With all that is going on in America right now — a global pandemic, hurricanes in the Southwest, fire infernos in the West, and a struggling economy — there is a lot of uncertainty in our country. As a result, people are wondering how best to prepare for unforeseen circumstances that may come their way. One way that people are preparing for uncertainty is by creating a safety net of cash-on-hand.
Cash as a Safety Net
In the event of a natural disaster or other catastrophic event, having cash on hand is one way to ensure security. Advocates for a cashless society often tout the advantages of digital payment technology and the use of debit or credit cards for payment. But, what happens if digital payment systems go down during a crisis? Cash is the answer.
If the power goes out during a natural disaster or other tragic event, having access to digital payment systems may very well go down. Without access to power or the internet, digital payment systems are effectively useless. Including a supply of cash in your emergency kit means you’ll have the money you need to buy goods and services while the power is down.
Cash is Still King
According to the Federal Reserve’s report 2019 Findings from the Diary of Consumer Payment Choice, “Consumers used cash in 26 percent of transactions.” Additionally cash, “was used heavily for small-value payments, representing 49 percent of payments under $10.”
For those needing to create new household or emergency budgets due to a slow in the U.S. economy over the past six months, cash can help people from overspending. According to a 2019 survey from GoBankingRates, “When asked why they prefer using cash, nearly 39% of Americans said it’s because cash helps them avoid overspending and allows them to stay on budget. This was the most popular reason chosen among respondents who favor paper money.”
Respondents of the GoBankingRates survey also cited cash’s safety as a reason for their preference of using cash. “Of the respondents who chose cash as their preferred method of payment, 34% said cash is safer and protects them from fraud. Interestingly, female respondents were more likely to select this reasoning than male respondents, with 34% of women choosing this response versus only 24% of men.”
Given these uncertain times, it makes sense that cash is being touted as one of the safest options for paying for goods and services.