Where Do You Stash Your Money?

I once read that 1 in 10 people don’t use banks for saving money. That’s hard to believe. Hiding your money is unsafe and unwise. But people do it all the time. I’ve done it. You’ve probably done it at one time or another. When my son was young, he used to hide his allowance under the couch cushions.

I knew a man that painted the inside of a Mason jar white and then used it to stash his money. He kept it right out in the open, on a shelf in his workshop. No one ever bothered it because they thought it was a jar of white paint.

In my locale, we call stash money by the name of Mason Jar Money. It’s a common practice here to hide your money for a rainy day. Some folks just don’t trust the banks and some folks are stuck in a time warp.

I had a great Uncle and Aunt who were firm believers in stashing their money. They lived like paupers, wearing second-hand clothes and buying food in cans without labels from the bargain bins. Their very modest home was filled with stuff. In one corner, stood a large stack of ancient National Geographic magazines which exuded a nasty, moldy paper smell. When they passed on at a ripe old age, their sons found thousands of dollars in cash and dividend checks. When they decided to go through the old magazines, they found thousands more.

Then there was the lady up north somewhere, I heard she hid $10,000 underneath her cat’s litter box. I hope she at least sealed it up in a plastic bag first.

Did you hear about the old bachelor who hid his money in the vacuum cleaner bag? His sister hired a maid to clean his house while he was away. She thought it would be a nice surprise. You guessed it. The maid threw away the money filled vacuum cleaner bag.

Of course you’ve heard of hiding money under your mattress or burying it in the back yard. The Walton family kept theirs in a coffee can on the shelf in the kitchen. My Granny was a little more creative. She rolled her bills up and stuck them in the barrels of a double barrel shot gun. Do you think there was a subliminal message there?

Why do people stash their money? Why don’t they use banks? Everyone has their own reasons. Some people, like Ebenezer Scrooge, enjoy surrounding themselves with money, just touching it and counting it over and over. Some people, namely the older generations, don’t trust banks. They think that somehow their money will just disappear and they will never see it again. Some people can’t be bothered and some people don’t want anyone else to know how much money they have. Sometimes folks only need to stash money for a short amount of time; maybe just until they can get to the bank or pay a large bill that requires cash.

Whatever the reason, you obviously have to be very careful where you stash your money. After all, someone else might find it or a burglar might steal it. I’ve heard of hiding money underneath the floor boards, behind a loose brick, taped under a drawer and in the freezer. I used to stash $100 dollar bills behind my son’s baby pictures in the frames. How about in the family Bible or that old copy of the complete works of William Shakespeare?

They even sell stuff that is designed for the money stasher. Ever heard of a money belt? How about those cans that are made to look like a real can of soup but it’s really a secret compartment? I’ve also seen hollowed out books and desks with hidden drawers.

Maybe the reason so many people stash their cash is because they don’t understand compounded interest or inflation and how it relates to their money. They know they have the cash. They know they can get to it at any time. They can spend it any way they wish or save it till the cows come home. It’s their money. Sometimes just knowing you have a bit stashed away can be a comfort.

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6 Responses to Where Do You Stash Your Money?

  1. K says:

    some banks pay crap for savings accounts. and bank of america pays none for student checking.
    either way i’d stack at least a thousand bucks or so at home in a heavy safe! lol

  2. Traciatim says:

    I believe it’s simple a fear of loss of control. In an emergency cash is king. In a real emergency you will likely have no access to debit, credit cards, ATMs or the like. If you have enough cash to fill your gas tank, get a couple hotel rooms, buy food, etc. you will be much further ahead than the people who are trying to use debit with no power.

    Some people may refer to this as their emergency fund. I keep the emergency fund at the bank, for things like a home heating failure, car failure, plumbing failure, or similar. I’d like to call on-site cash the GTFO fund . . . for obvious reasons.

  3. disneysteve says:

    Some people don’t use banks because they can’t meet the minimums. Some have lousy credit and can’t open an account. Some collect welfare and could lose their benefits if the authorities learned that they had a bunch of money in savings. Some have legal issues, child support, back taxes, etc. and keep their money off of the books for that reason. Some work “under the table” and don’t pay taxes so they don’t use banks to keep that money off the record. Some are here illegally and can’t open an account. And many live paycheck to paycheck and simply have no need for a bank because they have no money to keep in one.

  4. Diane says:

    I keep my main emergency fund in an ING savings account that now pays 2.75%, but it takes several days to access that money. I’m going to fix that problem by opening an ING checking account with a debit card, so money can be transferred & available immediately, if needed.

    I always keep $1000 cash on hand for immediate use in case of emergency or unexpected expense. I keep it in a large waterproof-fireproof safe box in the back of my closet, along with important family records.

    As Traciatim said – In an emergency CASH IS KING!

  5. Studenomics says:

    Personally I believe in holding money in some sort of interest bearing account. When money is stashed away under your pillow it gains no interest. with that being said, there is nothing wrong with hiding some money in your home for the peace of mind.

  6. Paulie R. says:

    I think it is not a bad idea to have $1000 or so stashed in the house. Back in the bad old days following 9/11 I started thinking about “what if’s” like an emergency evacuation order. I wouldn’t want to depend on credit and debit cards, because a large power failure might render them useless. A bit paranoid, but right now my money market account pays .5 % so why not keep some cash around.

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