Should You Keep Your Cash in a Home Safe?

Woman opening the safe to put the money in it.
skynesher / Getty Images

In an era of digital transactions, online banking, and cyber threats, the idea of physically stashing money at home in a safe can seem both old-fashioned and appealing.

Some people believe that keeping their hard-earned money within arm’s reach can offer peace of mind and immediate access. But is it a wise choice? Here are the pros and cons.


Immediate Access: You can access your money anytime without the need for ATMs or bank visits. This can be particularly useful in emergency situations where you might need cash instantly.

Protection from Digital Threats: With money in a safe, you’re not exposed to online fraud, hacking, or digital banking glitches that might temporarily make your funds inaccessible.

Tangible Security: For some, there’s a psychological comfort in seeing and touching their savings. It can also serve as a deterrent from impulsive spending as the money isn’t readily available for card transactions.

No Bank Fees: By keeping cash at home, you can avoid certain banking fees such as account maintenance charges or ATM fees.


No Interest: Money kept at home doesn’t grow. In contrast, savings accounts, certificates of deposit, and other financial instruments can earn interest and increase your wealth over time.

Risk of Theft: Even the best safes can be broken into. If burglars are aware there’s a safe in your house, it might even make you a more attractive target.

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Fire and Natural Disasters: Cash is vulnerable to fires, floods, and other natural calamities. Even if stored in a fireproof safe, there’s no guarantee your money will remain intact in extreme conditions.

Loss Potential: It might seem unlikely, but there’s always the risk of misplacing money or forgetting where you’ve stored it, especially if it’s not all kept in the safe.

Inflation: Stashing large amounts of cash in a safe means its value isn’t being invested to combat inflation. Over time, the purchasing power of your stashed cash can diminish.

Lack of FDIC Insurance: Money kept in FDIC-insured banks is protected up to $250,000 per depositor, per institution. Cash in a home safe doesn’t have this guarantee.

While there are valid reasons one might want to keep some cash in a home safe, it’s essential to weigh the risks and benefits. For most individuals, it may be prudent to store a limited emergency cash fund at home while keeping the majority of their savings in secure, interest-earning bank accounts or investments. Always ensure that if you do opt for a home safe, it’s of high quality, securely anchored, and located in a discreet place.

Editor's note: This article was produced via automated technology and then fine-tuned and verified for accuracy by a member of GOBankingRates' editorial team.

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