Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Privacy: Back To Cash

I like cash. I like lots of cash. Unfortunately I only have a little. But I have enough for my needs. What I meant was, I like to use cash instead of electronic transactions. Being part of the financial system is really not anyone’s choice in this country. To do things like make mortgage payments, pay your taxes, or collect your salary or payments for business services, you need to use the banking system. The days when the average person could get by on a pure cash basis are long gone. Sooner or later, the average person will have to use the financial system whether he or she likes it or not. But can you use the system without being tracked by big government or big business?
The answer to this is no, but you can make it a lot harder to be tracked. Limiting your use of the financial system can create a much smaller footprint and profile to track.
A good basic method of limiting tracking is to make as many purchases as possible with cash. Use cash for such purposes as buying groceries, gas and survival supplies. Cash is still the only method you can use that does not leave an electronic trail or a paper trail directly connecting you to purchases.
Try returning to the old-fashioned method where you get a specific amount of cash out of the bank each week to pay for what you need. There still will be a record of the bank transaction, but not of the actual purchases.
The advent of the ATM makes it easier than ever to get cash, so there’s no excuse not to use cash for most retail transactions. If you can get into the habit of using cash, you can make it easier to budget and make it far harder for banks to track your transactions.
Using a credit card, a debit card or a check to pay for a purchase, you can be tracked. All a check is in today’s world is an authorization for somebody else to withdraw a sum of money from your account. If you don’t want to be tracked, you’ll have to limit your use of electronic payment methods.
Use electronic payments or checks only to make those payments for which cash cannot be used. This might include utility bills, phone bills, mortgage payments, rent, insurance payments and car payments. The cheapest and easiest means of paying these is directly off of a checking account. Unfortunately, that can be tracked.
Even alternative methods of payment, such as money order and wire transfer, keep electronic records.
If you don’t want to be tracked, you might have to give up some of these services and the benefits they provide. There are some ways of getting around this; you can buy a prepaid cell phone for cash instead of regular phone service, and you can generate your own electricity.
The biggest problem you’ll face may not be making payments, but accepting them. Most payments in today’s world, such as salaries, government benefits, investment proceeds, payment for services, etc., are made electronically. Even if they send you a check, it’ll create an electronic payment when it is cashed.
There will be a record of such payments even if you go to a check cashing store or cash the check directly at the bank. They will ask for your ID, so there will be a record of it and the amount of cash you get.
If you have to accept electronic payments or checks, your best bet is to maintain a bank account. There will be a record of the money that goes in and a record of your withdrawals, but you will at least have a means of converting the money into cash that cannot be tracked easily.
If you use a bank account, you at least can avoid having to pay the extra charges associated with money orders and cashing a check at a store. Of course, there’s no law that says you have to keep all your money in the bank. Nor is there any law that says you have to put any cash payments you receive in the bank.
I like to use my account and debit card. They are easy but they definitely can be tracked. If you looked at our finances you would think we are just like every other average American. That’s what I want my financial profile to look like. Average. No red flags, no usual behavior. That’s the way it appears. When we get paid it goes into our account. We make payments online whenever we can. But when I buy ammunition, food storage, preparedness supplies, it is with cash. Most of our savings is in cash. This is secured in our home and out of our home. I don’t want to keep it all in our home because of fire or theft, so some cash is kept away from our house. The biggest problem with this is keeping track or how much, and where you’ve put it. As an example if I had $10,000 in cash I may keep only $3,000 in our home. Some hidden, and some in a safe. The rest would be secured off station in a few locations. There are many ways to do this. Cash is vulnerable to weather and rodent so it must be kept in something that will protect it. Do you have a locker at work? Some money may be secured there. A safety deposit box is really not as safe as you think. I would not use one. You can hide money in a secure container in a storage shed, chicken coop, or garden shed. You can bury it. You could keep it in a lock box at someone you trust’s home. You could hide it in a vehicle.
We have determined a container that we think will stand up to anything and keep all our off station cash in these. I guess with my background in the military it was inevitable. Ammunition boxes are the best thing I’ve found to keep things away from weather and varmint. They come in a variety of sizes but I like the 20 and 50 cal cans. They are sturdy, rust resistant, and have a lid seal. You can even buy a lock set to lock them if you are so inclined.
My son thinks I’m a little old fashioned because I like cash. In reality, most of my business is done electronically. I use cash for things I want to keep private.
Cash is king!
Semper Paratus
Check 6