Are you stockpiling cash at home?


I found myself thinking about the northeast blackout of 2003 when a reader asked me recently how much cash people are keeping at home these days.

The blackout hit Ontario and the northeastern United States and lasted a couple of days. Afterward, I half-heartedly put together an emergency kit that included some water bottles, batteries and, because electronic banking was temporarily down, an envelope with $200 in bills. When we moved a few years ago, I pocketed that cash and never looked back.

Then a reader reached out the other day in an e-mail in which she talked about her “3 am worry that I should have cash stuffed under my mattress.” This reader asked a friend about keeping money at home and he said he had thousands on hand.

This reader says she started thinking about cash after she watched the TV version of The Handmaid’s Tale, in which the character Offred could not access her savings as society returns into a demented fundamentalist state that oppresses women. Then came editorials about the possibility of a new civil war in the United States. Next, war in Ukraine.

Between the pandemic and the Ukraine crisis, there’s a definitely a sense of unpredictability and danger in our lives. Are you responding by keeping cash at home? Help me understand what’s happening by filling out this short survey:

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Rob’s personal finance reading list

Cash back smackdown

A point-by-point comparison of what are billed as two top cash back credit cards. Cash back was by far the most preferred type of credit card reward in a recent survey, way ahead of travel. I get that – cash back has been much more practical at a time when travel has been severely limited by the pandemic. But, right now, travel opportunities are opening up.

Inflation vs the magic of Disney

The Washington Post on how rising costs have caused some disenchantment with trips to Disney parks. Get used to travel price shocks in 2022. Demand is soaring after two years of pandemic lockdowns.

How students can improve their credit rating

A rundown on why a good credit score is important, with seven tips on building a good record as a borrower. I’d have bumped the final point to the top of the list – pay your card bills on time.

What does the rich life look like to you?

Advice on how to get the most from financial planning. Focus not on numbers, but on your idea of ​​what life looks like if your finances are in great shape.

Ask Rob

Q: Can you day trade in your TFSA?

TO: Day trading means buying stocks and selling them the same day. Here’s an advisory from RBC about what can happen if you trade frequently in a tax-free savings account or a registered retirement savings plan. “If you trade extensively in your TFSA, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) may consider your account to be ‘carrying on a business.’ Any income (dividend and interest) and the full amount of realized gains (net of any realized losses) would be subject to tax.”

Do you have a question for me? Send it my way. Sorry I can’t answer each one personally. Questions and answers are edited for length and clarity.

Today’s financial tool

The CAA offers data on gasoline prices nationally and in cities across the country. Find out what you’ll be paying on your summer driving trip. For the cheapest prices in your city, try GasBuddy.

The Money-Free Zone

Oh Happy Day. Gospel greatness by The Edwin Hawkins Singers. The arrangement is incredible – soaring voices and the percussion behind them.

In case you missed these Globe and Mail personal finance-related stories

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