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The idea of keeping cash at home sounds like a good one, but you must be careful. Too much cash on hand is never a good idea as there are risks such as theft, fire damage, and flood damage — and that’s just the start.

If you’re wondering how much cash to keep at home — or if this is a good idea at all — here are five questions to address:

1. Where will you keep the cash?

This is the first question to ask yourself. If you don’t have a good answer, you should step back for the time being. It’s always a risk to keep cash at home, but you should at least have a plan in mind to minimize it. 

There’s a big difference between keeping the cash in a fireproof safe and hiding it in a pillowcase. 

2. What’s the total of your monthly expenses?

Once you know this number, you can decide how much cash to keep on hand. For example, you may want to save one or two months of monthly expenses in cash. 

3. How much cash do you have in the bank?

You don’t want to keep cash at home if you don’t have money in a savings account. It’s best to consider this once you have an emergency account that you’re comfortable with. 

4. What’s the purpose of the cash?

This is the million-dollar question. If you don’t know why you’re keeping cash at home, you probably shouldn’t be doing it. 

A good reason to keep cash on hand is for emergencies. It may also give you peace of mind if you’re concerned about the overall health of the world’s economic system. 

5. Will you tell anyone where the money is located?

It goes without saying that you don’t want to blab about how much cash is in your home and/or where it’s located. If the wrong person hears about it, you’re putting yourself at risk. 

As a general rule of thumb, you want one other person — someone you can really trust — to know where the money is located. A good example is a spouse or adult child. This way, if you can’t access the money for any reason, they can assist you. This also protects against forgetting where you hid the cash. 

Answer these questions

What are your thoughts on keeping cash at home? Is it something you’ve done in the past? Are you rethinking your approach for the future? 

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