Seven Secret Places To Hide Cash In Your Home

It’s a good idea to keep a little cash in your home for emergencies. How much you decide to keep is up to you, but I would suggest keeping enough cash on hand to pay for a week of groceries, and maybe a night or two in a hotel. Because this money will not be earning interest, and is subject to being stolen by a burglar, I don’t suggest keeping a huge stash in your home. In addition to a small amount hidden at home, I also stash cash in our online savings account (my ING Direct review) to put a little distance between me and some of our savings. Think of cash stored in one of the best online banks as an offsite backup disaster recovery plan.

When you’ve settled on an amount you should think about secret hiding places to stash the cash. We’ve all seen those spy movies where the guy removes the tile from the back splash behind his stove and pulls out a cache of bills, passports and ammo. Well, the following ideas may not be worthy of James Bond, but they will improve the chances of your money surviving a break in.

Seven Secret Hiding Places for Your Cash

1. In the freezer wrapped in aluminum foil. Save a little styrofoam from the next pack of meat you buy and cut it down to the size of a couple large steaks. Put your cash in a Ziploc bag, stick it between two pieces of the used meat tray and wrap it in aluminum foil. Take a piece of masking tape and write “Scraps – 05/22/2005.” Robbers are not likely to look through the pack, and if they pull back the foil they’ll only see the familiar styrofoam tray and stop.

2. Sandwiched between the cardboard backing of a hard-to-reach picture frame. Most thieves pull back pictures from the wall to see if money is taped to the back, but they aren’t likely to take the time to look behind the glass, the cardboard backing and the picture itself. Use a pen knife to split the cardboard backing into two halves and sandwich the cash in between.

3. Under a piano, entertainment center or anything weighing a couple hundred pounds or more. If you have a hand truck around the house it’s pretty easy to just lift up the corner of a piano and slide an envelope under it. However, a burglar probably won’t be able to lift something this heavy, and would spend his time digging through the drawers or inside of the furniture rather than trying to lift it.

4. Inside a used can of soup. The next time you have soup, open the bottom of the can to empty the contents and the leave the top in tact. Rinse the can thoroughly, then use it to cover your stash of cash hidden inside your pantry. Stack a few cans of soup on top just to make it less convenient for someone to pick it up out of curiosity.

5. Buried in the “soil” of a fake plant. If you have a fake plant, or small tree, in your home, wrap your cash in a Ziploc bag and nest it inside the “soil” of the plant.

6. In hollowed out pages of a book on your book shelf. Using a pen knife or box cutter, carve out a few pages of your least favorite title. Hide your cash inside the book and return it to the book shelf.

7. Inside a kid’s toy hidden in their closet. Kid’s rooms are notoriously messy, and kids are not known for having large sums of money. Take apart an old plastic toy they no longer play with and hide your stash of cash in there. Return the toy to the bottom of the pile of toys in your kids closet, or toy chest, and it should be safe.

It’s important to remember that any cash saved at home could be lost in a fire or natural disaster. The ultimate hiding place is a fireproof safe bolted to the floor, and even that isn’t fool-proof. The ideal spot for storing large amounts of cash is an online savings account, far away from your house and any potential danger. But for the small amounts you stash at home, take the time to put it out of sight.

Also, remember to tell a spouse or close friend about the money in case you are not able to get to it (you die, or become injured or ill and cannot communicate). Keep enough cash on hand to cover you a few days in a major emergency, but not so much that you’d be completely wiped out if it all disappeared.


  1. I keep mine in a locked file cabinet. It’s hidden, though, in the stuff that’s in there. It will be protected in case of a fire, and it is kind of hard to get to for anyone else.

  2. Interesting…I never thought of doing something like this as a grown up. When I was a kid I used to hide money in my room all the time. But I’d forget about it, so every so often I’d pull back a picture frame and see if there was any money back there.

    Most of the time there wasn’t.

  3. Hi

    Why do you suggest keeping this amount of money in cash? Is it in case of bank failure or something like that?

    Also, if you are going to keep a bit of money wouldn’t it be better to keep it in your wallet?

    many thanks


    • Because that’s the first place they’ll look… O.O I mean, if you were a robber, a wallet seems like a fairly straight forward place to find money! Right?

    • you should keep gold at home…4 years ago i was in thailand and i bought a gold coin for myself..paid34000 baht..i converted that to 640 that time euro was maybe 900 american..but now its worth 1250 euro ..1600 american…and godlike adoration in thailand..

      • so last year i took all my savings, after a difficult separation. from my state bank which had given me less than 3 percent over that fiscal year, and bought gold ..and paid spot price +5%….14380.euro for 4 x 100 gram bars..i paid too much ..amateur..but still up 15% now at about 16000 euro

    • Well it wouldn’t make much sense to have cash in your wallet if that is the thing a robber is after… A back up supply. Plus when the banks fail your cash is gone, and FDIC only insures between 100,000 and 250,000 dollars.

  4. @Neil
    When the electricity goes down- so do the credit card machines. Cash can get you through. Many of us found that out during the ice storms.

  5. These are great ideas – as long as you don’t forget which toy or which book, our house has thousands of both! Two cautionary tales – my granddad who passed away last year put his cash – not just emergency money, ALL OF IT – in his books. a 20 or 50 here and there. We had to flip through every page collecting bills. Kinda lightened the somber mood, but also a Pain In The A…Second, my in-laws’ stash was several thousand dollars (they never told me exactly how much, but since they have a home-based cash business, DH thought it was probably closer to $10K) and their house burned to the ground. So when they most needed $$, they had lost it. never keep more than you couldn’t afford to lose. I’d say $500 – $1000 is more than enough depending on the size of your family – that’s a few hotel nights + meals + a little extra…You’re not planning for Armageddon or Hurricane Katrina – just enough to get by for a week or two…

  6. Janette- thanks, in the UK we have the most boring weather in the world – just rain 🙂

    I suppose it’s a good idea anyway to keep something just in case of disasters.

