Man provides tips ‘if the banking system collapses.’ An online debate ensues

@spctactical1776/TikTok itakdalee/ShutterStock Roman Samborskyi/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘Keep small bills on you’: Viewers divided after prepper provides tips for what to do when the banking system collapses

'That paper won't be any good.'


Alexandra Samuels


Posted on Jan 30, 2024   Updated on Jan 30, 2024, 2:47 am CST

A man went viral on TikTok after warning viewers to keep cash on hand should a hypothetical bank collapse ensue. But commenters were divided over whether this tip would actually help.

T&K Garage (@spctactical1776), who shares reviews and “prepping information” on his TikTok page, advised viewers to “always keep small bills on you.”

To help prove his point, the content creator opened a small safe where he stashed $1, $5, and $20 bills. @spctactical1776 kept ammo in the safe, too.

“If we had a financial crisis and the banking system went down… it’s always good to have a decent amount of cash,” he said. @spctactical1776 clarified that people should actually keep small bills on their person versus larger ones.

“If the system is down, they’re probably going to want exact change,” he said. “They’re not going to give you change back, either.” So, he concluded, having a decent amount of small bills at your disposal is “always a good thing to have.”

As of Monday, his clip had amassed over 1.3 million views.

According to BankRate, bank failures generally happen when they become insolvent—or don’t have enough funds to cover total customer deposits and money owed to others. But customers of federally insured banks are usually able to recover their funds up to the insured limit. “In theory, your money is safe,” said Jim Pendergast, senior vice president at altLINE by the Southern Bank. “But that’s a bit like saying your house is safe during an inferno if you have fire coverage. It’s not a stress-free process to go through.”

Given the uncertainty of how people might react to a number of massive bank failures, though, commenters were divided on whether saving small dollar bills was the best course of action. 

“You can’t eat money,” one user said. 

“Your ammo stash is even more important,” another viewer wrote. 

@spctactical1776 What happens if the banking system collapses? You should always keep some cash on hand and in small bills. Something is better then nothing!!! #doomsday #prepper #shtf #sambeready #getready #doomsdaypreppers #preppers #bankingcrisis #griddown #financialcrisis2024 ♬ original sound – T&K Garage

Others, meanwhile, questioned whether cash would be essentially useless in a doomsday-like scenario.

“Gold, silver [and] lead buddy,” one person advised. “That paper won’t be any good.”

“Bullets is currency,” another said. “Cash would be good to start fires with though.”

“I think cash would be worthless,” a third viewer noted. “I would probably invest into one ounce silver bullion.”

The Daily Dot has reached out to @spctactical1776 via TikTok comment.

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*First Published: Jan 30, 2024, 5:00 am CST