Keep a stash of cash

Cash makes the world go round. Paper currency is accepted by everyone and doesn’t need any technology to work. Keep your denominations under $20; sometimes it’s hard to ask for change. Be realistic and keep a few hundred dollars. 

You can run out of cash and still have money. Don’t forget how amazing your phone’s digital wallet can be. If there’s electricity you may be able to make purchases without cash or a wallet. Consider Apple Wallet, Google Pay, your bank app, or brand specific apps for coffee shops, grocery stores, or fast food restaurants. 

Once I was driving to Starbucks to get some coffee beans. After picking up my beans, I hoped in the car and headed back home. On the way I passed a police car which suddenly made me realize I had left my wallet at home. I had so completely changed my behavior to pay with my Starbucks app that I forgotten the habit of driving with my wallet and ID. Something I had been doing for over 30 years. 

What can you do right now?

Set up your phone wallet app if you haven't already done so. It's simple to do, and far easier while you're not stressed and you have access to your account numbers. If this is the first time, go and make a couple of purchases with your phone to see how it works. 

Take a few $20s and place them somewhere you can find them easily in your Go bag. If you're like me, you hardly carry any cash anymore. So next time you're at the ATM pick up a few more $20s so that you're ready for an emergency.