For a long time now I’ve been getting cash from my mom for Birthdays and Christmases as presents. Sure, I’ve spent the value of those gifts, but I’ve kept the paper.

While it’s not life changing, it’s comforting to be able to hold in your hand something that can cover a month’s worth of expenses.

That’s the important bit here: in your hand.

It’s one thing to have money in the bank. In the bank is useful and safe to be certain. But to have it, literally, on hand can also be valuable and help you out in a pinch.

To be clear, I’m not advocating keeping your life savings in the mattress. All I’m really getting at is having ready (like, on a weekend for instance) access to more than you can get out of the ATM is a useful thing to have.

It came in handy over the weekend for me.

I started looking at metal detectors. I wanted to buy a pretty schmick metal detector At first I was looking at new ones but used ones seemed to be available at times.

It just happened that someone 45 minutes from me listed one on Craig’s List on Friday night. I called sometime on Saturday after the banks had already closed. The gentleman on the phone wanted cash for his gear. I can’t blame him. I would want the same — check would be too easy to cheat with. So I dip into my cache of cash and traded that for the aforementioned schmick metal detector.

On Sunday.

Today I backfilled the stack.

Having ready access to money can  provide a bit of a cushion, and on top of that can afford a bit of creativity that you might not otherwise have.

Soon I’ll write about the schmick detector. So far we’ve found a small collection of bottle caps on the beach. heh. Practice!