficient for burglary or fire, to protect paper and media. This is why I choose a safe deposit box to protect high value items. Though I do keep some cash in a 1 hour fire rated home safe.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
If you have no debt, what are your monthly expenses?

What are your yearly expenses?

I'm comfortable with $1,000 in cash that would cover a lot of items for us.

Car repairs are one that we've hit it for when something happened over the weekend.
It adds up quickly, we budget a $1000 for medical and we are healthy.
 

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Think alternate economy. You need a means to generate cash. Spend cash to invest in a means to get more cash. Keep all that cash out of the bank. (Of course, report all income to comply with state and federal laws) You will need to stay home before shtf or else a desperate person will rob you. You probably should already should be keeping someone at home.
 

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A safe deposit box is totally useless if the bank(s) are closed and you cannot access it when you need it most , and what if the bank never re-opens? Yes there are risks of having it "at home" , but there are (IMHO) more risks with a safe deposit box.
 
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