Best places to hide money at home
Everyone should have a disaster fund. Here are some tips for choosing the perfect secret spot to stash your cash.
This post comes from Len Penzo at partner blog Len Penzo dot Com.
Most people who have emergency and rainy-day funds use banks to keep their cash safe.
However, it's also wise to keep a home-based readily accessible disaster fund in the event a situation arises that makes it impossible to withdraw cash from those accounts -- especially if merchants become unable or unwilling to conduct credit card transactions too.
The trick is in finding the perfect secret place for hiding your cash from burglars and, sadly, even dishonest friends or relatives.
Of course, some places are more secure than others. For example, workmen fixing a broken water pipe in an El Paso, Texas, home last year were more than a bit surprised to find almost $1 million stashed inside a wall. (While nobody needs a million bucks to tide them over in the event of a local disaster, everybody should have enough cash on hand to cover at least a week or two of living expenses.)
Burying your cash outside is never recommended because it's not only easy to forget exactly where you buried it, but it's also prone to decomposition over time.
Inside the house you can always "hide" your money in a fire-resistant safe along with your other important papers and documents. But those safes are fairly easy for a burglar to find and, unless they're bolted to the floor, the smaller ones can often be carried off with minimal effort.
Post continues below.
A few years ago my pal Linsey Knerl proposed several good -- and not so good -- unconventional locations to stash your cash. Some of the better ones included:
- Fake return air vents.
- Fake drains.
- Fake electrical outlets.
- An empty box of frozen food.
For instance, a website called Brickhouse Security offers a panoply of products that allow you to hide your money in plain sight of would-be thieves, including safes that look like cans of soda and shaving cream, peanut butter jars, hollowed-out books and CD cases, landscape rocks, sprinkler heads and even scented candles.
No matter where you keep your disaster fund, just make sure it is made up of mostly small bills because merchants may be unable to make change in a crisis situation. The majority of my fund consists of $5 and $1 bills.
Now I know what the cynics out there are thinking: Why bother? A determined thief is going to find your money anyway!
True. But that logic still doesn't justify making the job easier for them. I mean, if that's how you really feel, why bother putting locks on your doors?
Besides, I'm not advocating that anyone should be hiding their entire life savings at home -- just enough cash to get through a natural disaster or other adverse situations where, say, the power is out for a relatively long period.
Anyway, if you have a favorite hiding place for your disaster fund, I'd love to hear about it.
Then again, I guess the burglars would, too. Never mind.
More on Len Penzo dot Com and MSN Money
What good is A LOT of extra money if the stores arent open or they have sold out??
Keep at least 4 weeks of food, water and supplies on hand at all times
I have enough for the two of us for at LEAST a month and i keep enough medication on hand for 6-9 months each
You never know when you might lose your insurance
i do keep $40 in each car and $200 at home and we both usually have between 40-80 bucks a piece on us
Others have commented, so I'll add my "ditto" to this ... Great article, but just like those articles that talk about shortcuts around my morning commute -- it ruins the secret !! *taking my stash out of that electrical outlet* as we speak. LOL
Well, I have a secret place but I can't tell you. Heh!
Should the Zombie Apocalpse happen and I think it will, plastic will be worthess. Cash, bullets and toilet paper will be the mediums of exchange.
If things get so bad that you can't get your money out of the bank then your money will probably be next to worthless at that point as well. Our fiat currency is just paper and a promise so I would recommend stocking up on dry goods and ammunition more than anything. I never get these gold and silver nuts as I would never trade anything of value for precious metals. You can't eat gold and you can't defend your home with it either. Just think about a scenario where everything is gone to hell and I am trying to talk you out of a bit of your family's dwindling food supply with gold coins in my hand. If you were smart you would realize that there is no intrinsic value in gold and silver either. Metal is metal is metal.
If you own your home, have a fireproof safe installed in the wall of your closet or behind that picture frame in the livingroom (sometimes the obvious is overlooked. Or heck you can even have one in your concrete floor in the basement. This way weather they find the safe or not, they cant get to your stash (wether gold or money or whatever). Chances are if you have an alarm on your house they dont have time to fuss with a safe so they wont even stay long enough to try.
But my best advise is to put the safe where NO ONE would find it (like in the boiler room..LOL)
Somewhere in the attic hidden in a fire proof and water proof safe, hidden in the "stuff" that seems to gather up there anyway.
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