As you may be aware, I work for a financial advisor, and naturally this gives me some extra insight into financial matters. In this post I’m going to share with you some of the secret savings techniques never discussed by financial advisors, and examine some pros and cons for each. Remember, past returns are not indicative of future gains, and always check with your own financial advisor and/or tax consultant before embarking on a new exercise regimen, especially after a long sedentary period, like a Netflix binge.
Without further ado, I offer these revolutionary savings options, in order of easiest to most difficult.
Bas de Laine
You know it’s promising; it’s got a fancy French name! When you’re in a hurry and can’t even find time to shove some bills in your mattress, there’s always your sock drawer. Much safer than your underwear drawer, socks can hold significant amounts of cash and — this is a real draw — other valuables when the need arises. This is one of the more versatile of the methods discussed, as you evidenced by the variety of alternative pharmaceuticals and used greenbacks socked away by various folks.
- Easiest access to cash.
- Easiest to remember where it is — you open that drawer every day; or, if you don’t, you may have bigger problems.
- Not extremely likely that other people would be pawing through your sock drawer. Ew.
- Loose change in a sock doubles as a weapon to defend against thieves!
- Might be hard to remember which sock you shoved that cash in, until you go to put the sock on.
- Very slim possibility of your cash being found by someone else borrowing your socks. Or a really creative burglar.
- Trouble at the border, should you forget about that $100k in your sock.
Hide It Under Your Mattress
Another classic savings technique that’s fallen by the wayside with fancy-dancy high-tech digital savings options, this one is worth considering particularly for the hoarder who’s certain to never thrown anything out, ever.
- Easy to access cash if you need it quickly.
- Easy to remember where you hid it…especially if it’s a thick wad of cash (see below).
- Easy to add to the stash surreptitiously.
- Possible your significant other or house-cleaner might stumble upon it while changing the sheets.
- Princess and the Pea Conundrum: If it’s a thick wad of cash, may cause lumps in the mattress.
- Lose your savings when your zealous family member tosses out your nasty old mattress.
Bury It in Your Yard
Although less popular in recent centuries, this time-honored technique is mentioned at least as far back as Jesus’ parable of the talents in Matthew 25:
“It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities. To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left. Right off, the first servant went to work and doubled his master’s investment. The second did the same. But the man with the single thousand dug a hole and carefully buried his master’s money.
Granted, this technique requires some labor — it’s not easy to dig holes! — but it can pay off… Even if it’s decades or centuries later.
- Extremely secure, and unlikely to be found once the dug-up spot grows over with grass.
- Cash will certainly stay where you put it.
- Not likely to be stumbled upon by accident, except in cases of major landscaping.
- Workout built in to making withdrawals.
- Potential to pay off for someone besides you.
- Squirrel Conundrum: You bury it, but then you can’t remember where it’s hidden.
- Difficult to access cash if you need it quickly, and can’t add to stash surreptitiously.
- Workout built in to making withdrawals.
Hide It In Your Walls
Along with the Bury It In Your Yard strategy, this is the most ambitious option, best for a handyman who receives huge wads of cash in one go. We won’t ask why a handyman has huge wads of cash. Be sure to mud and paint the wall to match.
- Least likely to be discovered, except in the zillions of cases of contractors finding cash during remodels.
- Fairly easy to remember where it is — that wall with the patch, of course.
- Cash stays where you leave it, and it’s not likely to be found by a casual thief.
- Most difficult to access the cash.
- Most difficult to hide your tracks.
- Most likely to result in unalloyed greed and grief.
As I noted before, these techniques can pay off handsomely — usually for random people generations down the road, so if you want to leave your carefully hoarded stash to complete strangers, any of these are the way to go, but particularly the last two.