  7. How about hiding cash in a box of tampons? I recall reading this idea somewhere and thought it was an interesting idea.

  8. @Meg: Tampons and toilet tanks used to be highly recommended, but unfortunately the word has gotten out to thieves and this is one of the first places they look. Apparently those involved with drugs often use these as hiding places, too.

  9. So, where was it that you live again frugaldad? Just thought I’d stop by to rifle through your freezer, your books and your soup cans..

    Just remember not to end up like the lady in Israel who left her 1 million dollar life savings in her mattress, that her daughter threw out in the trash!

  10. How incredibly fun to come up with places to stash your cash around the house!

    Hmmm… how about this:

    Stash your millions inside packs of unused toilet paper!

    You know where you store toilet paper… in the linen closet, bathroom vanity, etc. Now just take one or two of the rolls, roll up your cash & stuff it inside the roll.

    Here’s another one…

    You know the attic entrance in your home? Put your cash in a zip lock bag, get a ladder, open the attic entrance, & put the baggie somewhere close to the entrance up in the attic.

  11. If you’re going to hide multiple thousands of dollars in your home I recommend converting that paper money to silver or gold. This way you protect your savings from inflation and in the case of a fire the metal may melt but it won’t burn away to nothing, it’ll be a pain to recover but it won’t just be gone for good.

  12. Here’s a crazy idea… how about… a firesafe? You can included all your important papers, any firearms, heirloom jewelry, your credit cards (when you’ve gone cold turkey and don’t want to carry them around), and so on.

    Fire and flood proof. Too heavy for a thief to carry. Hidden. Locked. Secure.

    Oh who am I kidding, soup cans are much more fun!

  13. There are small fireproof lockboxes…if you keep them “buried” under a pile of boxes in the back of a closet, theives are unlikely to move all those boxes to get to it…or put the box in one of the boxes under a pile of books or old magazines. You are less likely to get to it also.

    I Like keeping some in my vehicle also. Under the spare tire is a fairly safe place, and I’m sure you can think of others.

    Yes, when the electricity goes out for a week at a time here, or if you live in a place with only one atm that works sporadically, and you need cash in the middle of the night, it’s good to have some on hand to supplement what’s in your wallet.

  14. I agree with Ivy about the safe. I don’t think your run of the mill house thief would know what to do if confronted with a good safe.
    As for hiding it in toys, soup cans, etc…beware of spring cleaning, donations and food bank requests (not to mention a poor memory).
    Buy a good safe (lock box) and bolt it to the floor or wall stud in the back of a closet.

  15. @Bible Money Matters: You’d be very dissapointed! Remember, I suggested to keep enough cash for a few days of groceries and a night or two in a hotel. We are not talking about keeping our life savings here.

    Besides, you don’t think I’d share the place where I actually keep my cash, do you? After all, the original title was “Eight Secret Places…” but I decided to keep one a secret.

  16. @the other Matt: Gold/Silver is more easily recovered after a fire, but is almost useless as payment during a power-out emergency. I think the idea here is to have a way to pay for things as a short-term emergency passes.

    I like all of the ideas except the last one. I don’t have kids, but I remember when I was a kid I was notoriously fickle. I would frequently stop playing with toys for long periods of time, only to make those toys my favorites with no notice. Be careful hiding money in a toy, or it could end up in the yard, or even in a friend’s house.

    We’re lucky to have a fire/water proof combination-lock safe bolted to the floor behind a false cabinet in our house. Good luck to anybody finding it, or getting into it!

  17. Have none of you ever seen the show “to catch a thief”? Loom up some clips of it. It is VERY enlightening.

    You might think these ideas are clever. They aren’t. Professional thieves are fast, furious, and smart. They empty pantry shelves looking for the “odd can.” they don’t bother snooping around furniture…they use their body weight and tip it over. TVs of course often get stolen, so an entertainment center is easy to move or tip. Pictures, unless they look like valuable paintings, get smashed. Even kids toys aren’t safe. If a thief feels like he has a little time to spare, and he is frustrated from not finding the stash in the more obvious places, they’ll do the work. And the longer it takes the
    to find it, the madder they get and the more damage they do.

    On the show they prove again and again the best protection Is a good alarm system, a well lit and visable exterior with suspicious neighbors, and should they get in….a bolted down quality fireproof safe.

    Don’t kid yourself. You might fool a teen breaking in looking for a quick buck, but any thief worth his title won’t be fooled.

  18. I’d be afraid of losing it, but I understand the premise of the article. I don’t worry about thieves where I live, we have essentially a zero crime rate. I could leave my car windows open overnight (I’ve actually done this) and not have anything removed from my car.

    Its too bad more places aren’t like where I live.

  19. I like the idea of the “meat scraps” hiding spot… but must say, after watching multiple episodes of “It Takes A Thief” I would question some of the other suggestions. It’s amazing how quickly those guys can tear through your home, and they really do look just about EVERYWHERE. Soup cans are one of the places they look (all they really need to do is grab cans and look for one that’s light-weight), kids rooms get trashed, bookshelves are torn apart, closets are cleared out in seconds flat. Under something heavy is pretty good, but you really shouldn’t count on being able to just hide your stash in a pile of other items (as in hiding a fireproof safe amongst boxes). Speaking of a safe, if it isn’t either too big/heavy to move, or bolted to the ground, be assured they WILL take it! It’s funny, I love that show… but it will make you paranoid!

  20. While you’re hiding money in your house. Come get some free money and prizes to further fill your home. I search for and relay the best, no strings attached giveaways on the net, and offer cash prizes of my own.

  21. Use 2 safes.

    One in the closet (burglars love closets) with some cash, valuable-looking stuff (I use gold-plated replica coins)

    And that is the safe I give up if you’re holding a gun to my head.

