Re-conceptualizing The Idea Of Hidden Wealth
An emergency fund is one of the most useful things we can have. It might not be something we get to use everyday, but when the time comes that we do need it, it’s the most wonderful thing in the world.
But there are a lot of “small emergencies” that pop up from time to time.
Just recently a co-worker was telling this funny story about how she rode a jeepney and then realized all she had in her wallet was a 500 peso bill. The driver couldn’t make change, but was nice about it and let her pay next time (she takes the jeepney everyday and apparently has encountered the driver several times before).
And for me personally, I once got to the office and then realized I forgot my wallet at home.
And some time ago my wife (before we were married) was about to board a shuttle (fare: 80 pesos). And as she opened her wallet to pay, saw that she had only 50 pesos in it. And she still had to ride a jeepney afterwards. She could’ve gone to the ATM, but I just loaned her some money. After all, it was a rather long walk to the ATM, and she had already waited in line for quite some time and was about to get on the next shuttle.
None of them qualify as a real emergency. But they’re what I consider a small emergency. We can’t use our emergency funds for them – at least, I don’t believe that we should. And that’s where “hidden wealth” comes in handy.
So what’s hidden wealth? Well, it’s just a catchy name for stashing cash in unusual but safe and accessible (but usually unseen) places.
A good example (and a quite a few people probably also do this) is keeping some cash in my wallet’s “hidden” compartment. Well, it’s not really that hidden, but close enough. I keep it there so that in case ATMs are down, or something suddenly came up, I can have something to tide me over.
And since the day I forgot my wallet, I have kept some cash in my bag. It’s discreetly hidden away in an unlikely pocket inside. So in case I forget my wallet again, I have some cash to use for that day. (I would withdraw some money, but my ATM card is in my wallet…)
At home I also have some money stashed away. In case of long weekends, or a situation where I would need extra money, I wouldn’t have to go out (and spend money on fare) just to get some of my money.
And I’m always mindful to replace any “hidden wealth” I use. That way, there’s always a safety net I can count on.
It a simple and probably obvious thing, but it definitely comes in handy.
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