Making Money & Hiding Your Cash On Hand

Photo by: 401(K) 2012

Do you have cash on hand for emergencies?  What if, with all the craziness that we are experiencing, there really is a bank holiday and you can’t get to your money in the bank for a few days or a few weeks?  What would you do?

I had a conversation with a friend recently, who is not into preparedness, about how having food at home and cash on hand is a good idea and just makes sense.  I made a mention that most people don’t have enough food for three days much less for a week.  And, if there was an issue with the banks, most people don’t have cash on hand to buy necessary items.  She said, “You just described my life perfectly.”  Hopefully, she makes some good decisions regarding preparedness.

I can’t tell you how much cash to have on hand.  That decision is up to you and more importantly, your financial situation.  Some are better off than others.   But I do suggest you keep some.

If you are having a hard time financially right now, you might want to do some things to bring in some extra money:

Side Job

My son is tutoring for extra money right now.  He is making decent money for just 2 hours a week.  You could cut some grass, offer to do someone’s chores, pet sit, etc…  If you keep a clean house and you are good with kids, people are always looking for good baby sitters and individuals to provide daycare.  I know several teachers who use one specific person because they feel they can trust her.  Word spreads and eventually you can have a list of references to provide to parents.  The local paper might offer some other potential small job employers.

Sell Something

Yes, we have a lot of stuff.  I found two different fire place grates in my garage not too long ago.  I placed them on Craigslist and sold them very quickly.  I’ve done this with other stuff too.  You can also have a garage sale, people are always looking for good deals!

Make Something

My wife makes jewelry.  She sells the heck of it!  Because we work in schools, she started making magnet badge holders.  She sells those like hot cakes too.  One lady who visited my school, made hair bows.  She had all kinds…  She told me that she made $800 in one day at one of the schools.  She sets up in the teacher lounge.  She also told me that she made $600 in 2 hours when she sold during one of the schools “Meet the Teacher” event.

Take a Walk

I recently linked to one of Jack Spirko’s classic shows.  On the podcast, Jack recounted an email that he had from one reader who couldn’t afford food storage.  This guy started taking walks during lunch and finding money.  As he continued, he realized that he could find the most money by walking around parking meters.  He was able to buy 30 pounds of food in one month from just the money that he found on the ground!

Ok. So there are many ways you can make money…if you want to!  What do you do with it when you have it at home?  Are you worried that the bad guys can come in and take all your hard earned money?  The best thing is to have a heavy safe that is bolted to the ground.  But not everyone can afford or have one of those.  The next best thing is to hide it!

With hiding your money, you will need to be creative.  Most thieves are looking for easy finds in the bedroom: jewelry, money, guns, medicine and small electronics.  The first two places they will look are the bed and dressers.  Knowing this, it is a good idea to hide money somewhere else!  Another thing to remember is that thieves want to get in and out as soon as possible.


Freezer  – When my grandmother died, her sister stayed at her house while the family figured out what the next move was going to be .  One day she opened up the freezer, looking for some meat to defrost.  In one foil package, she found a lot of my grandmother’s jewelry.

Pantry – You have food storage right?  A thief isn’t going to go through every piece of food storage that you have stored.  You could always take a box of “whatever,” open it from the bottom, place your valuables in it and glue it back.  You could also open a can of “whatever” from the bottom, drain it out, clean it out and place your valuables in that.  You’ll just have to secure a false bottom.

Laundry Room

Washer & Dryer – These two items are heavy and hard to move.  This is another option for you.

Kids Room

If your kids are like mine, any thief who opens up their bedroom will close it afraid of the monsters under the bed!  If thieves do go in there, they are going to be looking for small electronics.  Think about their closet and any old toys that they don’t play with any longer.  The key is that they won’t play with the items where you will hide your valuables.


My grandfather used to leave the register open with about $40 and some change in it when he owned his store.  A thief wouldn’t have to bust it open and think they took all the money.  Misdirection would keep a thief busy while letting them think they got the goods.  You might want to keep$20-30 in your dresser under some clothes.  It might be a good idea to have 2 bottles of medicine laying around in your bathroom cabinet with 1-2 pills. Think like someone trying to break in and steal your stuff!

Fireproof & One More Thing

Lastly, you want to make sure that where ever you put your valuables or cash on hand, you use a fireproof container or minimize the possibility that fire destroys your cash.  You also want to spread your cash on hand out in different places so if one stash is found, there are others for you to depend on.

Do you have any ideas that you would like to share?


This article first appeared on Ed That Matters.

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Todd Sepulveda

I'm the owner/editor of Prepper Website, a DAILY preparedness aggregator that links to the best preparedness articles on the internet. I'm also a public school administrator and a pastor. My personal blog is Ed That Matters, where I write about preparedness and from time to time, education. Connect with me on one of my social media outlets below.

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12 thoughts on “Making Money & Hiding Your Cash On Hand

  1. Gaye Levy

    There is a lot to say for hiding things in plain sight. If you have been prepping for awhile, you probably have buckets of food. How about storing a pouch of valuables in the flour bin, dog food, or bucket of wheat? Also, leaving a decoy item is plain sight is good too. You grandfather had the right idea!


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  3. Jules

    Re: medications and thieves. I found out the hard way about 15 years ago that people you never dreamed would steal your meds – will steal your meds. So now sometimes (depending on who’s coming over), i put my current meds in my safe, and put other, similar-looking pills – in my currently dated pill bottle. If nothing’s stolen, no harm. If some IS stolen, they’ll have a very uncomfortable next 3-4 days, to say the least – nothing poisonous, of course. (And I also realized from that experience that i needed a safe – concreted into the wall.)

    Another note: when my meds were being stolen, it took me months to ‘get it’ – because she’d take about a third to a HALF of the bottle over a month’s time. I thot I was losing my mind, always being short on meds! She also stole my wedding rings that hubby and I had put up in my daughter’s jewelry box (for re-sizing later), and a gold necklace my now deceased father gave me. This woman would even ask to ‘borrow’ a few pills occasionally – which i did not do! What a ding-dong i was, leaving my pills sitting around (actually they were in my purse).

    And how do i know for sure she was the thief? This woman (a school mom – she found many reasons to visit, with her daughter) was caught at the where she worked, stealing drugs out of co-workers’ purses in the coat room. The managers realized it, set up and recorded her – and she STILL got away with it! Her attorney declared it wasn’t a valid arrest/sting, whatever – because the police didn’t set it up !!! (Her family was well off, and/but knew about her ‘problem’ – they hired a great attorney for her.)

    And, to top things off, her line of work since then is – HOUSEKEEPING.
    Hope this info helps.

  4. Pingback: Financial Planning for Smart Preppers |

  5. Linda

    My mother used to hide her emergency money interspersed with her coupon organizer. She had a LOT of coupons and I don’t think any thief would look in there. Best thing she does though, is change her hiding spots, so even if someone had lots of time to look around, they won’t find it all. I learned from her!

  6. MC

    Well with my accounts on levy. Stashing my cash closer to the heart seems the only thing. That and a few pieces of silver and gold coins. Think that’ll do?

  7. Dee

    If you’re planning on putting your valuables in one or two places, then expect it will be taken. Break it up so if you can’t get to it all, at least you’ll be able to get to some of it. AND if it takes you time to get to it, then someone else must also have to time to find it. Consider a few bill in an old metal gift card case, it can slip into many places from which you can grab it. I even have some bill rolled up and slipped into straws which are hidden in various places. Plan on having someone rob you, so leave a little out where it can be taken. Then keep track of who was around while it was out, if it’s someone you know, then will know how must you can trust them now instead of when you need it. This is something that may be difficult if you’re the trusting sort like I am, but in the long run, you need to know. Same holds for your meds and jewelry too.

  8. rosemarie johnson

    i remember my mom leaving some of her money in a coffee can , or in a coupon book which hold’s coupons like laying flat in between you would never know to look there , i heard people put thier money in the freezer, i have been known to put it in my card box i send out alot of cards for birthdays , get well etc, so i have 2-3 card boxes filled with cards so sometimes i put it in there or my hubby puts his in old socks in the drawer.

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