    Real valuables go in the other (hidden, bolted to concrete) safe.

  22. Behind the furnace door in an envelope with instructions sticking out of the top (controls area, not flame area).

  23. There’s no perfect place to hide money or anything else. Theives are just one threat, fire, flood, tornado, earthquake or unintentional disposal by a third party are some of the others.

    However the point of the post is well taken, better to make some provision just in case. Having some cash handy is a good hedge against a failure by your bank, an extended power failure or the possibility that some diabolical computer hacker will finally succeed in disrupting a major part of the cyber grid. Just like the threats to cash saved at home, none of these can be dismissed out of hand.

    And life’s kind of weird in that bad things tend not to happen when you’re prepared for them. I vote that this post is a good suggestion.

  24. There was a statewide power outage in California a number of years back. Since we used mainly debit cards and didn’t have much cash on hand, we had to borrow cash from my in-laws to buy ice, gas for our generator and groceries. Embarrassing, but a good wake up call. Thanks for the reminder to keep (and hide) a useful sum of cash around the homestead.

  25. Ha ha ha…. let’s hope the thieves aren’t reading this one:) I think these are all great places – the freezer idea and kids’ room, for sure. Very important to have some cash, since as others mentioned, banks might be down, electricity might be out, etc. A few gold pieces would also be smart to keep, but not in the same place, of course.

  26. This is a timely post. Tonight the news is reporting that a foreign entity has successfully attacked computer systems in the US temporarily shut down a boatload of systems and websites.

    Good incentive to do what the post suggests!

  27. as Bill in NC says, have more than one place, put a fifty in the toliet tank, a fifty, or hundred in a soup can, better yet under the soup can label. once they find a decent stash they may leave, just remember where they all are.

  28. If you want the likelihood of your house getting ransacked and destroyed to be lower, leave $50 or $100 in a place that is easy and obvious.

    @Leah: I saw some show a while ago that indicated that for high-level thieves, having a sign posted as to what alarm system you have gives them the info they need to hack it.

  29. @h lee d

    I’d imagine there are plenty of ways to let would-be thieves know you have an alarm without telling them how to hack it.

  30. @H Lee D,

    Most alarm companies use several different systems (for many it’s what’s on sale this week at the distributor). So when you see their sign you have to ask, “What’s behind that door? Honeywell? DSC? Napco? Focus? Or maybe it’s a takeover from a competitor?” Modern alarms aren’t that easy to “hack” provided that the installer didn’t leave them with a default code and you never know if they have a cellular back-up or video that they can log into from off site.

  31. As for stashing cash. I have about $40-60 in my computer desk cupboard and a bit more in my gunsafe.

  32. Most thieves avoid my house, because the sticker on my door says, “This house is protected by Smith & Wesson.”

  33. If you are going to bury your money, papers, etc., underground, a few thoughts.

    1. Use lengths of PVC Pipe with one sealed cap, and the other a screw cap. Even tho’ it’ll be sealed, I’d recommend placing it in zip lock bags, or heavily sealed foil first… Just in case.

    2. When you bury it be sure it’s:

    a. In location where you won’t be observed burying it – you don’t want your neighbors, potential theives, etc., knowing where it is.

    b. A location that won’t be dug up, eroded (say in flood waters, etc.

    3. You have some way of REMEMBERING/FINDING where you buried it! Consider putting a map in your safe deposit box, and/or,sending it to a relative in a sealed envelope in case of memory loss.

  34. She Who Must Be Obeyed, suggest the following additions to my previous comments about burying:

    Avoid metals if at all possible, including foil, they can be detected with metal detectors.

    Use a GPS to make an accurate determination of the location.

    Don’t put ALL of your emergency assets in any ONE place. Split it up among different locations and different methods (see preceding comments from everyone).

  35. Well frugaldad, I carry about 2 grand in my wallet. It’s always with me (I’ve never lost a wallet) and I also have a concealed carry permit so a pistol is usualy in another pocket (or in my waistband.) The money is never out of my control, I’ll not loose it in a fire and if I have a personal emergency away from home, I’ll have it with me.


  36. This is a pretty poor list as others have metnioned. You need to get into a hidden space construction to make it really hard for break in crews to miss…
    Some books via amazon:

    How To Hide Anything by Michael Connor (Author)

    Construction of Secret Hiding Places by Charles Robinson (Author)

    Big Book of Secret Hiding Places by Jack Luger (Author)

    Handmade Secret Hiding Places by Nonny Hogrogian (Author)

  37. In some places thieves come in with a moving truck and simply take everything down to the walls. There goes all the neato stashes inside of objects!

    All items in a house are worth more than the cash stash mentioned in the article. And let us not forget the thieves who drive up and roll away the safe into the moving van. Some people on vacations have returned to find even the wires and copper pipes pulled from their homes.

    If you’re protecting yourself against an amateur then a cash stash might work. But remember, those kids are also reading “how-to” files on the net. Spread your hiding places around and make a mnemonic to help you track it. C-upboard A-ttic S-tove H-ouseplant. (Or something easy to spell and decode for your type of personality.)

  38. What I’ve done is hidden a .357 mag revolver in the pantry. If they break in and overpower me I’ll tell them I have money in the top shelf of the pantry closet. While their attention is on the top shelf of the pantry, I’ll be going for my gun on the bottom shelf.

  39. Don’t hide money inside a Speaker, they could steal the speaker without even knowing about the money.

  40. If you’re really anti-banking and is not afraid of your house getting burned down.. the best place to hide anything is inside the walls of your house.
    1. Use hammer to walls
    2. Hide valuables
    3. Repair wall
    4. ???
    5. Profit! kinda

  41. I keep my cash in a sock tucked under the bottom drawer of a chest of drawers. You pull the drawer right out and drop the stash in the space underneath. Then put the drawer back. I fill that drawer with heavy clothes such as leather jackets, heavy wool jumpers etc. I know this works because when I was broken into all the thieves found was my tin of loose change on top of the chest of drawers. So I lost about $10.00 in loose coins.

