When life is going on in a pretty usual fashion, you’re probably not too concerned about having your money kept in a bank. However, when the SHTF, a bank might not be the safest place to keep it.
When to Withdraw Your Money from a Bank
Most people think about the convenience of keeping money in a bank and they don’t consider the risks. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t risks – and plenty of them. If you look at what happened in Greece and other countries in the not too distant past, you’ll see what happened to people when the banking system failed.
The banks simply shut down and limited how much of their own money people could have. People were left scrambling to figure out how to buy necessities, how to take care of themselves and people who’d traveled outside the country struggled with having the means to return home since they couldn’t access their money.
When your money is in a bank, you’re not the one who decides whether or not you’ll always have access to it. And if the government needs it, it can simply take it. When a bank gets in trouble, the money in accounts can be seized.
The time to withdraw your money from your account is the moment you know that a SHTF situation is imminent. Don’t wait and see what the government is going to do or what everyone else is going to do.
The only person who can make sure you and your family get taken care of is you. And always have money on hand to tide you over for months at a time, even if you leave some funds in the banking system.
Better Money Safe Options
If you have your money in a bank account, it can be taken. If you try and store it in a safety deposit box, it can also be taken. Just because it’s in a bank doesn’t mean you’ll have access to it or that you’ll always have ownership of it when you need it.
You can use a safe at home to protect your money, but you want to make sure you don’t make it easily visible or accessible to anyone but you. Never buy a grab and carry safe.
If you can snatch it up and go, so can a thief. Instead, use a safe that you can permanently fix to a spot. Have more than one safe because you never want to keep all your eggs in one basket.
Divide your money up between two or three safes for the best bet. Some survivalists use a cheaper safe and leave it where it can be seen. They’ll put a little bit of money in that safe so that if a thief does break in, he thinks he’s taken everything and he won’t search for more.
You can also place your money in airtight, waterproof containers and bury it. But only do this if you’ll be able to get to it when you need it. You can bury some on your immediate property and some on a bug out location.
Where to Hide Your Money
Besides a hidden safe, there are several other places you can hide your money. You can hide money inside your walls by hiding it inside a vent. You can tuck money away in your attic inside of old toys or tucked inside the hollowed out center of an old hardback book that you stack with a few other books.
Hide money in the insulation in your attic, basement or garage. You can also put money in separate envelopes and tape them underneath kitchen cabinets, bathroom cabinets or to the back of appliances.
You can get a waterproof container and hide money in your toilet tank. Some people hide money inside of food containers that they store inside their refrigerator or in the freezer.
Some people hide money inside of their medicine cabinet but in SHTF situations, medicine might be in short supply, and thieves will be looking for medicine. So choose a different hiding spot of you’ve been using this one.
If you have pets, you can tape money to the bottom of a dog kennel, a dog dish or a cat climbing house. Burying money in the soil of houseplants makes a great hiding place. Just make sure you use a waterproof container.
You could have several houseplants and have money stashed in each pot. Take the photos out of frames and tape money to the cardboard backing on the inside. Replace the photo and set the frame back in its original spot. Thieves don’t pay attention to family photos.
Hiding money in canisters or cookie jars can be an option, but thieves have been known to search kitchen canisters because they’re an obvious hiding place. It’s better to seal money in an envelope and tape it to the back of your refrigerator than to use a canister or cookie jar.
Tape money to the inside of CD cases, movie cases or workout videos. You can also place rolled up money inside hollow towel rods and hang them as usual in your bathrooms.
Buy lamps with dark colored bases. Lamps with white or light colored bases will sometimes show if there’s something inside of it. Unscrew the bottom of the dark base lamp and place money inside. When you put it back together, you can’t see the money.
You can also place money on the inside bottom of couch cushions, zip them closed and use as normal. There are endless ways to hide cash in your home. Of course, it’s then fragile in the event of a fire or flood, so take precautions with that.
What Bill Denominations Should You Keep on Hand When the SHTF?
When life on the grid is suddenly disrupted, life as you know it will be thrown into chaos. Without electricity, the world will be a different place. In a SHTF situation, the way that currency is handled and the way money changes hands during transactions is going to cease.
Without electricity and normal banking, your debit card and your credit cards are going to be virtually worthless. Not having any cash won’t be an option – not if you want to survive.
You need to have cash on hand so that you can take care of the needs that you’ll have. But how you store that cash, how much of it you have and what types of bill denominations to have will all matter.
Most people have the mindset that bigger is better. They believe that storing rolls of hundreds of fifty dollar bills will see them through any SHTF situation. But you have to think the opposite of a normal day to day buying and selling transaction.
In normal life, you can easily use a larger bill. But in a SHTF situation, having larger bills could be of almost no value to you. Without normal ways to bank, you and those who do business as well as other survivors aren’t going to have access to change and smaller denominations.
That means your big bills won’t be usable. You don’t want to try to buy something you need and be unable to have it because the other person can’t break a bill that large. In this situation, even a twenty dollar bill can be too big. While it’s okay to have some tens, don’t stock up on those.
What you really want to stock up on are plenty of five dollar bills, ones and coins. This way, you can easily have bills small enough to be acceptable by others when you need to conduct business.
What some survivalists are doing right now is exchanging large bills for smaller ones and then hiding those smaller denominations in safe places around their home. Rolls of coins can easily be hidden throughout your home as well.
What to Barter with Instead of Money
Since money might not be an option during a SHTF situation, you need to have another way to get what you need in place. The world works on a supply and demand system. If you have what you need and then some, you can always trade what you have for what someone else needs.
During times where there’s a crisis situation, it will serve you well to be prepared with items that others are going to need. Most people aren’t going to be prepared with the tools that need, so having tools on hand to barter with is a good idea.
You’ll also want to have extra staples to use for bartering. This includes items like flour, sugar, salt, and coffee. Personal items like toilet paper, shampoo, feminine hygiene items, and razors are items others will be willing to trade to get.
Stock up on food extras like canned goods, baby formula, tea, cooking oil, and canned meats. You’ll also want to have a supply of medicines you can barter. This would be items like ibuprofen, aspirin, anti-histamines, antibiotics, and antacids.
First aid items are also good trade supplies to have. Batteries, flashlights, ammo, and fishing items are always in high demand during a SHTF crisis. Some people stock up on luxury items too, such as alcohol and cigarettes.
Physically Protecting Your Money from Theft
During a SHTF crisis, if you have it, you can bet someone else wants to try to take it – someone who didn’t prepare and now they’re desperate. You can hide your money in a home safe.
You can stash it in various containers and locations. Hiding money and locking it away is a good, preventative measure. But sometimes, even if you’ve hidden your money, you find yourself in a situation where you’re going to have to physically protect your money from theft.
You’re going to have to decide if it’s worth the fight or not. You can determine if it is or not by whether the money the thief wants is all you have or if it’s a substantial amount. If it is, then you need to do what you have to for yourself.
If the other person is not armed, then you can physically push back against them and keep pushing until they see that you’re not giving up without a fight. Sometimes, all it takes is for a person to be willing to defend what’s his to make a thief back off.
If you’re where you can be able to run from the room, then you can hit the intruder with pepper spray. That alone will incapacitate most people. If you don’t want to use lethal weapons, and the intruder becomes pushy, you can use a baseball bat – but if you do that, you’ll have to swing hard enough to take down the thief.
Otherwise, he might be able to wrestle the bat away from you. Try to hit the thief in areas of the body where it’ll inflict the most pain such as the face or the groin. If it becomes a life or death situation, you may have to use lethal force.