The Best and Worst Places to Stash Cash in Your Home
The current economy has many people considering a simpler method of financial security — cold, hard cash. And while we all agree that a buck has value, it is also a bit vulnerable when not hidden properly. Forget the $3000 hi-tech safe, and stick with these affordable tricks I picked up. You’ll never guess which way I’m using to hide my money!
I’m not kidding. Walletpop mentioned this gem of a tip, and I was instantly intrigued. By leaving a little “product” in the box for authenticity, and taping a wad of cash to the inside, you can be sure a robber won’t think to look in there. (Ladies can be certain that a husband or boyfriend won’t find it, either.)
Another beauty from Walletpop, this one involves a little more handiwork. By constructing a false drain in the floor of your garage or basement, you can place a pipe full of money where no one can see. (Just make sure your cash is stored in a waterproof container or baggie, in case an unknowing person tries to use the drain!)
Digging holes and hiding money is an age-old practice. The key is to remember where you put the cash and keeping it safe from the elements. Most experts recommend using some kind of PVC piping to keep dirt away from the stash, and to discourage the ground from caving in. This will also prevent a pesky underground burrowing creature from discovering your secret. This article by LiveSafely.org suggests several extra tips for getting the job done. (Be sure to bury deep, and don’t forget where you hid it!)
Family Handyman Magazine (Nov 2008) offers step-by-step directions for using the face plate of an air vent to conceal a cubby you can stash valuables in. The best part is that it is held in place by magnets (to give you fast access to your own cash) and the sawed off screw heads that give the whole thing a look of really being secured to your wall. If you use your imagination, you could probably rig one up without the directions.
Several people already keep their credit cards on ice, but what about cash? I wouldn’t put your bling in a box of Pizza Rolls, but if you have some aging frozen haggis or a box of hominy you’re not overly attached to, you can use it as a covert hiding place for a wad of twenties.
I like this idea of cutting open a tennis ball, stashing your valuables inside, and then placing the ball back between two others in their original tube container. Just make sure that the goods don’t rattle when you shake them. (You can stuff some tissue paper in with jewelry or coins to hide their sound.)
Please don’t take this to mean a “real” outlet. You can use a method similar to the return-air vent technique to create your own wall cubby that most smart burglars won’t attempt to touch. You can also skip the work of the DIY method, and buy one pre-made.
Now that you know some good places to stash your cash, it will help you avoid these worst places.
This is one of the first places thieves are going to check, and it is hardly conducive to a good night’s sleep. (This roundup from AOL Money includes an “expert tip” from the husband of a “lazy 350-pound wife.” If the aforementioned “beached-whale” happens to read his unsavory advice, he may have more problems during the night than a cat-burglar.)
Several websites still list this as a good place to hide money. Too bad every mob movie I’ve seen with home invasion as a pervasive theme directs the goons towards this niche first. The only thing going into my toilet tank is a freshening tab (or possibly a brick to save on water usage).
Yep, it’s been said that a lady with a large purse collection should pick some random handbag and stick it in there. Chances are good, however, that this totally-out-in-the-open hiding place is a little to available for many thieves. Don’t you want them to have to at least work for it? (And what if the thief has a penchant for Prada, Kate Spade, or Jaclyn Smith by Kmart?)
A few other pointers for those who want to conceal cash in their home include:
- Be aware that many homemade safes (including those I mentioned) won’t make your valuables immune from fire damage. If you are concerned about the possibility of your nest egg going up in flames, consider a fire-proof case or bag.
- Leave a clue to where you keep it. If you should happen to die or disappear for a really, really long time, would your loved ones know where you keep your cash? Unless you want your valuables to be of no use to anyone else in your passing, let a few close relatives or a trusted friend know your plans. Or have it clearly explained in your “top-secret” will.
- Make sure you have the value of your cash added to your home owners or rental insurance, if at all possible. Some companies will have specific regulations as to what they can and can’t cover. If you have large amounts of cash on the premises, however, see how you can best minimize loss in a bad situation using your insurance plan.