I started writing this article sitting in the dark with no power after a storm. Fortunately my laptop was fully charged and I have a little USB powered light that illuminates my keyboard. The next morning the power was still out—for hundreds of thousands of people in my state. I needed to do my weekly shopping but the grocery stores were closed. I wanted some produce from the farmers market, but had no cash. The ATM machines did not work. Sometimes, there is just a good reason to have a bit of cash hidden in your home. I think this is one of them. But where would you keep it? Here are seven places to consider.
1. Taped to the inside of a dresser.
Thieves may look in your sock drawer, but will they dump it and look underneath? Or how about taped to the inside back of the dresser where you can’t see unless you pull the drawer all the way out? Put your cash in an envelope and tape it there.
2. A hollowed out book.
This classic hiding place is not such a bad idea for the book lover with lots of book shelves in his home. Simply choose a hardback book that you don’t care to keep and cut the center of the pages out with a razor blade. Put your envelope of cash in the hollowed-out section and place the book back on the shelf.
3. A fake electrical outlet box.
You can purchase fake electrical outlets that open to reveal a hidden box. It is just the right size to hide some cash and a few pieces of jewelry. This item normally comes with a template for you to use to cut a fresh hole in your drywall, or you could replace an outlet that you do not ever use. If it doesn’t match your other outlets, you can switch out the front plate. If you like this idea, Brick House Security offers a wide range of diversion safes that resemble everyday objects like hairbrushes, shaving cream cans, or dog food containers.
4. A package in the freezer.
Save a frozen vegetable bag. Fill it with a few packing peanuts and your cash in a zip shut bag. Twist tie it shut as you would any other half-used bag. Hide it in the back of the freezer—as though it was forgotten. No thief is going to want your half-bag of old broccoli cuts.
5. The bottom of your flour canister.
Place your cash in a zip shut bag and put it in the bottom of a canister. Then put your sugar, flour, or cornmeal on top. The only downside is that you have to dump your flour into a bowl to retrieve your money.
6. Inside your plumbing access door.
Most bathrooms have a little door that is screwed on the wall at the drain end of the tub. Sometimes this is hidden inside a linen closet. This opens to a shaft that will run the height of your house (attic to basement) to house the piping. You can install a little shelf inside and above the opening so that it is not visible unless someone sticks their head inside. This is an ideal place to hide a little fireproof cash box. If there is not enough room to install the shelf, simply tape an envelope of cash to the inside wall.
7. In the toilet.
Seriously, put your money in a mason jar and submerse it inside the water tank of your toilet. I like this idea because you can always access your cash without everyone in the house watching. Simply excuse yourself to the powder room and slip it into your pocket.
I should mention a couple words of caution to anyone contemplating hiding money in their home. First of all, tell your spouse or someone you trust where it is. If something happened to you, they may need that money. Secondly, do not hide cash in something a thief would steal anyway—like inside of electronics or in your car. Also, don’t hide it in something you might get rid of without thinking—like a suit coat pocket or the inside of a shoe. Lastly, except for the freezer, none of these ideas will protect your valuables in case of a fire or natural disaster. If that is important to you, use a fireproof safe that is professionally bolted down.
What about you? Have any other ideas for stashing your cash? We’d love to talk about it in the comments below!