The new tactic banks use is closing accounts down. Leaving you without access to electronic funds. This is is a hassle locally, because (in the covid social distance era) many places won't take cash. At all.
Still carry cash. You have to be able to survive. You still need savings. You still need to avoid debt.
At first I wasn’t going to post these links as the cancellations are too tedious. We’re all evil and need to disappear; got it.
Then I thought, no. Readers need to have these lessons reinforced. Don’t put your head above the parapet until you’ve reached a position of Fuck You. Have multiple bank accounts and follow the principles of Pirate Finance to avoid being caught short. Start planning ahead for when they come for you.
So called because Pirates had earings for the purposes of providing for their funeral when dead. They used gold when alive at the chandlers, liquor merchants, and various hotels. From which the first great Caribbean cities grew. Nikolai has these principles for pirate finance: set out for his life -- which involves being a digital nomad expatriate. The principles remain.
This is my financial advice for pirates – people who are often travelling, digital nomads, overseas workers and the like who need unconventional measures like the pirate’s gold earring to ensure they are never left hawking their arse along some lonely pier:
- Have more than one card. It could be an additional debit card or, if you can use them responsibly, credit cards.
- Carry sufficient cash to bide you over in an emergency. In addition to the local currency, have some USD, EUR or JPY on hand just in case.
- Consider having a high-value item with you such as gold, a watch or a piece of jewelry to sell or pawn if you ever get caught short. Keep it out of sight – you can’t wear it like a pirate does because you don’t have a cutlass and brace of pistols like they do.
- Have a safe place to keep your stuff. How much safety you can arrange depends on your circumstances. Hotel safe > hardshell suitcase with lock > soft suitcase with lock > just locking it in your room > leaving it on the kitchen table of your youth hostel.
-If you need to travel with valuables on you, spend extra for a reliable shuttle bus etc. As for where to put it, neck wallet > money belt > wallet in front pocket with your hand over it > back wallet.
-Do not tell everyone how awesome it is that you are now following the SovietMen principle of pirate finance and have $5,000 stashed in your room, isn’t that cool?
- In sketchy countries, dress down and never flash cash. The modern pirate seeks to look like a penniless Kiwi backpacker who’s trying to bum a ciggie.
- You need friends and/or family somewhere who can help you out in an emergency. This is the second principle of antifragility.
These are financial backstops for pirates – travellers who may need liquidity and access to funds in all sorts of bizarre and unpredictable situations.
If you’re a settled, normal person, there’s much more you can do to reduce the fragility of your finances should odd things begin to happen.
I'm not a nomad. Since COVID, I have actively avoided traveling. But regardless, there are things we should do.
- Have some cash in your wallet. Enough to get you home: At least a taxi ride. That could be a hundred dollars in some places.
- Consider having cash accounts in more than one bank: one for daily use and one in case the other one is closed.
- Have some money in other currencies, particularly if you live in the Antipodes. where the currency may not remain stable.
- I don't think that cryptocurrency is going to help anyone here. At present, Bitcoin is speculative and not used for buying stuff (though this is changing). Similarlly, you generally can't buy or sell things with silver or gold. Yet.
- Keep your family and friends close. You need to have somewhere else you can sleep, or pay for you to move to somewhere you can access your assets.
This is an area where things are changing very rapidly. If in doubt, build in flexibility.