The Worst Places To Keep Your Money

The Worst Places To Keep Your Money

The Worst Places To Keep Your Money

Earlier this year, I wrote a post about the 26 money mistakes that everyone should avoid making. That post was meant to document some of the most common money management mistakes that people made. I hope that my readers can avoid all, if not, most of those mistakes after reading it. As it turned out, that post was one of the top 5 most popular posts on my blog to date. I guess my readers really liked learning from other people’s mistakes rather than experiencing the mistakes themselves.

Recently, I came across a self-inflicted financial horror story that one person made and it almost cost him his entire inheritance. After reading that article, I was curious to know what other silly things did people do so safe keep their money. With some research, I came across some of the worst places to keep your money. So here’s the list to keep you entertained if you are sitting on a beach somewhere looking for reading materials during your holiday.

Using A Parcel Service To Ship Your Inheritance Bank Draft

For those that are not very familiar with a bank draft, it’s almost like having cash being issued to you by the bank. Instead of having the money in paper bills, it’s in a form of one piece of paper. It can be as little as a few dollars or as much as $846,000 in Louis Paul Hebert’s case.

To get his inheritance, Louis Paul Hebert decided to have his sibling instruct the bank to issue a bank draft and have UPS ship the bank draft to him. Unfortunately, UPS lost his package and the bank that issued his bank draft won’t release his money. He was in a legal battle with his financial institution for almost a year before the money was released.

Here’s my takeaway, if you can’t spare a 4-hour drive to pick up your $846,000 inheritance, don’t send it through a parcel service in the form of a bank draft or certify cheque. You can easily open a bank account with the same bank that keeps your money and have your money directly transfer to your new account. You even save on the shipping and bank draft cost.

Hiding Your Money In An Old TV Set

Earlier this year, the Barrie recycling centre discovered about $100,000 in $50 bills hidden in an old TV set that was discarded on the street. Lucky for the rightful owner, the employee who discovered the money hidden in the TV set was honest and reported the discovery. The owner did include a few bank statements with the money and the police were able to track down the owner. Can you imagine if the employee at the recycling centre did not report the money or there was no statement included with the money? That $100,000 was as good as gone.

Hiding Your Money In A Wall In Your Home

Back in 2006, a contractor, Bob Kitts and a homeowner, Amanda Reece discovered about $182,000 in cash in the bathroom wall of Amanda Reece’s home. The money dated back to the Depression Era, which was about 1929. The money was traced back to Patrick Dunne, the original owner of the cash hidden behind the washroom wall.

Due to greed, mismanagement, and dishonesty from Kitts and Reece, only a fraction of the cash was able to be recovered by Patrick Dunne’s descendants. What an unfortunate event. Can you imagine if Patrick Dunne had invested the money back in the 1920s in the 30-year treasury bills instead of hiding it behind the washroom wall? Let’s say for the 85 years or so, his money was earning a compounded interest of just 3% per year. That $182,000 will be worth about $2,245,098.96 in 2017, giving his 21 descendants about $100,000 each.

Buried Your Money In Your Backyard

A few years ago, a couple from California found 1,427 mint condition gold coins inside tin cans lying around their property. The coins dated from 1847 to 1894 and worth an estimated $10,000,000. The original owner of the coin was unknown as the couple remain anonymous, which was a smart and prudent decision. If you were ever to find a pot of gold lying around, just be happy that you found it, enjoy it and keep quiet.

Keep Your Money In A Storage Unit

A few years ago, a San Jose man struck it rich when he paid $1,100 to buy a storage locker from an auction held by American Auctioneers. The locker contains gold and silver worth an estimated $500,000. If you are familiar with shows like Storage Wars, self storage facilities put up lockers for auction if the locker renter failed to pay three consecutive months in rent payments.

Based on investigations from the San Francisco Chronicle, the locker was rented by a deceased elderly woman. What a shame that her estate was auctioned off to some lucky bargain hunters and not distributed to her heirs. Never store anything valuable in a rental storage facility – especially gold and silver.

Hiding Money Under Your Mattress

It’s true that people do stash their money under their mattress. In fact, Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha stashes about $20,000,000 under his mattress. It’s not very normal for a person to have that much legal money lying around. In Cleber Rene Rizerio Rocha’s case, he was charged with money laundering when the police found the money.

My Two Cents

If you have extra money lying around and don’t know how to invest it, at least try to find a safe place to keep it. For starter, anywhere in your house is not a good place to store your money. It can put you in danger if thieves are aware of it. If your house is destroyed by fire, most likely your home insurance won’t cover it.

If you have valuables and money that you really want to keep it safe, try renting a deposit box at a bank. The cost is around $100 per year depending on the size of the box. It’ll be locked in the bank’s vault, secured, fireproof and no one has access to it but you. The most important thing is, if something bad were ever to happen to you and you’re gone, the deposit box will be traced back to you and the content of the box will go to your heirs.

