There have been a couple of recent high profile losses of large amounts of stolen money. Most of us aren’t in the habit of hiding a million dollars in the mattress, but you probably have a few dollars stashed somewhere in your house. So where are the best and worst places to hide money?
Best Places to Stash Money
Unless you’re Al Capone, a bank is the best place to stash large sums of cash. It’s not earning interest sitting under your bed. My friend’s father was a WWII immigrant and didn’t put much faith in banks. One night, he decided he would be dead by morning and revealed a shoebox full of $8000 to his wife. He didn’t die, and was so angry that he moved the money the next day. However, he did finally die a few years later and his wife and children found $30,000 hidden throughout the house. This, I would consider extreme. Even at 1% interest, $30,000 over 30 years adds up to an extra $10,495. That’s not pocket change.
Your Emergency Kit
If you live in a disaster area, then you should have an emergency kit. In addition to food, water, flashlights, etc., you should also have a few hundred dollars in cash. If the power goes out, your credit and ATM cards may not work, but cash is accepted everywhere. In this case, your goal is not to protect it from burglars, but to be ready for an emergency.
If you have kids, buy a toy with a Velcro compartment and stash some money in there. Put the toy with the rest of the toys. Then make sure you child doesn’t leave the house with the toy!
Worst Places to Stash Money
Not just in the mattress, which sounds horribly uncomfortable anyway, but under it. Burglars know to look there, which makes it an unsafe option. You also shouldn’t hide the money under the bed, because once the mattress has been tossed, you’re hiding place is easy to access.
In the Underwear Drawer
Once again, not a great choice because it’s a cliché. Frankly, if I were looking for a place to hide money from burglars, I’d list the first 20 places I could think of and then rule them out as being too obvious.
A Money Hiding Kit
You see these advertised on TV as cola cans, chip cans, and other items that are supposed to disguise the money. Here’s my problem with that – first, don’t you think the robbers know what those look like? Second, what if you have a guest or worker who sees the item, tries to enjoy the snack, and then finds the money. An unscrupulous guest or worker might take it. You could decide not to keep it in the kitchen, but then it’s even more obvious.
PF Advice had an article with more places to hide money. It got me thinking – when you’re trying to stash money, think like a burglar. Imagine what you would do if you were ransacking a place. Could the money accidentally fall out if the item was thrown? If you were searching a house, where would you look? If you didn’t care about your possessions, would anything stop you from getting to a specific spot? Avoid all of those spots and look for the unconventional instead.