The Philippines is “the most exposed country in the world to tropical storms” according to a Time Magazine article in 2013. It saddens me that the rampancy of storms remains stagnant as we are nearing towards the end of the year. Typhoons can last for days and we are left stuck at home. Yet no matter how well-informed we are about the weather predictions, there are some things that still slip off our minds in preparation for the rainy days ahead. One of these is keeping money at home as your emergency stash.

What could possibly go wrong if I don’t keep enough money at home? Read ahead. Here are the top reasons why it’s important to stash cash at home, especially during calamities or a bank’s system upgrade.

1. Bank ATMs can go offline and you can’t withdraw cash

Imagine that the money you have at home is not enough to let you survive for the next few days. As you run down to the bank,  the banks are closed and you notice the ATM flashes a big fat sign that’s written “OFFLINE.” All the other bank’s ATMs are in an offline mode too. Considering the strong gusts of winds and rain that will last for a couple of days, you figure out they won’t go online soon. What are you to do?

This has happened years ago. Due to a typhoon, 2 of the biggest banks in our country experienced prolonged downtime and hundreds of citizens kept complaining about not being able to withdraw money. And these rants had even circulated in social media and had gotten out of hand.

But you see, it’s not the bank’s fault why you are unable to withdraw cash. Sometimes, there are things that are beyond the bank’s control such as calamities. Problems arising from this kind of reason are unpredictable and are not immediately attended to and resolved due to the terrible weather. The SOLUTION is simple. Avoid anxiety and stress by making it a habit to keep money at home.

2. You have Bills to pay

A handful of people have complained that they are unable to pay their bills since they are unable to withdraw cash.  And it’s already their due date.

This is an unacceptable complaint. Billing statements are given and emailed beforehand, usually weeks or days before the due date. And with that being said, you are given ample time to settle it.

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“But I pay my bills online. How was I to know that online banking will go through a downtime too?”

Yes, this is a convenient way to pay bills especially during calamities. Talk about a life savior! But what if the bank’s online banking is affected alongside the bank’s downtime?  And the online banking is expected to go up on the day after your due date? What if the same happens to other online apps such as GCASH and the like?

The SOLUTION: Do not make it a habit to put off paying your bills until the due date, whether through online banking, GCASH or over-the-counter at your usual go-to establishments when paying bills. Get rid of this habit.  Instead, pay your bills as soon as you receive them. Again, this is a great way to avoid anxiety and stress over something that is totally avoidable. By paying your bills on time, you are one obligation less from the other commitments you need to attend to.

Another important reason to keep cash at home would be if the roads or path going to the bank is unpassable due to floods.  Where and how are you going to come up with the money you need? Now you know the importance of stashing cash at home, the next question would be:

3. How much do you need to set aside at home? How much is enough?

Personally, I am more on the conservative side, so I keep 7 days worth of my daily expenses, that’s including household and transportation expenses. The amount is subjective and is totally up to you on how much you think is a good amount that will let you survive the following days.

I hope this article has taught us a thing or two. Placing your funds in the bank has a lot of advantages, but still, never forget to leave cash safely kept at home. Do you have other reasons why it’s a good idea to leave some cash at home? Share them and let’s help our friends out.

By Ameena Rey-Franc

Recognized as one of the Top Finance Blogs in the PH. Ameena Rey-Franc (founder of TTP) is a former Banker and BS Accountancy graduate turned Blogger, Keynote Speaker, and entrepreneur. Currently an RFP delegate, she is also the Author of a book about Financial Resilience and has held seminars for reputable companies like GrabFoodPH, Pru Life UK, VISA, JPMorgan Chase& Co., Paypal, Fundline, Moneymax, and many more. The Thrifty Pinay's mission is to empower women to LEARN, EARN, and be FINANCIALLY-INDEPENDENT no matter what life stage they are in.