Have you ever seen the television commercials in which lines at a store’s checkout counters move briskly when customers are using the sponsor’s credit and debit cards, but slow down considerably when someone has the audacity to use cash? The implication is that if you don’t use the sponsor’s cards for your purchases, you’re an out-of-touch dweeb who inconveniences all those around you.
Those advertisements always rub me the wrong way because there are a number of reasons why cash can be preferable — including for budgeting purposes. But I’m guessing those commercials are even more offensive to victims of disasters such as Superstorm Sandy, Hurricane Katrina and the tornado that devastated Moore, Okla., last year.
Storms such as those have caused long-lasting power outages and left millions of people in the dark and the cold (or the heat), and they’ve also rendered many ATMs temporarily useless. Even some of the machines that were still working following the disasters saw lengthy lines before they ran out of cash.
People with cash in their wallets were not holding up any store lines during the days and weeks after those types of disasters. In fact, in some cases they were the only ones able to purchase items that they needed. With many electronic store terminals down, usage of credit and debit cards was very limited.
The fact is it makes sense to always have cash on hand. If you don’t, you might find yourself in the position of not being able to purchase the items you need when you need them the most. Cash could end up being the only acceptable form of payment when the electrical grid goes down.
So if you’ve decided it’s a good idea to keep some cash available for yourself at all times, the next step is figuring out the best way to keep it safe in your home. The key is to select places where a thief would not think to look. Hide it so well that an intruder might be looking directly at the container in which it’s hidden and not even consider trying to find it there.
Following are some suggestions:
- In a can of soup. Open the can from the bottom, enjoy the soup, rinse out the can thoroughly, put your items in the can, replace the can bottom and place the can at the bottom of a stack of other canned goods.
- In a zip-top baggie. Put two pieces of Styrofoam around it and then wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil and place it in your freezer.
- In the soil of a fake plant, within a zip-top baggie.
- Between two pieces of cardboard backing within a difficult-to-reach picture frame.
- In an envelope under a heavy object such as an entertainment center.
- Inside a never-used toy relegated to the back of a closet or in a toy box.
- Inside a hollowed-out candle.
- Inside a laundry detergent box.
- Inside ironing board padding or within the hollow legs of an ironing board.
- Inside a clearly marked Christmas decorations box.
- Inside an otherwise empty shampoo or hairspray bottle.
- Inside a water-tight plastic bottle in a toilet tank.
- Inside an envelope taped to the bottom of a cat litter box.
The last place you want to hide your cash is the first place that burglars look, so avoid:
- Sock drawers. Very possibly the dumbest place to hide something. You might as well mail money in advance to the burglar.
- The back of a wardrobe closet. Unless you live in Narnia, not a good idea.
- Inside a shoebox. Seriously?
- Inside a soup can that’s sitting on a bedroom dresser. Right item, wrong location.
- Inside a laptop. Any pride you feel at successfully opening up a laptop and hiding cash in it will dissipate quickly when you realize the laptop was stolen.
- Medicine cabinet, clothes pockets, briefcase and underneath a mattress. All bad ideas.
Finally, make sure you remember where you hid your cash, and that family members don’t throw away any items in which you’ve hidden cash.
Note from the Editor: Round two of the financial meltdown is predicted to reach global proportions, already adversely affecting Greece, Spain and most of Europe. It appears less severe in the states because our banks are printing useless fiat currency. I’ve arranged for readers to get two free books—Surviving a Global financial Crisis and Currency Collapse, plus How to Survive the Collapse of Civilization—to help you prepare for the worst. Click here for your free copies.