  42. I kept a rainy day stash in a fire proof safe but when I opened it several months later it had mildewed. Fortunately, my bank replaced the bill with new ones but I’m glad I didn’t store any documents there. Apparently there is enough moisture in circulated cash to propagate any spores on the bills.

    Does anyone know how to prevent this from happening in a sealed vault?

  43. @Carol: I’ve heard suggestions to store some of those silica gel packets (like comes in shoeboxes, packaging, etc.) along with the cash to help prevent moisture issues. Not sure how much it really helps, though, if the moisture is in the bills themselves.

  44. One other place to hide cash that I used as a kid was an empty deodorant bottle. You can’t stick a lot of bills in there but it is a good hiding place that nobody would ever think of to check…well that is unless they read this post 🙂

  45. I heard of someone who would hide quarters in lengths of empty electric conduit. The relatives had to dig through the walls of the whole house to find them all.

  46. There are literally hundreds of places to hide valuables in any house if you keep an open mind and look for them, especially if you are doing any sort of remodeling. Just add in a hiding spot while you are building. Fake pipes in the basement, a blind space in or under a cabinet or closet, etc.

    I had a house once that had an 18″ wide space behind the tub due to an unusual roof line. That was as far back as the tub would go. All I had to do was add an access panel in the back of a closet… voila a huge hidden storage space.
    Simply look for dead end spaces and a way to cover them to make them inconspicuous.

    Putting in kitchen wall cabinets? Sometimes they need a 1 or 2 inch spacer to make them fit the wall. Just make the bottom filler removable. How about a removable toe kick? Or the hole where the drain pipe comes out of the wall under the sink?
    Cold air returns? In hollow cement blocks in the basement? All interior walls are hollow, you just need a hidden way to access the hollow space.
    Of course a “professional” given enough time might find anything so the key is to not give them enough time. Silent alarms that call security can help limit the amount of time, while just making your house more difficult to rob may convince the pro to look for easier pickings. As far as the ameteur anything is better than nothing. Just don’t hide it in the ice cream container. Had a thief break in once and eat the ice cream.

    Remember, no hiding place is worth anything if you tell everyone about it.

  47. I don’t like the idea of a safe, because, if found, the thieves could just sit down and wait for you to come home. People today are so desperate that they will resort to violence to get what they want. Personally, I found two foolproof areas inside my apartment that absolutely nobody will ever find, and in the event of a fire, will be the last places to burn. As a former engineer who investigated lots of house fires, I know that my stash will be perfectly safe, maybe a bit charred, but in good condition. Any metals stored in there are safe because the details of construction will prevent all but the most intense fire from damaging them.

    The best plan of action is to appear to be without anything of real value, and to have a “gimme” stash that you can hand over quickly. Personally, I have about $200 worth of rolled pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters in a conspicuous file cabinet well away from the real stuff. And, no, I will not tell you where those two places are. They came to me while I sat alone in the dark, unable to sleep one night. Just use your imagination, and read something like the “Colditz Story” for inspiration.

  48. As awesome as this post is, I think it might be an oversight to assume that buglers don’t read lifehacker.


  49. simple, thieves will not change the outside appearance of the home they are raiding, keep a small amount rolled up (way inside @ top) of the window shades. Set shades in normal position.

    thieves are post literate as are many these days, worry not abt them reading this.
    NOW, if i can just find the drive-by crooks who whited-out my 401-K…

  50. I think the point of the “This home is protected by XXX” signs is mainly as a deterrent. Why would a crook bother to hack your alarm if the house next door has no sign at all? Once they enter the house they’ll know if it’s alarmed or not, but at least with an unsigned house they have a chance that there’s no alarm at all. Of course now I think they sell fake security company signs for people who don’t have alarm systems…

  51. I have a few safe drops around the house- ask any man who’s been married any length of time where his wife won’t look- and I have certain places I can hide my loot. Some of it is in obvious places, some not-so-much. I have $400 stashed in my bedroom, my wife has literally torn the place apart looking for it and hasn’t even gotten warm. I have a couple hundred in the shed in a fake oil bottle, I have a buried PVC cylinder with a couple hundred in it, and have actually made a safe by implanting a piece of 3″ pipe with a clean-out cap on it into a couple of sacks worth of concrete in the ground. Looks just like a clean-out for a drain. It’s under a bathroom window, so it looks legit. Just make sure you accompany the plumber if you have a drain issue!

  52. Don’t forget that “Rats” (I’m talking about the four legged furry ones, not the two legged type)like to chew paper (Money) and make nests. So be sure that your money is in a small metal box or glass jar with a good lid. Just imagine a $10,000 rat nest!!!! LOL

    Also, you may want to start Midnight Gardening. This is placing valuables in a water proof container and bury it in the ground if you have a place to do so. Just don’t forget where it’s located. “Ten paces from that large rock, oak tree etc.” Also, rap it in heavy foil so that it can be found with a metal detector, just in case. I have not heard of any thieves using metal detectors. I guess nothing is perfectly safe.

    Footnote: Burglars fear nothing more than the “Armed American Citizen”.

  53. Yes I agree that we all need handy cash just in case. But why all this scare about burglars?. Why not leave a bill board in the house for burglars?. “Dear Burglar, welcome to my house. The money is in the fridge. Please help yourself and close the door on your way out. PS. Please leave your name and address if you are not 100% staisfied. I can mail you some more money on my return. Stop by again any time and feel at home”. Just be sure you leave a $20 bill all the time in the soup can in the fridge. It is a hefty tax to pay to save your home from being ransacked.
    It is a whole new ball game if the theive is a rat or a mouse.
    Lets face facts. Every house has 1.5 millions objects and places to hide money. A burglar needs 1 full year to comb a house from object to object to find a 3inch X 2inch roll of $1000.
    The burglar has more odds of winning an American Lottery than finding $1000 taped inside the heel of one of 25 baby shoes inside a brief case full of fire wood near the fire place.

