16 Worst Places To Hide Cash in Your Home

NEWS & TRENDING - MONEY NEWS
Are burglars already onto your not-so-secret spots?
Updated May 8, 2024
Fact checked
couple counting money together

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While digital wallets and contactless payments are taking hold, we still like cold, hard cash. Plenty of us like keeping an emergency stash at home just in case.

However, burglars and sticky-fingered guests know that most people have a hidden wad of bills somewhere. Here are some of the more obvious hiding spots you should avoid to protect your financial fitness in your own home.

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Dresser drawers

Torkhov/Adobe money stash in drawer

No matter how well-organized, top dresser drawers can often become a catch-all place for lots of small goods and knickknacks: underwear, hair ties, cufflinks, and rolls of cash. 

People like to sock money away there because it’s out of sight but still in an easy-to-remember location. It’s easy for crooks to remember, too.

Freezer or fridge

wavebreak3/Adobe woman searching for food in refrigerator

Opinions on fridges and freezers are mixed. While some home safety experts think they’re a smart option, many caution against it. Why? If you “think up” this tactic, it’s because you've seen it before in a movie or TV show — just like the bad guys.

Also, during economic downturns, thieves are known to steal food out of fridges and freezers. 

During the Great Recession, I know many people who had crooks break in during the daytime (sometimes while the homeowners were upstairs) and help themselves to milk and meats along with wallets and laptops.

Children’s bedrooms

famveldman/Adobe Happy Child playing with toy blocks

Sadly, yes. Kids’ rooms are a target ‌for home burglars. The bad guys know kids often have tablets, game consoles, TVs, and iPads. They will rummage through your kids' room looking for cash in addition to pocketing any high-value goods.

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Under the mattress or bed

Ersin/Adobe woman hiding money under mattress

It’s a cliche, but yes, people still tuck money away under their mattresses. Many naive homeowners think the bed is so obvious that no one hides their money there anymore, and that must make it a safe spot. It’s not; it’s one of the first places thieves look.

Toilet tanks

diy13/Adobe senseless waste of money concept

Using your toilet tank is about as cliche and obvious as your mattress. One TV show after another has crooks and good guys using the tank as a place to stash drugs, cash, and other valuables, and it’s one of the most common places thieves search.

Nightstand

pressmaster/Adobe housemaid putting wages into wallet

This is another common place that robbers target. Many people keep cash there not to hide it but to just have a place to store it — along with their phone, watch, and jewelry.

Jewelry boxes

New Africa/Adobe elegant jewellery in jewellery box

Jewelry boxes might as well have “steal me” carved into their lids. Home intruders know it’s a hot spot for keepsakes and valuable goods.

Medicine cabinet

Monkey Business/Adobe Man Taking Medication From Container

Home pilferers rummage through bathroom cabinets, looking for re-sellable drugs. Even OTC cold medicine has street value, as many contain ingredients commonly used to make methamphetamine.

Portable safe

Viacheslav Yakobchuk/Adobe woman checking portable locker at hotel

Bullet-proof safes with keys and combo pads are not secure — unless they weigh several hundred pounds and are bolted in place. If the safe box is light enough to pick up, they’ll take it and run.

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Office drawers and file cabinets

mnirat/Adobe woman taking out file from drawer

Burglars commonly target office drawers, desks, and file cabinets. They know that important papers are often stashed away inside, including passports, Social Security cards, and checkbooks.

Suitcases

Nomad_Soul/Adobe Woman closing overload travel suitcase

It turns out that people like stashing money in suitcases, carry-on bags, and hat boxes. Maybe it’s to safely tuck away cash for an upcoming trip or have a Plan B in case they ever need to disappear in the middle of the night.

Coffee cans

Robyn Sharp/Adobe Coffee can isolated on white

Those old Maxwell House and Folgers cans are another hiding spot to ditch. A tin coffee can in the open is a big invitation to hooligans. Even if a thief thinks it’s just coins inside, they’ll still take the can.

If you want to use your coffee can as a coin jar, make sure not to leave it out in the open.

Obviously fake containers

New Africa/Adobe Woman putting money into donation box on table

Avoid obviously fake containers — cheaply built storage ware that looks flimsy and phony. Burglars know that a “fake” store vessel is a decoy and will guess it must be hiding something good.

Laundry baskets and hampers

didecs/Adobe Laundry basket on blurred background of modern

Your dirty laundry is not safe from thieves. They will commonly rummage through your clothing, clean or soiled, to look for loose change, credit cards, house keys, and wallets.

Vases and pots

Maya Kruchancova/Adobe Gerbera in vase on wooden table

People like using vases and pots. They’re popular outdoors for keys and indoors for cash and jewelry. These objects draw a lot of attention and are quick for thieves to rummage through (smash).

Handbags and purses

Mariakray/Adobe handbags in female walkin closet

Everyone knows that people commonly stow cash in handbags and purses, but did you know that it’s not safe to leave it out in a separate room or closet at night?

Thieves can and will enter homes — with homeowners down the hall or upstairs — if they see a purse left out on a hall table or coat hook. 

This also goes for jackets (with pockets for wallets), backpacks, and laptop bags. Take them with you at night and put them out of sight from doors and windows.

Bottom line

New Africa/Adobe Man hiding dollars in book

Hopefully, you don’t have hoards of cash at home tucked into floorboards, fiber insulation, or toilet tanks. Banks where deposits are FDIC-insured are a safer bet. The top high-yield savings accounts will also help you earn more on your stash.

But for any cash you keep at home, be smart about where and how you hide it. Avoid these hiding spots and consider cleverer ones, like false stair treads, high-quality storage containers, or even a real container at the back of the pantry.

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Author Details

Stacy Garrels Stacy enjoys writing about fintech, consumer deals, the side hustle economy, and random tomfoolery. She's personally tried more than 100 different gigs, including being an Uber driver for one afternoon.

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