The emergency twenty

Keep a twenty handy so you don’t end up stuck running to an ATM machine!



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I’m driving back to set one day with a bunch of my crew in the car. We’ve just had lunch and we’re heading through Timmies to get tea and coffee for the afternoon shoot. My producer volunteers to pay but it turns out she only has a five-dollar bill in her wallet. (Yes, this was before Timmies took debit.) I was aghast.

“Didn’t your momma ever teach you to tuck a twenty somewhere safe?” I asked as I watch her rummaging through her coins.

My mother told me about the Emergency Twenty when I first started dating. “Stick a twenty in your bra,” she said. “That way, if your date gets fresh you can take a cab home.”

“No,” laughed my producer as I shoved a twenty into her purse. It turns out she seldom has any cash in her handbag which is chock-full of lip glosses, sunglasses, and myriad other essentials.

Ever found yourself at a check-out only to be told the credit card and debit card system is down? Sorry. Cash only. Or worse, at a gas station when you’re running on air? Having an Emergency Twenty stuck somewhere safe just in case is the only way to be sure you can make it home.

An Emergency Twenty can also save you from tapping an ATM that’s not your own because you’re desperate for some cash. And it can mean you don’t become the mooch who is always borrowing a few bucks ‘cos you’ve got no money to split the lunch bill or pay for coffee.

Hey, people, cash is an essential. Everyone should have an Emergency Twenty tucked somewhere safe; not in the part of your wallet that you normally go to for spending, but hidden away, just in case. If you drive, you can stick it somewhere in your car. If you don’t plan to carry a purse, stick it in your shoe.


4 comments on “The emergency twenty

  1. Great idea. However, I think for most people it will become like the looney in the car for getting a grocery cart – it always gets spent just because it is sitting there. If you have some self-control then this is a practical idea, otherwise it might cost you an extra $20 each week :)


  2. My wife does a superb job with regards to having a spare $20 tucked away for emergency purposes.

    Usually however, the items we buy with them aren't for emergencies, but more so situations in which we need cash handy. Tim Horton's would probably be the best example.

    Like you say, sometimes you get into a scenario where credit and debit machines are down, and we get thrust back into the Jurassic period. Having spare cash around is a good idea.

    Nice article Gail!



  3. The only problem with this is that as I'm the one who makes sure I have enough cash on me, I always end up covering other people's bills at the bar (where they only ever take cash!). And it's not like they can pay me back next time…because they never bring cash the next time we hit a bar.


  4. This is a great tip, I'm actually doing this for quite sometime now and it's more than $20. I have some cash at home for emergency cases like blackout (who can forget that) and $50 hidden deep inside my wallet together with my credit cards in case I would need it. But I share the problem faced by moochfriends about covering other people and forgetting (perhaps sometimes a bit shy) to collect. Overall, this is a good practice for me and proven very effective in several situations.


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