If you have a car, you should have an emergency kit. In fact, maybe you already do have an emergency kit. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy, but it’s important to prepare for any situation when driving. This is especially true when the weather turns cold and creates potentially hazardous driving conditions.
An emergency kit should contain items like a flashlight, a utility tool, a tire pressure gauge, a first aid kit, visibility items like flares, and everything you would need to change a tire. You may also want to include things like a blanket, some bottled water, snacks, duct tape, a snow brush, and jumper cables. These kits can be as large as you’d like, if you have the space for them.
Some companies even specifically sell emergency kits for vehicles that come in different sizes. Just about everything you might need comes in a handy, waterproof tote that won’t take up a ton of room in your trunk.
However, whether you buy a kit or assemble your own, one thing you might not think to add is cash. Getting stuck somewhere is a pain, but getting stuck without cash is an even bigger pain. Though a lot of society has gone cashless, it can come in handy when you’re trying to leave a tip or make a small purchase, like a soda or pack of gum.
With that in mind, it makes sense to keep a little extra tucked somewhere safe in your car. So, stash $20 in your center console or glove compartment next time you hit the road. Just be sure not to leave money in plain view inside of your car. To that end, you don’t want to leave hundreds of dollars laying around. Twenty dollars should be enough to get you through a minor emergency (unless you live in an area with a high cost of living, in which case you may want to up the amount).
You’ll be grateful if you forget your wallet, park in a cash-only lot, go through an unexpected toll booth, or can’t resist the siren call of Girl Scout Cookies when the season rolls around.