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While storing large sums of cash in your home isn’t the best way to keep your money safe, it makes sense to keep some physical funds available in case a national emergency or catastrophe temporarily interrupts your ability to use your credit or debit cards or withdraw cash from your bank. The challenge is to figure out the best hiding place.


Of course, a strong safe is a good idea, but that will require some of the money you want to hide to buy it.  Though not as secure, here are a few free alternatives that are at least safer and more comfortable than the old ‘under-the-mattress’ strategy:

OUTSIDE IS IN: When someone is thinking about robbing a house, the last thing on their minds is “Wonder what’s buried outside.” That’s why you might consider burying your emergency cash somewhere outside the premises. If this sounds like a good idea, there are at least three things to keep in mind. Protect your paper money from the weather and bugs by wrapping it in a waterproof bag inside an airtight glass jar. Don’t let anyone watch you burying it. And, DON’T FORGET WHERE YOU BURIED IT.

IN PLAIN SIGHT: If you have a box filled with lots of envelopes, slip the cash inside one of the envelopes. Other ‘in plain sight’ places might include inside a hollowed out book (this precludes that it’s mixed in with a lot of other books), inside a bicycle tire, inside the hollow leg of a table or the hollow handle of a brush… The possibilities are endless.

WET IS A GOOD BET: If you ever saw the old John Cleese movie “A Fish Called Wanda,” you know that (spoiler alert) a certain ‘something’ was hidden inside a fish tank. Wrapped properly, this could be a good alternative for your money as well.