where to hide money at home safe

In this post, we are going to go over some of the wacky places where to hide your money at home in plain sight. With all financial dramas in the world, many people are playing it safe and keeping more money at home rather than in the bank.

The US Department of Justice reports that property crimes such as burglaries made up 7.27% of the total violent crime logged in on 2018¹. These burglaries involve home break-ins and may be performed by expert and novice burglars alike.

Recent research has shown that burglaries are most likely to happen when a house shows the signs of being unoccupied: drawn curtains in the ground floor, lights off, and the absence of cars parked in the garage.²
Most burglars are deterred by an occupied house, a lack of cover provided by foliage and landscaping, or even as simple as an updated house alarm system³.

Yet, there’s no harm in further proofing your home to avoid or minimize losses you may possibly incur in the event you become a victim of a robbery.

The most common items being taken in robberies are portable electronics, cash and jewels, and house tools. Items that are not taken by burglars are larger items such as motor vehicles, food, liquor, toys, bikes, and sporting equipment.⁴ (These are harder to sell and transport)

One of the best deterrents to hiding valuables and smaller items is to conceal them in plain sight. Burglars prefer taking in smaller items, as large bulky items such as TVs make it difficult for them to make a quick escape.³ To further safeguard yourself and your possessions, here are some tips on where to hide your valuable items in your home.

Where to hide your money at home in…

Bedrooms

Bedrooms are the first place a burglar will target for valuables. Most burglars prefer to commit the crime quickly and will only go straight to the master bedroom. There they collect valuables (e.g., cash and jewels) or firearms (e.g., guns) and then leave straight away.

wall safe great place to hide money at home
A wall safe is a great place to hide money at home behind a picture frame.

Some burglars may venture to other bedrooms in the house as well. ⁵
Safes are usually employed to deter a wandering perpetrator. They may be hidden behind inconspicuous areas like those in the back of the wardrobe, behind picture frames, or even behind a dummy wall.

If you do not have the money to purchase a safe, other creative measures can be taken. Books can be hollowed out from the inside to create a makeshift money box book safe. Simply get a book of your desired size, and cut a rectangle (or any preferred shape) in the middle of the page, repeating it for the other pages.

DIY book safe
DIY book safe

This can be done for notebooks and journals as well. These makeshift book safes can then be inserted in bookshelves or be left on display in nightstands and coffee tables. They can be used to conceal everyday portable electronics like cellphones or be store amounts of cash and jewelry.

Books are excellent hiding places for money and jewelry. No robber is going to flick through 200 plus books in my house.

You can also hide valuables by inserting them in the pockets of a shirt folded in your closet or the pockets in a bag. Money or jewelry can also be stored in a pair of socks balled or folded up together, hiding amongst your other folded sock pairs.

Burglars often do not go to an area where children may be present.³ You can hide valuables in your child’s room: tape an envelope containing cash at the backside of a drawer in your child’s dresser. Another area is in a stuffed animal or teddy bear that your child is not very fond of.

Cardboard game boxes make excellent hiding places for your valuables. I can pretty much guarantee that a burglar is not going to go through the monopoly game board looking for real money or a diamond ring.

Kitchens

Since bedrooms are the primary target of burglars, it is good to branch out and store cash in other places. This is to prevent losing everything at once when one hidden stash is found.

As burglars often enter a home through the rear entranc³, it is important to safeguard items in the areas in that proximity such as kitchens.

Kitchens contain a number of items, so hiding valuables in plain sight is quite possible! You can insert wads of cash or valuables in cups or salt shakers and insert them at the back of a cupboard. Store cash or jewelry in a sealed plastic container and insert them in an opaque coffee or flour container and store them in plain sight.

If you are into prepping and emergency food storage, then hiding some money inside 20kg of rice will be a nice surprise when you finally get to the bottom of the rice tin.

Old jars, mugs, and metallic jugs are perfect for hiding money around your home and kitchen.

old jugs are perfect to hide money in at home

You can also reuse jars from your condiments! Simply take a jar of a plain-colored product (like mayonnaise) and paint the inside to mimic the look of a used bottle. Wait for it to dry, then store your wad of cash in. Keep it in the fridge or pantry and hope that the perp doesn’t get the munchies!

Bathrooms

Place cash inside a waterproof bag or bottle and place it in your toilet’s water tank. Be sure to check it every now and then for leaks! A food vacuum sealer works great for making items watertight

Check the bar for your toilet tissue paper holder: if it is a hollow tubular holder, open it up and use it to store a rolled-up bill. Storing a wad of cash in an opaque medicine bottle is also another way of hiding things in plain sight.