  54. to keep bills from mildewing, do lile restaurants do add rice to salt shakers, add rice to plastic bag with cash forget the salt thats for restaurants. rice will absorb moisture.ronald.

  55. The use of ELectric Outlets & light switches are the best IMO for hiding a small roll of 20s – o 50s/100s for the more affluent. I also like the suggestion of a false wall inside a kitchen cabinet. The trick is to make sure it’s not visible – like inside a odd shaped lower cab that’s hard to get in to. Doesn’t need fancy hinges or such – just cut a piece of wood to fit, paint/stain to match and press into place. It can even be screwed into place for added security. Those of us with garage cabinets can use those also. Great thread –

  56. My brother had a money safe that was a coke can that weighed about as much as a regular can of coke where the lid screwed off. It was pretty neat.

  57. A Firesafe with a handful of dessicant packets saved from vitamin and medicine bottles after using them up to prevent moisture hidden in a specially created compartment hidden under the carpet or in the crawl space of your home are other smart areas. Just remember though, that any cable guys, pest control workers or other workmen who frequent homeowner’s crawl spaces know people hide valuables this way so make sure it is buried as well. The reason I mention this is I know a retired cable installer who says that in the 1970’s he ran across professional people’s (Dr’s, Dentists,Lawyers and Airline pilots) secret stashes of valuables and illegal drugs such as marijuana, hash-hish and cocaine anchored under the baseboards of the crawl space.

  58. By your open suggestions, don’t you think that you are teching thieves the methodogies as well.

    No safe place, in fact.


  59. Hi, those are great suggestions for hiding cash at home. But one day, when grandma was hospitalized, My Dad cleaned up and defrosted her refrigerator.
    (those old kind w/ice building inside the freezer)
    Anyway, My Dad indiscriminately dumped away all “old” meat and TV dinners, saying they were “freezer burned” and expired. He even got rid of the old refrigerator and bought Grandma a new 2008 model.

    When my Grandma recovered and returned home. She was so irate saying that her life savings were thrown away by her son (my Dad). We were beyond shocked. She never speak to her son ever again.

  60. I have always wondered if the power goes out for an extended period of time, how many Security Systems will still work? I know some of them will “phone home” if the monitoring system signal is lost and some have battery backups. What happens when the phone system goes down for some reason? We had a big truck take out the phone pole down the block and we had no phones for almost 48 hours.

    A good neighborhood watch is a better deterrent but do to the rise of middle of the day break ins even that isn’t fool proof as a good portion of the people on the neighborhood watch work during the day. A beware of Dog sign is also nice to have posted. Robbers won’t know if you do have the large dog or not!

    I do like the fake pipe in the basement as it would be harder to determine what pipe is fake if a thief new to even look for one.

    2 or 3 small fire safes work well since if they find one or two they might leave the other one or ones alone.

    I used to hide stuff inside a computer tower when I had a nosy roommate that I did not trust. Remember those large Computer Towers with 5-7 bays? Lots of room in those that didn’t cause problems with the operation of the computer.

  61. I had a computer tower like that, had a bunch of the tray-style removable HDDs, had one with no HDD in it. Kept money in it..

  62. Be careful with beware of dog signs. If you actually have a dog and the dog bites someone, you’ll be liable because the sign indicates that you knew that your dog was a danger.

    I have also heard that small dogs are a bigger deterrent because they just keep barking and barking and barking, which alerts people to a problem.

  63. Wow! With these unlimited imaginations I think we should simply change the topic to 1001 secret places to hide Cash in your home. The chimney and the bathtubs also have some interesting hideaways.
    A friend of mine says he stashed his in the hollow of a statue of the Virgin Mary and Kept it on a small prayer table in the corner of the bedroom
    No burglar or nosy spouse will dare to touch or throw away a relic like that. I will try stashing mine in a statue of Buddha next time.
    Now that’s what I call the holy hideaways.

  64. I suppose thieves don’t read this column or others like it??…now I know why many homes that are burgled are so trashed! (Maybe I’ll just put up a sign, “No Cash on Premises”)

  65. … a small fireproof safe under the woodpile outdoors. My luck would have it that when I needed the cash I’d get bitten by a brown recluse. 😛 They’re indigenous to my neck of the woods – pun intended.

  66. Contact your jeweler and order to make a thin plan of silver metal which could be inserted in your throat and when you get it wrap up bills of 100 like a cigarette and put in the plan and then insert the plan in your throat. You may be at home or out or wherever money will always be with you. A few hours practice will let you used to to live with plan.

  67. Most of the anti-mildew suggestions submitted here are worthless. You need to (1) remove as much moisture from currency or documents before storage, and (2) keep moisture away from same thereafter. Most of us don’t live in the Mojave Desert, so specific steps need to be taken to achieve this result. The best bet is to put the paper into a warming oven and bake out the moisture at low heat (120F-140F) over a period of several hours; an electric oven is the best choice, since gas ovens produce a lot of water when the gas is burned. Be sure the documents can stand such temperatures before you proceed. Immediately vacuum-pack the baked paper along with a FRESH dessicant packet, not a packet salvaged from a vitamin bottle, in a plastic bag specifically designed for vacuum sealing, as ordinary polyethylene plastic bags allow oxygen and water molecules through. Dessicant packets are available from packaging supply stores. Home vacuum sealers and supplies are available from Costco and better household supply stores, e.g., Foodsaver. If the containment has leaks, the effort will be for naught, since temperature changes will cause the container to “inhale” ambient air, and the desiccant will absorb water vapor until it becomes dripping wet, destroying currency or valuable papers with which it comes into contact. The package must contain so little moisture that there won’t be any visible condensation all the way down to freezing temperature.

