You just got robbed.
They took everything. Your wallet, your phone, your bag with your passport & keys… gone.
What are you going to do now? You have no money, no way to call for help, no idea how to speak the local language, no clue where you are or how to get back to your AirBnB, and you’re quite obviously not in the best of neighborhoods.
But you’re not completely unprepared…. you’ve got $100 USD that they didn’t manage to take from you.
See, you knew something like this might happen. So you got a CashStash. A little nondescript, durable, waterproof capsule hanging from your belt-loop, the perfect size for a single rolled up Benjamin.
You’ve been carrying it for months, through rain and snow and sand and even completely submerged in muddy water, and it’s kept its bill undamaged and always ready.
Now, instead of spending all day and maybe all night on the streets of a strange city trying to communicate in a foreign language to get directions to your embassy and maybe a bite to eat that you have no money to pay for, you can just trade in your $100 USD for smaller notes in the local convenience store or money changer (perhaps not in the same neighborhood you just got robbed in).
Now you’ve got the money to get internet access at an internet cafe. Boom, you’ve now contacted your embassy, reported your missing passport & credit cards, and sent out a call for help (food and a bed) to the local CouchSurfing & Reddit communities. You’ve got the money to grab a meal and perhaps a beer (you could use it). You’ve got the money to grab a taxi to the embassy and have them take care of you.
Compared to where you’d be without that CashStash, you’re living the good life.
And, of course, it’s not just useful in emergency situations. Reaching into your Cash Stash when you forgot your wallet at home, don’t wanna hit the ATM, or just need a quick $100 can be incredibly convenient.
So TrueUtility sent me a BulletStash (a version of their classic CashStash that looks like a bullet) to test out for RadNomad.
Is it an excellent way to keep emergency funds around? Here’s what I learned.
What the TrueUtility CashStash Is Made To Do:
Does The CashStash Do What It’s Made To Do?
TL:DR at the bottom
I didn’t personally get a chance to test my BulletStash for this (you’ll see why below). However, others have tested it in pools and through life on Amazon, and have come back reporting that it’s stood up to the test.
So, for the occasional downpour and waist-deep submersion in water, the BulletStash & CashStash should keep your money dry and undamaged.
I have no idea if it would be able to withstand a go in the washing machine, but I wish I had a chance to test it out.
Holds any note of currency
Though I had to throw away the little plastic clip that you’re supposed to wrap your bill around, I was able to fit $100 USD and even $50 SGD (quite a large bill) into the BulletStash without much problem. I did take a minute or two to get the $50 SGD rolled up tight enough, but that’s fine considering that I want it as small and nondescript as possible & I shouldn’t be taking it out very often.
Is a safe place to put your emergency cash
Right, so as great as the BulletStash & CashStash are when it comes to waterproofness and size, they really fail hard in their main purpose: Keeping your money safe, hidden, and always on hand.
First off, the BulletStash looks like a bullet. Not only does this draw attention that you don’t want drawn, but it’s liable to get you stopped at TSA and border control. The bright-pink CashStash isn’t much better.
The Silver and Black CashStashes, at least, look nicely nondescript.
But the real failure was that my BulletStash just fell off my belt loop. It and the $50 SGD inside of it are gone.
I guess I hope some curious kid finds it and is super excited when he opens it. Except that it’s really hard to open without the leverage of the keychain & doesn’t look like it has anything inside of it…so it’s probably just gonna sit on the street till someone kicks it into the sewer-drain.
Simply falling apart and losing your money, to be needlessly blatant, is just a complete and utter failure of this thing’s purpose.
See, the stash part, in both the CashStash and the BulletStash, is attached to the part that holds onto the keychain by a teeny-tiny little screw.
It fell off one time when I was trying to open my BulletStash, and I had to hunt for it on the floor and manually screw it back in with a mini-screwdriver.
For some reason, this didn’t strike the fear of god into me, and I kept the damn thing on my belt.
Less than a month later, and it’s gone.
I suppose this wouldn’t be such a big deal if it were safely in my backpack. But that’s not much help if/when my backpack gets stolen. And besides, if it’s in a bag then why not just keep it in a pocket?
As for on a keychain, it’s regular home. Well, if it’ll fall off the keyring on your belt, it’ll fall off the keyring on your keychain. Hopefully your keys are in your pockets when this happens, but it’s still not at all okay.
Damn it TrueUtility, you are not staying true to your name (literally)!
I reached out to TrueUtility on December 19th to tell them what happened and see if they’ll reimburse me the $50 I’ve lost. No reply as of yet. I’ll update you if I get anything back from them.
Something like this should require absolutely no maintenance. Why would it?
The fact that the BulletStash just fell apart when I tried to open it, and wound up doing it again and losing my money while I was on the road, is just…. I’m going to stop bitching about this, you get the point.
Weight, Size, & Noticability: 5/5
Well, it’s nicely tiny and weights nothing noticeable on your belt. It’s even less noticeable when it falls off. Truly minimalist.
If this thing worked, the $12.50 USD it costs would be an excellent price.
However, with it’s loss, it’s now cost me $62.50 as well as the BulletStash itself.
So no, not worth the cost.
To call this thing useless at achieving it’s goal would be a lie.
It has shot way past the realm of uselessness and has actually managed to be harmful.