Author Topic: How to get cash  (Read 2519 times)

Offline Stein

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How to get cash
« on: September 27, 2008, 09:57:40 PM »
That is the title of a new spreadsheet I just put together.  Knowing that the mind may have other things to worry about in an emergency and my wife may not be as up to speed as I am with the various accounts, I spent about 1/2 day going through the motions of answering the question "How would we get cash in an emergency." 

By emergency, I mean we need food to eat, gas to evacuate or something major like that - not stuff like the air conditioner just went out or our roof is leaking.  Longer term, it could be paying the mortgage and utilities if there is a disruption to the banking system.  I started with "we need money in 15 minutes" and worked on out to surviving on a 100% cash system for several months.

Actual cash is the first step and the easiest.  We have cash on person and in the home.  Action item is to stash some in the vehicles.

Next comes various methods to get cash from our several accounts.  In the spreadsheet I put together a chart showing:

1.  All of our accounts, which insitution the account is in and what type of account it is (checking, savings, money market, etc).
2.  Debit card daily limits for ATM and POP (Point of Purchase - buying stuff at the store).  This was actually a big chore as every card is different and there are tricky rules.  While I was asking, I had them bump up our limits when we possible.  An important note is that if you have his and hers debit cards with different numbers, you each get a limit.  If the numbers are the same, you only get one limit.  Also, purchases or ATM transactions on Friday, Saturday and Sunday are considered one day as far as the limits are concerned.
3.  Methods other than ATM or purchases - I can run my money market debit or other cards inside a bank as a cash advance.  The limits are different than for ATM or POP.  This is kind of confusing and not well known.  I stumbled upon this option while talking with a customer service person about the ATM limit.  Essentially, I have a $500 ATM limit, but if a bank processes the cash advance, I can withdraw $2,499 a day.  Handy to know, and I tested it out just to be sure.  My bank #2 ran the card through a pin pad just behind the teller's station and it worked perfect, $2,400 in hand.
4.  Misc transfers and the like.  I set up my accounts so I can move money between them if one institution is available while others are out.  We have an account at a large national bank and one at a small regional bank.  Money market and paypal can move money from any account to any other account over the internet, by phone or in person.

Finally, I have all the account numbers, phone numbers, websites, passwords and PINs recorded in the safe.  Eventually, I would like to pick up a good encrypted USB drive to have in addition to the printed version.

I highly suggest going through the "what-if" exercise as it brings weak points into light.  Banking can be rather complicated these days with PINs, limits, rules and other barriers between you and your money.

Any other suggestions are welcome as I believe there is always something to learn.