Saturday, October 24, 2009

Poll: How much cash do you carry?

I stumbled upon an interesting question last night, even though I wish I hadn't.

When I lived in Montana, I used to carry $40 to $60 on my person. As there were always a few places that only accepted cash, it was always worth keeping my personal cash balance high to avoid frequent trips to the ATM. On the other hand, there was little cost to keeping more money on me. The interest was inconsequential, and no one even fathoms of robbing you in Montana.

Chicago is different. As with Montana, there are still a few places that only accept cash. Thus, I still keep some cash on me, but there's much higher risk that you'll be robbed in Chicago. Accordingly, I keep my cash balances lower (usually less than $20).

Unfortunately, this cash-management strategy paid off for me last night. On my walk home, a young (and strong) poor man grabbed me by the coat and said "Where tha' money at?" I gave him all I had on me ($5), and he left.

Terror aside, that brings me to the poll question of the week:

What number is closest to how much cash you keep on your person?


I have a feeling that my assailant was disappointed to walk away with only $5, but that's just a hunch. As always, the poll is open for a week. Vote early and often. I'm interested in hearing what you have to say.

1 comment:

  1. That's a nice little poll. I probably keep something like $120 ish on me. I live in Lesotho/South Africa where there is a very high risk of places not accepting plastic/the machines not working (pushing me towards holding more cash). At the wrong time of the month (after pay day) the queues at the cash machines can be pretty long (prohibitively so, I would say).

    But risk of robbery is fairly high and it can be tricky to squeeze enough notes into your wallet (fairly low denominations compared to the US) push me to carrying less money.


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