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Hiding money

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I was curious about places to stash your money when SHTF. I have plenty of little places at home, but if we had to hit the road, I'm not sure about good spots other than my pocket or purse (which aren't very safe). Any suggestions?

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We have a van and the spare tire is between the front and middle seats under the carpet so if we travel with more than usual amount I put the emergency cash or the 2nd part of the trip cash in there. Hopefully not very many people are going to break into my van to steal my spare tire so all I have to worry about is car theft, flood and fire.

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I keep mine in one of those heavy lock boxes that I have squirreled away. I still worry about fire getting to it though. I wish I had something better. Fire is my worse fear when it comes to my paper money I have stored away. I'd hate for my silver coins to melt but at least I'd still have the silver. Just in one big glob.


I have a friend who has extra money in a plastic baggie and duct taped to the back of her toilet. :lol:


I've thought about putting it in the basement. There is a bid steel header beam down there that has a small ledge to it. It might be called an 'I beam'. I'd still need to put it in a fireproof container of some sort.


Has anyone ever bought one of those fireproof packets where you put important papers in? That might work.



Edited to add a link:

This is similar to the one I have. It says fire/water proof. Who knows though. It is very heavy and doesn't hold a lot..



Edited again to add another link: :rolleyes:

This was the packet/pouch thing I was talking about.


Edited by Jeepers
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Just be real careful and don't carry large sums. If the police stop you and search the vehicle they will 'confiscate' hidden money and claim it is from drug dealing.


This is what concerns me.


I heard that the same holds true if for some reason they find it in your house or apartment if they happen across it, which has me wondering.

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Be careful what you say here, folks.


Also....be VERY careful of "novel" ideas because we humans really seem to think along the same terms. [front door key under the flower pot, etc]


I've heard the 'taped behind the toilet' one before. And if two of us have heard of it, those professionals in burglary will have heard of it.


DO NOT 'HIDE' MONEY IN YOUR UNDIES DRAWER....and think that SURELY that would be a travesty for a burglar to trespass THERE! :o Evidently too many of us ladies have assumed that one. One of the For-Sure places they look.


I tend to think in terms of the odds. What are the odds of a house fire. What are the odds of being robbed if I'm carrying cash. What are the odds of a bank crashing.... :runcirclsmiley2: Too bad the odds of that last one are getting higher and higher. :yar:


For instance, up here in June, the odds of FIRE are way too high. We often move some items, important papers, etc until our horrid wildfire season has passed. Hurricane or Tornado season might warrant the same scrutiny at your house.


Do you change location if you'd be gone on a two week trip?


Do you change location if you had a guest for two weeks?


.......... :shrug:



A burial service for the "pet guinea pig" comes to mind...... :whistling:



MtRider -- no answers...... precautions

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I have the fire chest, it really doesn't have much room so mine is pretty full and hard to close. I liked the idea of the pouch but the reviews for it weren't very good with a lot of people complaining about all the fiberglass.

I certainly never would have thought that the cops would think my money was drug money! I will check out the space under the spare tire and few other places in the car.

Thank you all for the suggestions.

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I never really thought about police thinking it was drug money but it happens. A guy my son knows of is/was a drug runner. Sort of a friend of a friend of a brother sort of thing. Anyway, he was picked up with $80,000.00 in his car and now he sits in prison and lost the money and his car. Along with his house and his real business etc. They figured it was all bought with drug money. It probably was. He was doing across state line 'business' and had just made a sale. Of course he was guilty and deserves what he gets but, I can see why the police would assume a large sum of money would be drug money.


I've had 2 cars totaled. Both were towed away after I was sent to the ER. I wasn't able to see either car for a couple of days. Husband went and got my personal effects a few days later. Fortunately, the library books I was returning were still there. Guess they weren't worth stealing. I'm sure if I had money in there, especially a large sum, it would have been gone. Also, within about a week or two, the car and everything in it belonged to the insurance company! If I had been killed, I'm sure a large sum of money would belong to 'someone' else. BTW, neither of the accidents were my fault. Driving carefully had nothing to do with it. The first one I was stopped waiting to make a left hand turn and a tow truck rear ended me. Second time an 80 something year old man on muscle relaxers drove right in front of me on a highway.

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Years ago, a local nurseryman was stopped at the airport because he was carrying cash. The greenhouses he dealt with in Texas would give him a better price with cash. He was arrested on suspicion of drug dealing or money laundering (they tried both to make sure they could keep the money) and the last I heard he was still trying to get his money back.

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Yeah, we have that problem around here--lot of wholesale nurseries, which of course are in rural areas, which is where the pot growers and meth makers like to stay, too!


If I was bugging out in my vehicle, which appears to be the question of the OP, and had a wad of cash I was taking with me, I would probably break it up into smaller chuncks, and scatter it around. Some in the glove compartment, some in the BOB, some under a seat, some in the compartment where my tools goes (it's hidden, and there's another hidden part to it). That way if someone finds one of them (assuming a thief, not the police), they'll probably assume that's all there is and go away happy.

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  • 1 year later...

Definitely break it up. I've had a theft happen while traveling but luckily once they find one stash, they but out... my theory is that theives are inheritantly lazy, and they also don't expect people to have much... so if they find the cash, they think it's all there is and leave.

That being said, I also was traveling recently to somewhere there were a lot of pickpockets. I was told to do one of two things... one put a mousetrap in my purse LOL and the second it a wallet full of play money and fake credit cards like you get in the mail. I didn't have to, I have other methods... but maybe a decoy is also a good idea. A smash and grabber would likely see the wallet or purse, grab it and run and not look until he was "safe" later.

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I knew a man that was a long distance salvage worker.

He kept $800-1000 in a paper bag on the seat.....

though other things had been stolen that never was....

I think it was something like a McDonald bag or something.


But like in a wreck....it is out of your possession.....

I travel with little cash, usually have enough for a sandwich

on short trips.

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I'd split a sum up into smaller lots too. Some in a pocket, purse stuffed down your sock tucked inside a hat, taped to the inside of a belt one or two hidden pockets in your coat.

At home, I like Canning jars

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Think of the messes a thief would leave... they won't be looking to keep things neat.. they'll dump drawers and boxes and flip mattresses and clear off shelves.. looking for those hidden stashes.. they'll break jars and canisters...


So, you pick something that will work for you after you've checked out the general ways that a thief would search (generally by dumping and breaking). And then don't mention that particular idea... EVER.

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This post reminds me of talking around gramma's table about where our various eccentric relatives hid their cash money....
One put it in plastic bags, folded a nice fresh round steak around it and froze it.
One sewed her pockets shut about 1 inch shorter than they originally came and sewed money inside. (Velcro would work better).
I liked the 'franciscan footlocker' - lift up a floor drain cover, suspend package in drain, cover it up again...
Switchplate covers often cover voids, but you don't want to start a fire....a hollow closet rod or shower curtain rod can be stuffed, but better have a way to get it out again. Even a small groove cut in the top side of a hollow door allows access to the inside 'void' where you can hide things (avoid rattly stuff though).

I think someone here once mentioned using tampon tubes, with the wrapper glued back around it (looking in tampons might deter a squeamish thief). Good way to hide something in your handbag, also inside a chapstick tube (the 'stuff' pulls up and out) or underneath the deodorant cake of a solid deodorant. Quite a big hole, there.