  68. As far as soup cans go, that could be difficult these days, unless you’re talking about the big cans. Campbell’s and other soup brands have pretty much switched to deep-drawn cans, and only the top can be cut off with a can opener on the small cans typically sold in the canned food section of your local grocery store. This trick may still work for larger food service cans with rolled-seam tops AND bottoms, but then the can might be rather conspicuous among a bunch of smaller cans.

  69. I keep $1000 at home. $200 in the cereal box in 10s and 5s and 1s. $800 inside a small plastic box inside the power socket of one of the umpteen power sockets in my house.

    I have had my house burgled once. The guy took $200 and left the $800 intact.

  70. I hide money in a secret compartment in my wallet for when I go drinking, the idea being the if I get drunk, I’ll forget it is there and can use it in an emergency. It never works though.

  71. Being a retired SNCO who used to travel around a lot I always had what was called a “Cunning Kit”. This consisted of a special belt with a thin pocket built into the lining just big enough to slide 3 fifty dollar notes rolled up very tightly.When out at night I carry a wad of five dollar notes folded in half with three notes on the outer, and then paper inside to make it bulky in case the perp decides to count, most see the first two and the third next so they stop. You could have 2 or 3 of the belt pockets made if you were well built with a large girth so I could carry extra notes of $100 notes as well. Another good place is in a small wallet strapped to my ankle. If you are held up and you reach down to your ankle crooks think you might be pulling a gun so most times they don’t bother to look. If they do I rest on one knee and pull out a very nice 32 calibre pistol with a 6 shot mag. I don’t muck around either. I just pull it out and shoot the crooks legs first. After that I follow my instincts. Not too big very light. My wife also carries one on her thigh. The important thing about these cunning kits is that you don’t have to leave your spare money at home. You always have it with you for any emergency. I was caught in a massive flood once in a northern country and had to be airlifted. There were no atm or banks open because they were all ten feet under water.

  72. Mr. and Mrs. Smith, anyone? : – P Good movie!And Goodonya, Kimble Jury! It’s certainly something I would seriously do as well.

    Speaking of traveling and carrying a large amount of cash, when my AF active duty ex and I, along with our two kids, were relocating back to the states, we flew out of Brussels. Having $800 in cash, I stashed it all in a travel wallet (LL Bean) looped around my neck by a thin rope. Both wallet and rope were all tucked inconspicuously out of sight under a snug-fitting denim jumper I chose to wear that day for that purpose. No one was the wiser.

    Continuing my travels throughout Europe while stationed there for six years, I was NEVER robbed while in Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, Luxembourg City, Munich, Frankfurt, Salsbury (Austria) and numerous other smaller cities and villages. Most often I carried a hip pack.

  73. I have a friend who had many coins, rings and papers in a fireproof safe. When the fire came, and went, the shell of the box was found, completely burnt out, with a few diamonds and rubies remaining in the crisped remnants of the case. The paper was gone, and the gold and silver largely unrecoverable, and alloyed together in random streamers and ittyy bitty lumps. Fireproof has its limits, if the fire is hot enough and long enough.

    Do not store a fireproof case in something that will burn, and you have accomplished much.

  74. I’ve always hid my cash in the cold air return of the heating ducts. Just lift the grate and stick your arm down so it’s out of sight. It’s a pretty big spot, and I don’t think it’s likely to be looked in.

  75. You can put sign in visible place with text something like this “If you find any money, please, call me/my wife xxx-xxx-xxx. I/She will be very grateful” 🙂

  76. Once in the home, according to the Chicago Crime Commission, burglars spend an average of eight minutes searching for items to steal. So they have to go for the most likely places to find valuables, right? That would be in bedrooms — on top of bureaus and in drawers, most likely. Or perhaps in a safe, so they may spend some of that precious eight minutes looking behind paintings or other obvious places where safes are stashed.
    But how much time do thieves spend looking in pantries, under sinks, even in refrigerators? Because that’s where clever consumers place their diversion safes, consisting of images of food products, soft drinks, cleaning products and more.
    You may think that burglary is a random crime, but experts tell us it is not. It
    involves a selection process. Thieves look for an unoccupied home with the easiest access, the greatest amount of cover and with the best escape routes, crime experts say.
    Thus, you want to make it as difficult as possible to enter. That means doors and windows locked. And consider a highly visible decal indicating an alarm system; burglars dislike alarm systems and will usually pass by the house. A “Beware of Dog” sign can also be a deterrent.
    The most discouraging F.B.I. statistic is that police only clear about 13% of reported burglaries. So it comes down to this: who can out-strategize the other the best? If you can’t prevent them from breaking into your home, there’s a good chance you can fool them into thinking that your valuables are all in a bank somewhere by using diversion safes.
    By stashing you valuables in a fake flower pot, a dummy book, a phony electrical plug, what appears to be a can of food or drink and/or a household cleaning can – even a fake rock – maybe you can out-think the thieves. The diversion safes are economical; perhaps a combination of two or more might even spread out your risk.

  77. Try under the shelf lining paper in either your kitchen or bathroom.

    Pull up carpet in the corner of the room.

    In ceiling light fixtures.

  78. You suggest an online savings account. What do
    you do,for cash,if the banks fail for any of a number of reasons?

  79. @sgar: In a complete economic/banking collapse, paper currency may be worthless. The little bit of cash stashed at home might not even worth the paper it’s printed on. In that case, having items to barter with, and survive on, are far more important.

  80. You all are talking about 20’s & 50’s & maybe 100’s – but I knew a woman who went down to work in New Orleans after Katrina and she said what she needed most was 1’s & 5’s. The people selling things don’t have/or keep lots of change around (cash registers do not work…) so she had to pay $20 for a sandwich a few times! So it seems to me that a few rolls of 1 & 5 would be a great idea.