So readers, do you know of other silly places that people keep their money? Do you know of any safe place to keep your money beside a deposit box?

Have a happy and safe holiday. Warm wishes from our family to yours. Wishing you all the best for 2018.
– Leo T. Ly

Leo T. Ly, Canadian Personal Finance Blogger/Enthusiast and a Realtor Living in the Markam, Ontario, CanadaAbout Leo
I am a Canadian personal finance blogger/enthusiast and a Realtor living in Markham, Ontario, Canada. I built a net worth of a million dollars over a ten year period. I did it by being a disciplined saver, taking advantage of income tax rules and borrowing money to invest rather than for consumption. I am often excited to take advantage of free money from employers and governments in addition to building more passive income sources. After accumulating my first million dollars, I am now embarking on a second journey towards achieving financial independence. On this journey, I will strive to increase my net worth to two million dollars and retire by the age of 48 - Freedom 48. Come along and follow my journey on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or Google Plus.

There are 32 opinions expressed on this post.

  1. This is so true, it’s funny how many people really trust their homes to want to hide their money even in walls but they do forget that fire does reach everywhere and once that happens,you end up losing everything. I just think we should not be hiding money.

    1. @Joan, Even if there is no accident and nothing happened to your house, you can forget. Once you do, it’s finders keepers and there is no guarantee that you can get the money back.

  2. This is so funny and honestly I thought it was only in the movies and TV shoes where people hide their money in random places, so many people are against banks and others just think this is better if they keep it. You are right they, we should not hide our money.

    1. @Fin$avvy Panda, I got a really good laugh and was shaking my head when I read these stories. Some people worked so hard for their money, yet, a little carelessness cost them everything.

  3. I had a seven figure check sent to me by my 401k provider that I then mailed to my IRA provider. There was no major risk at all. If the check is lost in the mail the originator just stops payment and reissues. It beat a 27 hour car trip in the US!

    1. @Steveark, it’s great that your cheque got to you without any issue. If I am getting such a huge amount, I would feel much better picking up the cheque myself instead of trusting it the the parcel service company.

  4. Wow I had no idea that people would bury money in their backyards or even under their mattress. I like your idea of going to your bank and storing your money in a deposit box I think that it is a smart option for housing your money!

  5. What incredible true-life stories! In addition to those, I’ve heard of friends’ elderly parents hoarding money around the house – sticking it in the pots of house plants, in paperback books, in coat pockets, inside non-functioning toasters, etc. It was all found when their adult children helped them move out of their home into a smaller residence.

    1. @Denay, wow. I guess these elderly just don’t trust the bank to keep their money. Maybe the banks forgot to tell the elderly that they get interest when they deposit money in the bank.

  6. Nice post. I barely keep any cash in the house anymore. I spend it to easily. Those kids come selling girl guide cookies and i buy 10 boxes…. lol i dont like the idea of storage boxes at banks. While it is safe, you run the risk of having all your assets in the banks hands. Remember the greek bank runs in 2015? I dont think people had access to their safety deposit boxes and were limited to a certain amount to withdraw or debit a day. Its good to have other options =)

    I remember a couple of those stories you mentioned..
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  7. So much truth in this post. A couple living near where I grew up was broken into TWICE this year, because distant family members found out that they had a safe at home. I will always keep my cash in the bank.

  8. Haha some of these hiding places are so silly to me. I am most familiar with people who keep extra money in the sock drawer or under the mattress. But, putting money in the bank is how I operate!

  9. This is a great post. I honestly never thought people would hide their money in places like this. Id be worried about fire, natural disaster, or forgetting where I put it.

  10. I would love to find money in the walls while renovating our house this summer. I would never hide large sums of cash in the house. I want to make sure it goes to who I want if something happens to me.

  11. These are common places people would hide their money and/or jewelry. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s the first place a robber would look. I always make sure to put it some place secure just in case anything happens and I have easy access to it.

  12. Omg hiding monry in old tv set is genius!
    In my grannie’s place, she hide her money inside the bamboo poles around her house. It was only discovered when its due for renovation.

  13. Agree! Investing is better than hiding your money. There was news here in our country about a huge amount of money buried in the backyard. Sadly, the money has no value now.

  14. Honestly I don’t really ever have cash around but if I did I would be bad at hiding anything. This is some great tips. We have a safe in case we need to put anything up like that.

  15. This is a really funny but interesting. I remember my mom used to hide her valuables in different places of the house, came a strong typhoon which flooded the whole town, we lost the money and jewelries to scrappers. Still she continued the habit, lost the money due to old age (can’t remember where she hid them). A funny experience but a huge disappointment having to lose those hard-earned for years. Learning from them, I’d rather keep mine in real estate investments and stock markets where they are safer and they get to increase in value. Great post, Leo. Thanks for sharing. Happy New Year!
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