Why You Should Always have $40 Hidden in Your Car or Wallet

Spread the love

This post is by Bernie Carr, apartmentprepper.com

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.


If you found value in the article, please help us keep this site free by supporting Apartment Prepper on Patreon. Click here: https://www.patreon.com/apartmentprepper No worries if you are not able to, I’ll still keep writing!



Spread the love


    1. Hey John, That’s smart, keeping your cash in small bills. The waterproof case is a great idea too. Thanks for the comment!

    1. Everyone has a few of those empty prescription bottles, that’s a good use for them. That’s a great idea JayJay! Thanks for the comment!

  1. This is a good idea but I think the 40.00 number is to low. a couple of hundred would be a better number to shoot for. Put aside 5.00 a pay check( we should all be able to afford that ) and in a year you will have 250.00 That would cover gas,food or a hotel room if needed or maybe even a small car repair. Just remember what that money is for. As was said its not for lunch or snacks or coffee in the morning ect. Once its put away it is for 1 purpose only.

    1. Hey poorman, You are right, $40 is low, it is more of a starting point for people who have never thought about having cash on hand. I’d prefer having a couple of hundred as you said, and it is a great plan to keep adding $5 every paycheck. Thanks for the comment!

  2. Jason Hanson says to keep at least a $100 dollar bill in your wallet. He’s a former CIA employee. He says no matter where you are in the world a $100 dollar bill will get you anything in an emergency. Jason Hanson.com.

    1. That is good advice Ann! Although the article indicates $40, that is just a starting point. I would encourage anyone to work up to $100. Thanks for the comment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *