Stashing Your Cash at Home? Keep It Safe

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Are you among the nearly one-third of consumers who say they plan to keep savings at home? There's a fake head of lettuce for that, and other clever ideas.

Got a cache of cash to stash? You’re not alone.

An American Express survey says 29 percent of consumers in 2015 keep their savings in cash, up from one in four in 2014. For millennials, ages 18 to 34, the figure for 2015 jumps to four in 10.

Just more than half of this year’s savers of cash say they have made a decision that may sound rash: “I plan to hide my cash savings in a secret location.” This was the first year the American Express Spending and Savings Trackers survey of 1,820 adults asked about stash plans.

Hiding cash clashes with more than half the survey respondents, who said they will dash to their local banks to deposit money so they won’t gnash their teeth while worrying about its safety. The rest plan a mash of online banks, stocks, mutual funds, CDs and bonds.

Experts, such as Greg McBride, chief financial analyst at advise people not to lash cash to a home hiding place. “Can’t discourage it strongly enough,” he said in a CNBC interview. Home does not offer FDIC-insured protections and leaves you at risk for loss from fire, theft or some other disaster.

You could accidentally trash your cash, like an Israeli woman who replaced her mother’s mattress only to learn after it had been taken to the dump that it was stuffed with the elder’s life savings of $1 million.

So where is a safe place?

The Internet is awash with ideas, but some require a portion of the cash you want to stash. Here are a few we found:

Faux fixtures: A drain pipe in the basement, air vent in the living room or power outlet on a bedroom wall, suggests US News and World Reports, give the appearance of working household parts.

Cunning cans: Rolling Paper Warehouse offers stash safes made from real product containers, from Miller beer ($9.95), Trader Joe’s sea salt ($14.95) to WD-40 ($23.95). The bottoms screw off the containers.

Prohibitive produce: A realistic looking head of iceberg lettuce ($99) has a hidden compartment for cold cash and other valuables, says Bim Bam Banana.

Lettuce alone, burglars!

Where would you hide your coins and currency? Let us know in the comments section below or on our Facebook page.

If you’re in the market for a way to make a little money from your savings, you can probably do better than a hollow head of lettuce. Watch this video for some tips:

Stacy Johnson

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