A few days ago, millions of people in Australia could not get access to their own money for a whole weekend. According to news reports, a computer glitch at National Australia Bank, one of Australia’s largest banks, caused ATMs to freeze. See article
What does this have to do with us here in the US? This can happen anywhere. Many people rely on using debit or credit cards for daily transactions. I used to rely on them as well. Think for a moment what would happen if you lost access to your own money. You would need food and gas and not be able to buy anything. If you have been preparing, then you would be fortunate to have food and gas on hand. But if not, then you are at the mercy of the bank being able to fix their computer glitch. It’s a good idea to set aside a small amount of cash just in case something like the Australian bank glitch happens.
Money is tight for many of us and it is hard to come up with extra cash to set aside. Here are some ideas on how to build up a small cash fund to keep around the house:
- Keep all “found money” in a change jar. Even if you find a penny on the ground, save it in the jar
- Use coupons at the supermarket, but keep coupon savings in cash. If you had a $1 off coupon, then save that $1 in your emergency cash fund.
- Sign up to get email updates from Staff of TopClassActions.com The updates notify about class action suits against large companies that you more than likely bought from. If you find out you are a participant, class action lawsuits pay from a few cents to a few dollars. I have no connection to this site but I actually got a couple of dollars and change from a recent Dannon yogurt settlement.
- Sign up for any product rebates you qualify for. When you receive the check, cash it and save it in your cash stash.
- Conserve water and electricity; when you get the bill that is lower than your budgeted amount, even if it’s a few cents, save the difference and take it out in cash.
- Call your cable, phone and cell phone provider and ask the rep to go over your bill. Review each service you are paying for, and ask for help in trying to lower your bill. Or, consider moving to a lower cost plan. Set aside your savings in the cash fund.
How much money you will need to set aside depends on your family’s expenses and what you feel comfortable keeping in the house.