6 Smart Hiding Spots for Your Emergency Cash

Life savings ready to to be buried in the back yard.
anthonysp / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Those who keep extra money, like an emergency fund, in their homes may be curious about some of the best spaces to store it. Since traditional savings vehicles like high-yield savings accounts are not applicable in this situation, those in possession of excess funds need to get creative with where they keep this money.

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Consider stashing your emergency cash into some of these clever spots.

Fake Personal Items

This is a helpful tip for those traveling overseas as well as those seeking hacks for keeping their money safe at home. Consider fake personal items, like the following, to discreetly store any emergency funds:

  • A hairbrush. Use a round hairbrush with a hollowed-out middle and store cash inside the brush.
  • Empty lip balm tubes. Do you need to tuck a tiny bit of cash somewhere safe? Store it inside an empty lip balm tube. Try a sunscreen lotion tube or an empty shaving can if you need a larger container for your savings. Always make sure the tubes are cleaned out before use!
  • Feminine napkins. Carefully open a sanitary napkin and hide folded money inside it. Then, fold it all back up and re-stick the sticker in place. These items are seldom, if ever, suspected for hiding excessive amounts of cash.
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Remember, though: When storing emergency cash in fake personal items, keep the items tucked away in places you won’t forget.

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The Bathroom

When it comes to hiding emergency cash, there are a number of hidden spaces inside your bathroom where the money can be easily stashed. 

One of the most common is the toilet’s water tank. Seal your emergency cash into a jar or another watertight container to ensure it doesn’t get wet and store it carefully inside. A toilet’s water tank also makes for a great place to store other valuable items beyond emergency cash, like jewelry or stock certificates. (Again, we can’t stress enough the importance of storing these items into watertight containers.)

Where else in the bathroom can you hide emergency cash? Have you tried using your toilet spring bar? The spring bar is what holds your toilet paper roll in place. Carefully take it apart, roll up extra money, put it inside and reassemble into place.

Fake Electrical Outlets

It’s becoming much more popular for homeowners to construct fake infrastructure in their homes where you can hide emergency cash inside. 

Look into purchasing hidden wall safes disguised to look like electrical plugs. Make sure to purchase a plug in the same shade as your home’s existing outlets and carefully follow the instructions for setting up a fake electrical outlet. 

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Empty Food Containers

Do you have an empty box of frozen breakfast sandwiches? Fill it with some of your emergency savings — or better yet, stuff the money into a half-empty box so the box doesn’t lose its heft — and leave it in the freezer. Stash emergency cash into counterfeit food containers like cereal boxes, canisters of beans or soda cans and keep it stored in pantries, the refrigerator or the freezer. 

In a pinch, consider using clean or interior spray-painted condiment containers. Who would suspect a bottle of ketchup as the home of your emergency stash?

Buried Outside

Grab a shovel and start digging. Homeowners may consider keeping some emergency cash stored inside their home and some buried outside in the backyard or garden.

As with any cash stored in a space where it could get wet or damaged, make sure to tightly seal the money up beforehand in waterproof containers, jars or even tarp. Dig enough to bury the goods and cover your tracks afterwards. Keep another member of your household in the loop about the buried money too, in the event you forget over time where you buried it.

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In a Safe

It’s not nearly as clever as the items mentioned above, but when in doubt a traditional safe can provide emergency cash with plenty of security. You can invest in a wide variety of safes ranging from those with difficult combinations or made from materials like steel — all designed to protect your assets.

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About the Author

Heather Taylor is a senior finance writer for GOBankingRates. She is also the head writer and brand mascot enthusiast for PopIcon, Advertising Week’s blog dedicated to brand mascots. She has been published on HelloGiggles, Business Insider, The Story Exchange, Brit + Co, Thrive Global, and more media outlets. 

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