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December 08, 2008


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We keep about $500, mostly in fives, in our fireproof safe. I have a smaller amount, also in fives, taped to the back of my file cabinet in my office at work. The toilet tank is probably cleaner than any notes/coins I come in contact with, but I still wouldn't fancy that storage method :)

We keep about $30 in quarters in a coffee can, and about $50 in singles, also in a coffee can. After 9/11, and then a full-day blackout in 2005, we realized that there will be situations where having small bills and change could be optimal (if things go all "MadMax" you don't want to buy a $10 gallon of gas with a $50 bill and expect to get change).

This way we'd have close enough to "exact" to buy necessities for a few days.

All --

Based on Susan's comment, maybe a good use for dollar coins (see: ) is to bury $250 of them in the back yard.


I keep no money at home, except what is currently in my wallet (about $20). I don't really see the need. I keep all my money in my ING savings and if I need cash quick I can do an instant transfer to put money in my ING checking and hit the ATM.

come on- if you DID, you'd be a fool to talk about it on the web!

I keep $200 in the house (an even less significant amount than you, FMF) for emergencies, convenience and those rare times when the ATM machine doesn't work. I keep it in an envelope in a drawer.

I wouldn't bury anything in the yard unless I buried a vault first. Water, erosion, faulty memory, random digging by kids and other variables might ruin your savings.

Just what's in my wallet.

I definitely keep $500-$1000 cash hidden at home in case of local disaster that would prevent access to cash at our bank or at an ATM.

We keep money in a metal, fire and flood resistant container. I remember back in 1997 when a California earthquake knocked out power all over the West. You can't get money from an ATM when the electricity that runs the machine is unavailable. So we keep a stash in the wallet, and some in the house so that we are prepared.

I store enough cash to last me a week or two, but most of my "home wealth" is in precious metals and collectibles. I find it's a fun way to invest. For example, I have a baseball card collection and a coin collection in vaults -- collections are worth over $10,000 each. I'm a pack-rat investor! :P

I am not sure how much cash we have in the house exactly, but it is probably around 500 - all in crisp new bills of various amounts. I love new money. I don't ever want to spend these bills. But if it is necessary, these new bills will be circulated too.

I keep enough cash to get us out of town in a picture frame behind the picture.

It's more to make it very inconvenient to spend than to protect it from thieves.

Sometimes when I have a big pricey item I am saving up for I will keep my cash in my room opposed to putting it in the bank. To me there is nothing like physically seeing the roll of money grow to help motivate you to save some more money. Just make sure it stays somewhere safe.

I don't keep any cash in the house but I probably should. Like a few people mentioned, a natural disaster could wipe out the electricity and make ATMs useless.

Yup - a fairly large sum in a fireproof safe - last winter we had severe storms and power out in some areas for 4 days. Cash is king in a situation like that.

A co-worker at my wife's job had a meeting with their Smith/Barney rept a couple evenings ago. The financial advisor said that they should keep 2 months expenses in cash at home and to move money from internet only banks to local banks that had a physical presence. Apparently the fear of a systemic breakdown with run on banks / atm machines is growing.

Unspecified amount for emergencies (power outage in particular) but also in case of some problem with my checking account. With fraud your ATM card can end up frozen and while they will issue you a new one, for those few days you will probably need some cash. Better not to have to take a cash advance (with associated fees) from a credit card.

Money in your home is money that is constantly depreciating in value, though, and exposed to all the risks of fire/flood/theft. You'd have to be a fool to keep 2 months' expenses in cash in your home, unless you're wealthy enough that losing 2 months' expenses wouldn't hurt.

"I keep no money at home, except what is currently in my wallet (about $20). I don't really see the need. I keep all my money in my ING savings and if I need cash quick I can do an instant transfer to put money in my ING checking and hit the ATM."

Last year the power went out for three days. Some businesses were open, most only accepted cash. Will your $20 last three days? Food? Firewood or propane for heat or cooking?

We keep some money in a safe bolted to the floor.

I keep anywhere from $3000 - $10000 in cash at home. Some foreign currencies, a good bit of USD. Also another $5000 - $10000 worth of gold. Nothing too big. It's basically my petty cash fund. It's come in handy at different times, like when I need to travel and the banks are closed.


I keep about $200-$300 at home in small bills. Mostly to pay weekly allowances for chores to my three kids. It's come in handy a few other times (door-to-door fundraising), but we rarely use it for anything but the allowances. I consider it a safety net for the reasons others have mentioned.

I guess when you consider our change bank and the kids' piggy banks, we have another $200 available.


I keep $500-1000 in drawers and books and things. I rarely buy things I want, only things I need (paying bills, etc) and my paychecks vaporize to pay for necessities. If I want to go visit my sister in Florida, or my best friend in Sweden, or buy a new iPod or something, I've got some money to do it with every few months.

There was recently a story where someone working at the Goodwill found $7500 in a shoe box with some donated items. Fortunately, the worker remembered who donated the stuff and was able to get it back to the person. The lady had donated a bunch of her dad's belongings after he passed away. This story has two lessons: look through everything well before getting rid of it and make sure someone other that you knows where the money you're hiding is.

Personally, we keep $300 to $500 in an envelop and when it's used up I replenish it.

I don't keep any money at home, except some change in a tin. Around here we only get tornados, and if we get one of those, the money won't be there anymore anyway. In general, unless we lose power AND gas for more than just a few days, we're fine for heat and food. And to cause real hardship it would have to wipe out a wide enough radius around us that we couldn't get outside it with a car.

In thinking about things, as long as we could get a full tank of gas in a car, we'd be fine. We would head up north to camp, where we'd be fine as long as we had to. It's completely off grid. Pump and river for water, trees for firewood if the gas runs out and plenty of deer and fish for food. I generally keep $20 in my car for parking garages, but perhaps I'll make it a habit to keep as much cash as it takes to get a tank of gas.

can all of you send me your addresses and when you aren't going to be home? thx

we keep stuff at home, but i should warn you that i'm also one of them survivalist end of the world types, so be warned that the fence is electrified and that i have installed explosive boobytraps throughout the house.

I like the idea of taking those $1 coins and throwing them all in the toilet tank (maybe in a jar I guess). Save money AND save a little water with each flush. :) Plus, everyone else in the house has a phobia of toilet water, even though it's pretty much drinking water, so it would be a pretty safe stash.

I personally would say, right now expecially keep money at home - you just have to be smart where you store it.... One time I stashed 500.00 in my closet between two shirts,,, the next year I found it - it was great but I questioned myself.... Keeping 3 - 6 months reserves right now and some gold wouldn't be a bad deal... what are saving right now ??? 1.85% at best. Just make sure someone else know where it is, someone you trust - Keep it safe from Fire, flood, theft, etc. If you are lucky enough to have the extra cash laying around...

We have about 400,000 in cash stashed in various locations all over the country for emergencys.They are mostly in 5's, 10's, and 20's no 50's or 100's. We have hidden and documented these locations by GPS codes.
We also live very normal lives and do nothing illegal,we live within our means, and even appear to be broke and homeless....Some of you may have my wife and I on street corner with cardboard signs,others may see us in our nice modest home,driving to that street corner in that nice modest car......Entrepreneurship at it's best!

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