You can also store expensive items between towels and bedsheets stored in the linen cupboard.

Living rooms

money on a table in plain sight

Living areas are generally avoided by burglars³, which makes them a good place to conceal valuables in inconspicuous ways. Usually the TV, Games consoles, and DVD players are attractive items here.

Cash or a pouch filled with other valuables can be stored in throw pillows by inserting them in the stuffing. Picture frames can also be maximized by inserting money in the back of pictures.

Cavities in appliances, such as those found in the body of a vacuum cleaner, can be used to hide envelopes of cash.
If you have a large DVD or old game disk collection, maximize it by taping an envelope with cash in one of the insides of the disc jackets. Make sure it is a boring title that nobody would want to steal.

If you have indoor, potted plants, you can bury a jar of money in the soil! Check if your curtain rods are hollow and its ends can be screwed off. You can store petty cash in those tubes with little effort. You can check this with other items in your household that have cylindrical bodies: lamps, poles, and etc.

Under floorboards or behind floor trim kickboards are another cool hiding spot for cash. Just be sure to wrap them up tightly in plastic to stop vermin and moisture from destroying your hard-earned money.

Some of my friends hide their money in airconditioning ducts. They just remove the front ductwork grill and place a vacuum-sealed envelope inside. The grill is placed back and no one is the wiser.

Garages

Garages and tool sheds are often surveyed by burglars for items they can use to break into your home³. To avoid them getting inside your house in the first place, secure your tools and other items that can be used to their advantage (like bricks).

Store important items by slashing sports balls along their marked grooves. Create a discreet slit by following the markings of a tennis ball or soccer ball, insert your valuables, and place them on a shelf or case that won’t get them in too much action.

You can also use a spare bicycle and car tires to store money in them. Deflate the tire, insert an envelope with cash, then inflate it once more. Just be sure to take the envelope out when the time comes for you to use the tire! Lock up those bikes as it will be a quick getaway vehicle for the thief.

red bike lock to stop a theif

Gun safes are often stored in the garage so there are great places to store money and valuables. As long as the safe is bolted down and made of at least 3mm steel it should take a while to break into. Hiding some valuables under the gun safe liner will make it even harder to detect.

An old used fire extinguisher is also a great place where to hide money at home. Just unscrew the top and place your precious items inside. Screw the top back on. Place it away from view. Make sure people know that it is empty and not working in case there is a real fire.

Your car

As burglars don’t bother with motor vehicles⁴ unless they find your car keys. Thus your car is a good place to hide some spare money.

Tape in an envelope with money at the roof of the glove compartment.
You can also hide a spare key for your house by bolting it to a magnet and sticking the magnet to an inconspicuous nook somewhere by the driver’s seat.

We use a product called hitch safe key vault, it is basically a small safe that is inserted into the hitch tow bar socket that has a pin code on it to be accessed. I usually use this when I go surfing and don’t want to take the car keys or cash.

Conclusions

Concealing items in your home can be done in multiple, fun ways. From maximizing the most out of existing features in everyday items to creating ingenious storage solutions for valuables, there are many possibilities.

As burglars often target bedrooms, it is best to spread out hiding spaces among living areas where they are less likely to look around.

Be sure to write down all of the locations of your valuables that are hidden around your home. This is just in case you forget or heaven forbid you pass away.

Although the above tips are good for concealment of valuable items, these function as the last line of defense. Robberies are best prevented by updating home security systems and securing items in your backyard that may be used to break into your home.

I use the Eufy wireless security system that alerts me on my smartphone as soon as anyone is walking around my home. I can then tell them to leave as I ring the police or set of the alarm. It’s a great smart alarm that will protect your house.

Just don’t place money under your mattress it is one of the first places burglars look.

Let me know in the comments below where you like to hide your valuables at home.


References

¹Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2018). Criminal Victimization, 2018. NCJ 235043. US Department of Justice.

²Snook, B., Dhami, M.K., Kavanagh, J.B. (2011). Simply Criminal: Predicting Burglars’ Occupancy Decisions with a Simple Heuristic. Law and Human Behavior. DOI: 10.1007/s10979-010-9238-0

³ Taylor, E. (2017). PAUSED for thought? Using verbal protocol analysis to understand the situational and temporal cues in the decision-making of residential burglars. Security Journal, doi: 10.1057/s41284-017-0104-3

Bureau of Justice Statistics. (2013). Household Burglary, 1994-2011. NCJ 241754. US Department of Justice.

⁵Nee, C. (2003). Research on Burglary at the End of the Millennium: A Grounded Approach to Understanding Crime. Security Journal. DOI: 10.1057/palgrave.sj.8340138

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