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Old 08-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #41
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We use cash-back credit cards for everything possible, including some bills. It's free money that really adds up. Any merchant that doesn't accept credit cards doesn't get our business. We usually take $200-300 cash on trips, just out of habit. But we usually return with most of it still unspent. Right now, we have about $250 in the house from a trip several months ago. When we travel internationally, we use cash at smaller, local merchants, where the risk of credit card fraud is high. Last time I can remember using cash was to pay for offsite parking at a baseball game several weeks ago. DW and I usually have less than $20 on our person.

Retired at 52 in July 2013. On to better things...

AA: 45% stock, 35% bonds, 15% real estate, 5% cash
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:24 PM   #42
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I guess I fit in with all you tight wads. I normally carry around $60 or so in the wallet and keep around $1000 at the house. I do like cash and it helps in a crunch.

If a crook knew how to identify the Skin Flint ER bunch...we would be exempted from all holdups at the liquor store...

"I either want less corruption, or more chance to participate in it." Ashleigh Brilliant
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:39 PM   #43
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I never kept money at home, just what I had in my wallet which would be between 0 and 300 depending on how long it had been since I visited an ATM.

Then 9-11 and the blackout of 2003 happened, so I started to keep 1000 or so at home, in 20s.

It has come in handy despite not having any more emergencies since 2003. Usually for paying tradesmen in cash and getting a discount.
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:41 PM   #44
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Usually a few hundred bucks at home, rarely more than $100 in my wallet. As much as a techie as I am, I am slowly becoming more and more of a Luddite as it seems like high-profile hacking is becoming a weekly event, so I'm doing more with cash and checks than I used to even a year ago.
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)
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Old 08-21-2014, 03:50 PM   #45
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I am an outlier. I carry 2500 usd in cash in my wallet in Ben franklins. That's 25 bens folded nicely. New and crispy ones. I seldom spend that stash during daily life.

I keep about 5000 usd cash at home in a buried spot in the Back yard too. I like cash.

Have come across many deals in my life where waiving cash gets an easy 20 to 30 percent discount over writing a check. It's negotiation leverage that costs almost nothing.

I also like knowing that I can provide for my family if something not good happens. Not a prepper or doomsdayer. Just always been this way.

Was worried as a kid that parents didn't have enough for groceries so started carrying to fend for myself. Been this way ever since.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:02 PM   #46
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Originally Posted by LOL! View Post
We had a situation where our bank at the time (Bank of America) prevented all withdrawals from our accounts for about 3 weeks including checks, ATM, and bill pay. That is, we had no access to getting any cash for 3 weeks.
Another reason not to use a giant, crappy, impersonal megabank!
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:12 PM   #47
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Originally Posted by 38Chevy454 View Post
Since I do old cars as hobby, I always have at least $1000-1500 cash ready for an "opportunity".
Same here. I normally keep about $2000 for the same reason. When an opportunity comes along, you have to close the deal right then and there with cash.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:33 PM   #48
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I use credit cards for most things but still carry $40-$200 in cash. Usually, when I get down towards $40 I start looking for an ATM to top it up to $200. Also, keep some cash around the house for potential emergencies.
If something cannot endure laughter.... it cannot endure.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:37 PM   #49
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$7k in hundreds, just because I had a habit of trying not to spend them, which went well with LBYM and my thrift genes. Now if someone pays rent in cash it gets entered into quicken and I fall into the old game of making $1k bundles. SO and I split random cash or checks that come in and she tends to have various stashes and wads spilling out of her purse(s). She buys her nicorette lozenges with cash so I don't know what they cost.. supposedly. Oh the games couples play.

May go look at a '97 BMW 318ti with California roof today 50 miles out from Roseburg Oregon in the middle of the woods, which would make cash handy. No town or ATMs (which I don't use anyway) and private car sales aren't usually done with checks. Could be a fun hearken back to her '61 VW bug with cloth moon roof.
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Old 08-21-2014, 04:47 PM   #50
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I never carry more than about $100 in cash. I used to go through it fairly quickly, but these days it lasts about a month before I refill from the ATM.

