…until it is not.
Cash Is King….
A comment on my post about incoming price changes for our stuff made the point that cash will be useless in a SHTF situation. In short that you are better off converting extra cash into tangible assets while you can.
I don’t disagree. Much. I am a big advocate of tangible assets over intangible assets like “money” and “investments” that only exist in a computer somewhere. My post from 2019 still holds true today: The Four Gs Of Investing In 2020. The four Gs in question are guns (and ammo), gold (precious metals in general), grub (long term shelf stable foods) and ground (real estate property). What makes them all similar is that you can touch them for real. Silver coins are not going to disappear when the internet shuts down, unlike your checking account or cryptocurrency. They can’t create new ground like they do money. You get the idea.
So what about cash?
Cash, paper money, is only valuable insofar as everyone agrees that it is. The full faith and credit of the U.S. is the punchline to a bad joke right now and when it goes tits up? Cash will be useful for wiping your hind end or as a firestarter and not much else. You are much better off having stuff that has intrinsic value.
When the shit hits the fan, there will likely be a period of some length between the beginning of the collapse and things going completely sideways. Maybe a week, maybe a month or more. During that time I imagine that we will see a gradual deterioration of services like credit/debit card processing, banking in general, and the EBT/food stamp system. Especially for smaller, local merchants, this might be a time when they will stop taking electronic payment either because the system won’t be working or they don’t trust that they will be able to access those funds readily from their bank. But people are still deeply conditioned to see cash as having value. Prices will go up rapidly, you might need to offer $200 to fill up your vehicle but again people are psychologically conditioned to assume things will go back to normal, whatever the evidence might say otherwise. Many of them will, at least initially, be willing to take cash even if they won’t take your card.
Imagine some sort of scenario where things are deteriorating in the cities in a hurry and the banking system is largely shut down. Your local Bubba at the gas station still has fuel but it is going in a hurry. If you want to top the fuel off in all of your vehicles and gas cans, you would be well advised to have some cash to work with because Bubba the rural gas station owner won’t be quite to the point of considering precious metal or barter. At least not right away.
So I recommend having some stacks of cash on hand, at least $500 but better to have more if you can afford it. This shouldn’t take the place of the 4 Gs but rather be a supplement to it. If you have to choose between having cash and having ammo, have the ammo. But if you can swing it, set some cash aside periodically and don’t touch it. Ten bucks here, twenty bucks there, and it adds up in a hurry.
It is all part of a strategy of not having all of your eggs in one basket and preparing for any eventuality because no one knows what will happen exactly or how. Get some cash on hand, have the 4 Gs, stock up on stuff for barter like extra toilet paper and bottles of booze.
The more you diversify your preps, the better off you will be when you eventually need them and having some extra cash on hand just makes sense.