While a bank is the safest place to keep your cash, if you prefer to have an emergency stash in your house, it's important to protect it, both from would-be thieves as well as potential loss or damage.
Fireproof, Waterproof Safe
Invest in a high-quality safe that is both fireproof and waterproof. This will protect your cash from theft and from a disaster, such as a fire or flood. Consider bolting the safe to the floor in an inconspicuous area of your home where you can conceal its whereabouts. For example, it might fit against the wall under shelving in a garage, but you should leave enough space to stack boxes in front of the safe.
A less expensive lock box can protect your cash from the sticky fingers of visitors or others who frequent your home. However, a lock box can potentially be picked up and carried away so the thief can pick the lock at a more convenient time and place.
Commercially produced decoy safes come in many shapes, sizes and styles and are designed to help you hide cash in the open, in places a thief won't readily look. You can buy or make decoy book safes, soup can or shaving cream can safes or even fake electrical outlets that hide cash. Keep items in their normal locations so they don't appear conspicuous.
DIY Hiding Places
Some old-fashioned hiding places are still effective.
- Place cash
in a plastic baggie, then put this in a sealed glass jar and bury it in your garden.
- If you have
a large fish tank, wrap cash in plastic and place it under your gravel filter.
- Put cash in
a plastic bag and tape it to the bottom of your cat litter box.
Places to Avoid Stashing Cash
Thieves are naturally drawn to jewelry boxes, purses, wallets, freezers and toilet tanks, so avoid these common hiding places. Thieves may also look in freezers and under mattresses for drugs and guns, so cash hidden in these areas is likely to be found.
- While you want to keep your cash safe, you don’t want to inadvertently hide it so well that you forget where it is. For example, if you hide cash in a child’s toy or behind an old photo, there’s a chance you will inadvertently discard or donate it.
- Don’t hide cash in something else of value. For example, stashing it in an expensive-looking vase or in a pricey electronic device might give the thief a bonus -- the valuable hiding place and the unexpected cash.
Let another trustworthy person know where you have cash hidden so it can be retrieved if you can’t get to it yourself.