This post is by Bernie Carr,
Back in 2010 I wrote about how a bank glitch in Australia kept people from getting access to their money for an entire weekend. At the time nothing like that has happened here in the U.S. But something similar has now happened here.
A major U.S. bank had a glitch
Capital One recently had a bank glitch that kept people from being able to use the funds in their bank account. According to Fox Business, on Friday, 11/1, many Capital One customers were unable to access their bank accounts or use their debit cards. With Friday being payday for many people, customers were frustrated when they could not utilize their paychecks in their accounts to make payments.
Fortunately, the issue was resolved a few hours later, and people were again able to utilize their accounts. Not being able to access their money caused a lot of issues for some. One lady reported being stranded in the gas station, unable to get gas for a car that was on empty and ultimately losing out on a whole day’s work.
Keep some emergency cash
This is one situation where an emergency cash stash can help.
Keep $20-$40 in your car’s glove box, or hidden in your wallet just for emergencies.
- If you can’t afford to set aside $40, start with just $5 and keep adding when you are able to.
- Don’t use it to buy snacks or eat out for lunch.
- Don’t count it as spending money and only use it when an emergency happens.
- Replenish the cash as soon as you use it.
In the event of a power or bank outage, security breach or even ID theft that causes your accounts to get frozen, you may lose access to your own funds. If you have at least $40 hidden away, you won’t be stranded somewhere unable to pay for gas or food in case electronic transactions are unavailable.
For tips on accumulating a cash stash, see Build Your Cash Emergency Fund.
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