There are only a few items I still buy for cash - my barber, the local farmer for eggs, sometimes food, but most places take CCs now and the 1%-3% kickbacks are an incentive to use the card.

I also keep an "extra" $20 bill in my wallet, folded, behind the CCs. I ignore that it's there, but it's there if I need it. Useful self deception. I also keep a $20 in the car "just in case" as well.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:23 PM   #51
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$20-200 in bills and also a big jar of loose change at home.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:27 PM   #52
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$100 in deposit beer bottles in the garage.
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:31 PM   #53
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20-200 bucks

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Old 08-21-2014, 05:49 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by tuixiu View Post
We're almost same as this.

Pull out $300 when out of cash, except I'll usually take about $40 and stash the rest in our hiding spot. Wife and I will both pull about $40 at a time from there until no cash again, then repeat.
This is what we do. We have a hiding place (unknown to our kids) that we put the surplus. One of us will notice when taking the last bit out - and we'll decide who's going to hit the ATM next.. We pull out $300 usually every 3-4 weeks for 2 of us.

But, if we're travelling - we'll get cash up front, off schedule.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:52 PM   #55
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I carry $80-$300 in cash, don't usually keep more than $100 at home. DW will walk around with $5 which drives me nuts. I still don't like cc bills, although that's impractical now but I still pay cash for gasoline and most other stuff that doesn't have to be cc like online buying.

DW wrote up a nice spreadsheet to keep track of cc outstanding charges and other stuff so there are not surprises when they come in. On birthdays and Christmas surprises are good, other times not so much.
I heard the call to do nothing. So I answered it.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:55 PM   #56
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I use cash for nearly all transactions so I keep a good amount around. I only carry $50-$150 in my wallet unless I know i'll be spending more. I have at least $500 around the house. I'm self employed and some of the companies I work with don't do direct deposit so I have to go to the bank. Since i'm there anyway i'll get cash to bring home. If I get a $3000 check I may get $1000 in cash then I don't need to worry about going back to the bank for several months.
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:56 PM   #57
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For many years now, I do not have more than a few bucks in my wallet, and often have $0.

One time, while visiting the local library, I saw a couple of nice donated books that were put for sale by the library for $1. I had to go to my car to round up some quarters from the ashtray, but when I came back, somebody already beat me to those books!

Since then, I have tried to keep a few bucks in my wallet.
"Old age is the most unexpected of all things that can happen to a man" -- Leo Tolstoy
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Old 08-21-2014, 05:58 PM   #58
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I usually take $150 out of the ATM at the beginning of each month, though I typically don't spend it all in one month. I find myself using my credit card for as many transactions as possible and pay it off in full each month. This allows me to track my spending and avail myself of the cash back rewards.

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Old 08-21-2014, 06:44 PM   #59
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We keep $300 or so in the safe at home for emergency - the type where power is down and no access to ATMs. It occasionally gets raided to pay for service calls on the house. And we take it with us if we go on a long trip. So it has to be replenished occasionally.

We spend very little cash, but usually have at least $100 each. Visits to the ATM are very infrequent.
Well, I thought I was retired. But it seems that now I'm working as a travel agent instead!
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Old 08-21-2014, 07:16 PM   #60
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interesting. I tend to have at most $50-60 in my wallet and no cash at home, save for the "coin jar" which may peak out around $70. I've rarely thought about needing a lot of cash, credit cards and checks have covered everything (I monitor the balances so to ensure we are within budget range, and pay off the credit cards monthly).

The more cash I have, the more I'm tempted with small "it's not that much" purchases. It wouldn't be big deal to keep perhaps $500 in the house, I just worry I'd ended up frittering it away.

Current target FIRE date: June 2017 or +50K to the portfolio, whichever comes first
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