Hiding it in the poopie diapers is an old drug smuggler trick - when I worked the street I always checked the gross places most carefully, and that is where the money/dope was almost every time! (Why do you think cops carry extra rubber gloves if they are smart?) I can tell you some of the places people hid various things that I found back in the day (I was a real thorough searcher):

Vehicles have many natural voids - inside the air filter is a favorite, under the spare tire is old hat (sorry), and I have even looked under the back seats in the gas tank clean out, and inside spare tires (they bounce and echo differently when full of 'stuff'). Inside the ceiling liner is another place popular with larger scale smugglers - just loosen the cloth cover, hollow out a spot, put the cloth back on. (A smart cop or druggie would know that one though.) Pop off the plastic vent where the heat or air conditioner blows in, you can stash a small items in there without impeding air flow overly much. Behind the glove box - many are hinged and can be removed - there is a huge hollow spot in many vehicles. Ever see a vent put inside the edge of a door (for moisture I'm told) - it comes out and you can put stuff inside but you will need to put a string on to retrieve it and the door will rattle. Ditto inside the doors via the window (we ALWAYS made sure the windows rolled all the way down to make sure nothing was inside). Inside the tube of a top carrier - they are often hollow so folks can run wiring thru them for roof lighting. Inside the headrest (hollow out a spot underneath the cover); inside the mirror of an outside rear-view mirror (the teardrop shaped ones have lots of space); up in the springs of the seats is another old-hat spot, but some guys I worked with missed stuff up there as they were looking on the floor, not up in the springs. Take off the back seat ashtrays, if they are the kind in the seats, there is a space behind or under them that is not too hard to get to. Under the plastic strips holding down the carpet (I had a tool for popping off those plastic 'buttons' without damaging them) you can lift the carpet and put flat stuff. Behind the radio; inside a big booming speaker; under the front seat ashtray liner; I can go on and on, but that gives you the idea. Just about any retro-fitted accessories can be modified to allow a stash spot. Many of the stashes I found were concealed in various voids in the between the seat console (most of which lift right up).
Just remember, that cops do know about these places, too and smart ones look there when they are doing a search. But they might get you past a lazy thief.

OK, on to apparel:
Under the liner of a cap (even a baseball cap can have a liner esp. the winter ones). Under the liner of a fedora or similar hat; under the hatband. Flat items inside a collar (they are double cloth, you know) or cuffs; Inside a necktie, but watch the weight as it will not hang naturally and might get noticed.
A belt that is reversible (brown on one side & black on the other) often is two layers - go in-between them for a cash stash (poor man's money belt). The short-pockets I already mentioned. Inside heavy coats between coat & liner, in the lapel, or even under an obvious (fake) patch on a well worn coat. In the underwear is the first place someone looks - nobody is shy about a professional grope when looking for contraband anymore. But in the bra, between the cup and liner or in the underwire, you might get something past a male searcher (a woman would notice immediately that something was not right). In your hair-do (men have started wearing buns too, & braids) you can conceal sharps (makes searchers mad though, I don't recommend it). Under a partial plate in your mouth. (Yep, I've found stuff there, too...told you I was thorough). Body cavities can be used, but have drawbacks. Shoes & boots are popular hides against casual thievery - under the sock liner you can hide flat stuff, and even hollow out a heel for bulkier things. Heavy padded boots' linings can be slit for deposits and re-sewn or left as a 'pocket'. Items that feel odd there can be explained away as 'instep metal reinforcements' or 'steel toes' (I always got a small flashlight & mirror to look). Women's high heels, if they are thick enough can be hollowed out - the wedge style shoes were popular with WWII freedom fighters because not only were they ration-friendly, they could be hollowed out to hide things. Full skirts hide lots of hardware and other items taped to the body, as does other loose clothing, but again, the jig is up as soon as someone touches it and feels something there.

Like I said, there are many 'hides' but they all are detectable to a good searcher. Use caution and discernment when picking your spots.

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Money belts, get the one with the stuff in it to deflect the money counter machinery at borders if you cross check point border stations. Only carry enough on you in your wallet to deal with daily travel concerns or half of it and get the other half out later , discreetly.

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I like that idea, Sass. If I have cash....I'd like it up close and personal. But blocking the radio frequency stuff is a good precaution too.


Does plain ole aluminum foil do that? Does a glob of tin foil on a person's body constitute ......suspicion-of-BAD-things? :unsure: Sheeeeeesh! The things we must consider these days.


