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Best places to hide money at home

It's good to have a stash in case of emergencies, but don't overdo it. Bad things can happen.

By Karen Datko Mar 16, 2010 9:41AM

This post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.


I had a conversation recently with a friend of mine who likes to keep a little bit of cash at home in the event of a zombie apocalypse. As I reminded him that zombies don’t take U.S. dollars, I thought about how we like to keep some cash on hand at home, too.


My friend was talking a thousand dollars or two; we keep maybe a hundred bucks. While he was trying to up his chances of survival, we do it to avoid an unnecessary trip to the ATM if we find our wallet or purse a little light one day.

That led me to wonder where the best places are to hide your money at home, and fortunately the Web did not disappoint.

First, there’s no limit to human ingenuity. Just spend a few minutes looking through the slideshow WalletPop put together on the craziest places people hide their money and you’ll see things like inside a fake I-beam, the cookie jar, the attic, a fake roll of toilet paper, under the litter box, mason jar buried in the garden and -- my favorite -- an empty can hidden in the pantry. Hopefully all those people can get to their cash when the zombies start rolling in.

Now that you have a list of potential places, you need a strategy. Putting all your cash in one secret spot works as long as the burglars don't find it. If they find it, then they have all of your money. Why not spread your loot over several secret hiding spots? If a thief is short on time and starts flipping over everything, he may quit after finding one stash. Burglars don’t have a ton of time, so giving them a little offering like that may stop them from finding all the pieces.


Next, remember why you’re keeping the money at home and be smart about how much. We want to avoid the ATM, so we keep less than $100 at home. We could keep $1,000, but that would be way more than we need, plus it’s interest we’re not earning by not having it in a savings account. Keep the amount logical.


How much cash do you really need at home? Probably not as much as you think. Remember that in the event of a fire, you don’t want to feel compelled to save your money from the flames.

I feel obligated to point out this story of a woman throwing away a mattress that, unbeknownst to her, held $1 million of her mother’s savings. Saving money is good, saving a million dollars is great, but saving it in your mattress is a horrible idea.


Lastly, don’t be so creative that you forget where you hid it.


Related reading at Bargaineering:

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