  81. Home Depot (on line) sells a floor safe that can be flush mounted in any floor – concrete or wooden. The idea is to have it hidden in plain sight.

    It’s an 8″ diameter tube that’s about 20″ deep. In my case, I jackhammered my concrete floor, dug out the fill dirt, dropped the safe in the hole, and filled with concrete.

    The plug-style lid pops in the top, and a cover goes over that. If mounted correctly, the cover will be just flush of the regular floor covering. I have ceramic tile, so I made the cover flush with the original concrete. Then, I dropped two tiles over the cover. Short of a metal detector, there is no way anyone would know that there is a safe in the house. It’s invisible. Even if they knew, they’d have no idea where to look.

    The one I got (from Sentry) costs about $130. A throw rug covers the spot, and heavy furniture sits on top.

    I think the biggest risk to this approach is forgetting you have it. I can just see it now – headlines in 200 years “Constructoin workers find safe with XXXX gold bars”…

    Make sure you tell at least one or two trusted family members that there is a safe in the house – just incase you come to an untimely end. Of course, that may just hasten your untimely end 😉

  82. what a great list !
    Did you hear the one about the lady who bought her mum a new mattress as a surprise …then junked the old one with $1million in it.
    She then spent weeks at the tip looking for it …unsuccessfully !
    Glad you kept your one secret !

  83. of late our country seemed overrun by burglars and snatch thieves.
    of course we would have the alarm system, locked doors, a tumbler of coins with 5s and 1s while the few 50s and 10s stashed in several places around the house.
    but being of Chinese origin i also subscribe to the principles of fungshui.
    some include:
    having a pair of fu dogs outside your main door and having a blue rhino inside your house facing your main door.
    for protection from snatch thieves i wear chain-lock amulet. i was almost a victim of a snatch thief once. his fingers grazed my neck but he missed my bag with my cash altogether.

  84. Or course it always a good idea to keep a couple of bucks stashed for emergency purposes. It’s an even better Idea if your a burgler to read articles on “How to stash your Stash” so you know the popular hiding places.

    IF you want my stash you will have to get past my 1911 45 ACP to get it!

  85. I had a chance to get an old safe, it was on wheels, but weighs about 500lbs, I really liked it but couldn’t get anyone to help me lift it up on the back of their pick up. I hid money in a ship model, mostly old coins. my mom threw it out. I hid it around the house in various locations, some where found, some weren’t. I would never tell anyone where i keep my money, but when I go to mexico, I put my money in my more personal place, It is not a good idea to take it out in front of the people you are giving it to, but then again most mexican banditos just want to kidnap gringos, not take the walking money.

  86. As a former burglar, I can say with certainty that having a pair of fu dogs in front of your house will not stop a burgler. A pair of Dobermans, OTOH, will send most burglars searching for less slobbery targets.

    The stash ideas are all good, but if you really want to keep cash in your house like a grownup, and have it safe from thieves, invest in a good steel safe and bolt it to a concrete floor. We may stare longingly at it, but our goal is to be in and out of your house in under 15 minutes, and that thing would take all day to pry loose. Do that, and your stash cash will not only be safe from us, it will be safe from fire, tornadoes, or other disasters.

  87. Most businesses, banks included, have generators so they can continue to operate even if the electricity goes out. During Gaston, I didn’t have electricity for 2 weeks and I did just fine: didn’t have to use spare bills hidden in the house, just used my credit card like every other day. Actually didn’t spend much, except some food, but I bought less food because the fridge didn’t work.

  88. Now that you have told the theifs where to look, people will need to locate other places to hide cash. By the way on-line savings accounts may pay a little more intrest, but there is an inconvince in retriving you money. it si easer to go streat to your bank for emergency money from savings.

  89. @C.T.

    Have you been to the FDIC website lately? Seen any of the stories about their solvency? Shelia Blair continues to spout the same “no depositor will ever lose money” even as our banking system circles the drain. Chris Dodd said Fannie and Freddie are not only NOT in trouble, but their profitability would skyrocket – in July 2008 – just 6 months before they were taken over by the government.

    Unfortunately the masses continue to believe in the “hope and change” mantra. Your comment is proof that many still can’t see the 800 lb gorilla in the room.

    I wish you and your deposits well.

  90. A good place to bury item(s) is under the yard/garden stepping stones. Easy to watch and locate.

    Plus you can do it quickly and in the middle of the night. Just be sure to lay out a plastic sheet for the dirt you remove or you’ll leave tell tale amounts of dirt crumbs in the grass around it.

  91. I was searching online for places to find money in my home so I could go down to the store and buy something, when I found this and read it just for some interesting ideas. Then I remembered where i hid some of my money. Thanks!

  92. ha, I had a hidden wall safe and the buglers pried off the tumbler, then we had to drill it out to open it, so had to then cut away the wall to get it out, was built into the 2×4’s,,,,,so they can get at anything, but agree, you need cash, in case power out, and emergencies.

  93. as for leaving some cash out, why not fools gold instead? maybe have it molded into coins.

  94. 1. Measure the thickness of your closet door.
    2. Obtain a “spade” drill bit 1/2 to 1/3 that thickness.
    3. Open the door and drill a hole down from the top of the door.
    4. Insert suitable size tube/conduit/container.
    On hollow doors glue a tube with bottom in place and out your container in that

    No one will see it, even in an apartment.

  95. If you put money straight into the tube, take a piece of string tied to a washer you placed in the tube before the money.

    The other end tie to a washer that sits on top of the money. Of course you want the tube a little deeper than the money is wide…


  96. The best place to hide money ( i think ) is a marker.
    1. Take the bottom cap of a marker off.
    2. Then take the ink out and put in the money.
    3. Put the lid on, (put the tool you used in a SAFE PLACE were you wont forget.) if you forget I suggest finding a tool simular to the one you used, or if you can break it BREAK IT.