MtRider :scratchhead: ....confiscate $$$$ with NO SEARCH WARRANT...no reason....no proof. :puzzledsmile: BUT....IT'S MINE! :angry:

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aluminum foil and duct tape both raise suspicions, unless you speak schizophrenic. Then you may line your hat with foil, but remember, shiny side out to block incoming radio transmissions from aliens, and shiny side in to block out the voices INSIDE you head...that's how all my schizophrenic acquaintances say the tinfoil thing works.


The duct tape is preferred packaging for dope, so it ALWAYS draws attention.


I forgot - so do ace bandages, if there is no cotton padding underneath a-la-ER. So if you use ace bandages, do a really professional job of bandaging... Maybe a fake cast would be better - one on a forearm shouldn't slow you down much, and could conceivably be used as a weapon up close and personal....Watch the neck braces though, they are considered fake-outs most of the time, as are the removable braces. The gangs have used them too much to get stuff past lazy cops.

Edited by kappydell
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:o ...... :blink: ....... :shakinghead: ..... :puzzledsmile: ....... :runcirclsmiley2:



You are REALLLY freaking me out, Kappy! You aren't kidding, are you? [except the :tinfoilhatsmile: ] Really???.....medical stuff is now called into question? Not that pre911 protocols for wheelchair riders in airports wasn't ridiculously lax, mind you. You wouldn't believe some places they used to take us in wheelchairs..... :o



I already HATE trying to get to my airline gate on time with all my medical issues to deal with. But now....to think that enough BadGuys have used medical issues for nefarious goals ...... thus making my efforts suspect when I'm just trying to keep up with my real HighMaintenance issues!


MtRider :gaah::motz_6::sassing: I'm MtRider and I LIKE Duct Tape, SAKs, tin foil, clothespins, and Ace wraps!!! :pout: Hmph!

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:o ...... :blink: ....... :shakinghead: ..... :puzzledsmile: ....... :runcirclsmiley2:



You are REALLLY freaking me out, Kappy! You aren't kidding, are you? [except the :tinfoilhatsmile: ] Really???.....medical stuff is now called into question? Not that pre911 protocols for wheelchair riders in airports wasn't ridiculously lax, mind you. You wouldn't believe some places they used to take us in wheelchairs..... :o



I already HATE trying to get to my airline gate on time with all my medical issues to deal with. But now....to think that enough BadGuys have used medical issues for nefarious goals ...... thus making my efforts suspect when I'm just trying to keep up with my real HighMaintenance issues!


MtRider :gaah::motz_6::sassing: I'm MtRider and I LIKE Duct Tape, SAKs, tin foil, clothespins, and Ace wraps!!! :pout: Hmph!

Unfortunately, no; I always looked closely & felt around bandages, and you'd better yelp convindingly and have no suspicious bulges or we'd go to the ER to 'have things checked out'. And lots of firearms are hidden in slings, wrist supports contain metal parts commonly sharpened into shivs, etc. Limping was always suspicious....since folks have been known to hide their shotguns down their pant legs amd make zip guns to put in their canes. (The 'crips' didn't just carry canes for style...they were used for fighting, & carrying contraband, too.) There was a lot of complaining about the gang cops strip searching suspects, but I could see where they were coming from when I saw all the dangerous things they found...far worse things than just the dope I used to find.


It does make things harder for honest folks though, and I always tried to explain and be as empathetic (and gentle) as possible when checking medical items for contraband. Most folks are legit. That is where one really needs to learn to 'read' the person you are talking to - notice if their tatoos are prison tatoos, or if they are sporting gang affilated clothing, if their speech patterns & slang are gang related, and the like. But then again....the biggest dope grow in my county was two retired farmers who were raising it to finance their handicapped brother's medical care....looks can be deceiving. In some ways I'm glad I retired....


I love duct tape & ace bandages too, but I realize if I get stopped that I may have to 'splain them!

Edited by kappydell
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