In 2019, nearly one in five Americans admitted to hiding cash at home in fear of a recession. Unfortunately, hiding cash in your home is one of the worst things you can do.
Not only are there financial implications, but there’s also the possibility of that money getting destroyed. Continue reading to find out other reasons why you should stop hiding cash in your home.
6. You’re Missing Out on Free Money
You’re missing out on free money if you keep your cash savings at home rather than putting it in an interest-paying bank account. That’s because putting your money in an interest-bearing savings account enables it to grow. While you may not earn a fortune in interest (the national average interest on savings accounts is 0.07% APY), you are missing out on free money.
With that said, you might want to consider online savings account instead of a traditional account at a brick-and-mortar bank. Online banks tend to offer higher interest rates, plus they typically don’t charge account fees due to little to no overhead.
DID YOU KNOW?
Some checking accounts allow you to earn interest on your money, too. For example, Ally Bank offers a high-interest checking account with 0.10% APY. Other features of this account include:
- No minimum opening deposit
- No monthly maintenance fees
- Deposits are FDIC-insured
- Reimbursement up to $10 per statement cycle for ATM fees
5. It Loses Value Over Time
Did you know that if you don’t put your money in a bank account that earns interest, it will be hit by inflation even harder? Yep, it’s true.
According to an article published by Money Talks News, it’s inevitable that the cash you hide in your home will lose buying power over time.
“Say you hid $1,000 around your house a decade ago, in January 2011. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation calculator, that grand would have the same amount of buying power as $1,187.81 in January 2021,” the article reads.
“In other words, your hidden cash can’t buy as much today as it could when you hid it. But putting money in a savings account that earns interest will help counteract this costly effect of inflation.”
Keep in mind that in a deflation, the opposite is true. But, you’re still taking a risk if you hide your money at home instead of putting it in a bank account because it’s pretty much a given that inflation will occur at some point.
4. It Could Be Forgotten or Destroyed
When you hide cash in your home, you run the risk of it being forgotten or destroyed. Imagine a fire breaks out in your home and is spreading pretty quickly. You’re not going to have time to run through your home to gather up all the cash you hid under the mattress, in the toilet tank or some other place.
And, what if there’s an earthquake or tornado? Those disasters usually come up quickly with little to no time to react. There’s no way you could get to safety in time if you’re running through the house like a madman (or woman) looking for your secret stash.
Or, what if you forget about your hidden cash? Believe it or not, it happens pretty often. There was a book sale volunteer who found $4,000 inside a donated book. Thankfully, there was an address inside the book cover, and the volunteer was able to track down the owner and return the money.
There was another situation where a mother passed away, and while her children were going through her things, they found money she hid in pockets, nooks and even slippers that her daughter almost donated with the cash still inside.
3. It Won’t Be FDIC-Insured
The great thing about putting your money in a bank or credit union is that you can count on it being insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation. That means that your money will be covered even if the bank gets robbed.
Unfortunately, you most likely won’t be able to say the same if your home were to get robbed. Even if you have an insurance policy, the coverage for cash will typically be limited to $200. So, if you have your entire life savings at home in a suitcase on the closet floor or under the mattress and it happens to get stolen, you would be in for a huge loss.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
While banks and credit unions typically insure deposits, only $250,000 (including accrued interest) of your funds will be insured. With that said, if you have way more than that in your savings, it may be best to stash your cash in different ownership categories at the same institution or in more than one institution.
2. It Might Not Be Covered by Insurance
Homeowner’s insurance policies won’t offer much protection for the cash you hide around your home. They will typically insure only a small amount of cash (around $200) that gets stolen or destroyed.
This is done through one of two types of personal property coverage: replacement cost and actual cash value. Replacement cost policies pay the dollar amount it will take to buy the new item at the time of a claim. Actual cash value policies factor in depreciation to provide reimbursement based on the current value of the item.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
- Renters insurance typically protects the residence against certain risks and generally does not protect the renter’s belongings.
- Not all risks are covered by a standard insurance policy. In other words, if your hidden cash were to get damaged in a flood, chances are you likely wouldn’t be reimbursed for it. If, however, you had a separate flood insurance policy, you may be able to file a claim for flood-damaged items in your home.
1. Thieves Know To Look There
Burglars know that people like to hide money in their homes, so it makes sense that your mattress is one of the first places they check when breaking into your house.
Another place thieves know to look for money is the toilet tank. Even Hollywood knows this and often shows scenes where burglars check the toilet tank during a home invasion. Despite this fact, some websites still list it as a good place to hide money.
Another place burglars know to look for hidden cash is in a lady’s purse. Not the purse you carry every day, but one of the purses you have in your large collection in the bedroom closet.
According to an article published by the personal finance website Wise Bread, there’s a pretty good chance that “this totally-out-in-the-open hiding place is a little too available for many thieves.”