  97. I have saved cash on my property for years, the main reason is that I own and operate a massive cash business and only bank what I claim which is not to much…There have been times when my wife and I have had half a million dollars hidden on our property….All tax free….got a love it!!

  98. Lots of useful tips here, and enough “general” ideas for you to form new hiding places of your own. I have a small “savings account” at home that I just started a week ago. It involves putting back any $5 bill I happen to get as change or when cashing a check at the bank. I now have a new hiding place that will be in effect by 5:30pm this evening because of this thread. The new hiding place will allow for “growth” as the savings account grows.

    For those without the fire~proof safes, here you go:

    Teenagers are a very good resource for learning new hiding places. Ratty old pair of tennis shoes in the back of the closet, under your other shoes? Nasty looking gym bag with some clean, old clothes in it… either one is a great place.

    For the organized domestic engineer: Stacks of towels in your linen closet – put two in the back, on the bottom of the stack that you know you won’t use. Place bag of $$ there. Same with bed sheets. Keep those twin sheets that your child outgrew, and put them on the bottom of the stack in the back of the linen closet.

    Tape a ziploc bag to the underside of a lower cabinet shelf, the underside of your keyboard tray, under a bathroom cabinet… you get the idea.

    Thanks for the post!

  99. Here’s a thought. My father in law is a cop, and he said that when burglars break into a house, one of the main things they look for is cash. Most of the time, they just knock things over, trashing the place until they find some. His suggestion was this. Hide most of it in a clever hiding place, like the ones listed in this article. Then take about $100 in various smaller denominations, and put it on top of the fridge in a cookie jar or something similar. That way, the criminal will find that cash fairly quickly (traditional hiding spot) think that’s all there is, and leave without tearing your house to pieces looking for another $500 – 1000.

    • I have 2 gun safes for that exact reason. One is somewhat hidden but most would find it on the first pass. There is less than $500 in firearms in it. The second you’d need a diving rod to find.

      • Same idea as carrying a $5 in a pocket ready to hand, so if someone threatening approaches you for a handout, you show them the money and toss it at an angle and MOVE. “Mugger money.”

  100. I really liked the idea of keeping money in the soil of a fake plant, and I’m sure I am going to try this method of keeping money in a safe place. I hope it works! Thanks “Frugal DAD”

  101. I wonder if thiefs make posts like this just so they keep abreast of the latest developments?

  102. All these comments about where to hide valuables in your house. If burglars are breaking in to find all the good stuff, it sounds like your best bet is to find a very secure unassuming place outside in your yard to hide money. They are clearly not going to start digging up the yard.

    For the folks that hide cash in baggies around the house…good luck during a fire. Inside your home, floor safes are probably your best bet. Keep your home well lit, get a dog and a gun. If they get passed all those deterrents and break into the safe, then lucky them, they win the grand prize.

  103. We just leave our house messy all the time. It gives the appearance that we were already robbed. Valuables still safe so far.

  104. I liked the replies. Here in TX we leave it on the counter. Then we spread the word. See who comes in for early retirement. They all seem to retire right before they pick it up..its a crazy thing.

    **Disclaimer, this process also has been implemented in OK. Longhorns and SOONERS don’t mess around.

    • Yea, you folks have the legal right to protect your lives and your property without facing murder or manslaughter charges, as it should be. In other states, bleeding hearts have made that very difficult, and some righteous family folks sit in prisons, their families ruined, because of this idiocy. Don’t assume that while you are protecting yourself, your family, or your home, that the law will be on your side! Big mistake… Think I’ll move to Texas.

  105. Inside curtain poles works pretty well, as does putting cash in a pack of cereal or a bag of flour. Even a jar of coffee! It may be a bit messy to retrieve but effective.

  106. Just remove a floor tile at your home, open a big hole and put your money there. fix the tile again properly.
    Another place is to dig a hole on a wall, put your money there and cover the hole. paint the room so no one will notice there is something in the wall.
    just make sure you select a wall or tile at the far end of the house so in case of a building collapse due to an earthquake or something similar, it will be easier for you to find your stuff.
    Also, what I proposed is for long term hiding.

    Another place where thieves might not look as most of them search almost everywhere inside your house, is to hide it outside 😉

    Also, hide counterfeit money (from your printer) and fake jewelery under your mattress. most thieves if they (think) they found what they were looking for, they will not try to look further.

    I wouldn’t recommend hiding stuff in the fridge or in the toilet.

  107. I have converted cash into nickels and store them in a stainless steel old timey milk container. It sits out of the way. It weights too much for the burglar to carry away…it’s too much work. If we have an economic disaster then the metal value of the coins is always worth something verses paper money. I’m going to keep it in my assisted living facility …or…over at the Nursing Home. I love the feel of the coin money, and get to play with it once in a while.

  108. Dug a 36″ square hole 24″ deep. Had a aluminum box liner to fit hole and put in safe, weapons, ammo, and lot of cash. Sealed it with a aluminum top and added 1/4 inch lead tape to top. Covered it with same rock in the area, with Plants in pots to cover area.

  109. I keep my cash in a Sharpie highlighter. I just took out the bottom white part with a pliers, took out the tube of ink/color, rolled up my money, put it in, then put the white lid back on. I also put a sticker on the secret highlighter so I don’t accidentally give it to someone. I like this a lot but the only problem is that it can’t hold a lot of bills or they will get stuck. But you could put some high number bills like 20’s or 50’s or even have multiple secret highlighters for different things.

  110. I’m sure no one has suggested this hiding place yet… taped to the bottom of the cat’s litter box…… Or even in the bag of clean litter.

  111. How about u use up all your chapstick and roll up your money inside an put it in a big pile of makeup? I saw a picture of that on instagram and it seems interesting and i dont think the thief is gonna check all of your makeup:)