Be Prepared: Cash And Documents

Welcome to Week #1 in our six week be prepared, like a normal person series. This week’s task is cash and paperwork. Lots of paper, with some coins thrown in.


No one can tell us how much cash our families’ will need in an emergency. That’s up to us. Imagine if the banks and ATM systems failed and suddenly your debit and credit cards were useless, how much money would your family need to survive?

Once you have an amount that you are comfortable with you need to save it up. If you are able to withdraw from an emergency account, great. If not, add a few dollars every week to the stash, whatever fits comfortably into your budget. Perhaps you have to skip Starbucks coffees.

I know I promised you common sense preparedness and now I am suggesting that you forgo coffee. I have a solution, make fancy coffees at home and it will save you dollars. See, common sense.

It is a good idea to stash your cash in small bills and coins. This is about being prepared and that includes being ready to make change. Hide your emergency cash in a safe enough spot that you won’t spend it by accident but not so safe that you forget where it is.



The truth is that if I lost my wallet I would have no idea who to call to cancel and replace all my cards. And if I lost my wallet and suddenly one of the kids needed health care I would be totally dependent on the good will of the folks at the drop-in clinic to take us without a health care number. I wouldn’t even have cash to pay for a visit.

The moral of the story is – be prepared. Have back up cash and photocopies of all your important cards and papers. Anything that can be lost make a photocopy, both sides. Not the kids or the cat just paper and cards.

I live a lot of my life online and for the most part I know where my accounts are and which passwords I need to log into each of those accounts. But sometimes I am totally wrong and it’s emails to reset passwords and then authenticating. I have a busy life avoiding housework, I don’t like wasting time searching out lost passwords. Let’s make a record, on paper, of all out interweb accounts and passwords. No more forgotten password emails!

Again, store all this information somewhere safe. Don’t be leaving your online bank login at the library.


Each week the tasks will be divided up into basic, advanced and overachiever so we can work toward preparedness with baby steps and not overwhelm ourselves.

Do you hear that friends? Let’s not get overwhelmed. Mostly I am repeating that for myself. You’ve probably already guessed that I am planning to accomplish the overachievers task by tomorrow.


Basic Task

  • Three days worth of cash, in small bills and change, for your family.
  • Photocopies of health cards, driver’s license, credit cards, passports, insurance policies, bank accounts and any other important papers for your family.
  • List all internet accounts with passwords.

Advanced Task

  • Find yourself a fireproof waterproof safe. Store all your papers, binders and cash in there.

 Overachievers Task

How is your cash and document readiness?


  1. I am in. If I got hit by a bus, Craig would be screwed. Thanks for making me do this.

    • Same here. And that goes both ways at our house, I couldn’t figure out how to log into our bank account to figure out how much I could spend on strawberries.

  2. I need to do this. Especially the cash part in small bills. We do have a waterproof/fireproof mini safe with lots of important papers in it, but not all.

  3. Great tips! Thanks so much for the link!

  4. I’ve done the advanced task but I really need to go back and photocopy everything!

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