Most of the time, we take it for granted that we can access our money. We can check our balance in branch, at a cash machine, or by online or mobile phone banking. We can transfer money between accounts 24/7 via Internet and mobile banking and we can withdraw cash from cash machine or from one of our bank’s branches. However, if something does happen that causes our bank account to be unavailable then this can not only be a huge nuisance but can also suddenly make it difficult to put food on the table and pay vital bills. It’s therefore worth considering what your options could be if an incident were to cause your main bank account to suddenly be unavailable.
Withdraw money from another bank account:
It’s often advisable to maintain a savings contingency fund in an instant access savings account. Hopefully, if your checking/current account is temporarily unavailable, you will still be able to access your savings funds. Remember, though, to keep your rainy day fund in an instant access savings account so that you can withdraw the money immediately without incurring bank charges. If you choose to keep savings in a separate bank from your checking/current account the this further reduces the potential to be stuck without access to any money. However, you’ll have to weigh up that increased safeguard against the possible additional convenience of having all your bank accounts with one bank.
Use your credit card:
Credit cards are useful for making emergency payments, provided that they are used sensibly and paid off in full every month. Again, having a credit card with a separate bank from your main checking/current account can help to guard against a situation where your bank goes bust or suffers a technical incident that could leave you without access to your cash.
Ask your bank to loan you money:
If your bank account is unavailable due to a fault of your bank, then they may feel morally obliged to give you an advance of cash to help tide you over until the problem is fixed. Banks will generally be very keen to minimise adverse customer and press reaction and it’s good business practice to make sure that your customers are looked after if you’ve caused them inconvenience.
Ask a friend or relative to temporarily give you some money:
If you are really stuck for access to your own money, then you will usually find that a friend or relative will be happy to give you a bit of cash to help tide you over. Clearly this can be awkward and is best limited to small amounts of money but it may be the most feasible way to deal with a short-term cash flow problem.
There are usually options for getting cash that don’t necessitate anything too drastic. However, some forward planning can make life so much easier. In particular, keeping a small emergency fund of cash in your home and having a savings contingency fund will greatly help to limit the impact of an incident that results in your main bank account becoming unavailable.