Author Topic: Storing Cash Safely  (Read 6411 times)

Offline David in MN

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #30 on: June 12, 2019, 03:32:20 PM »
Not to be a jerk... but I think there is a lot of climate issue here.

I use a $2 bill to size things for client woodwork. Sometimes people need a reference and the $2 is the weirdo bill so I stand out a little. It's a marketing thing. It's sat in the office for many years (printed in 2003) and as crisp as the day I got it. Granted Minnesota has a mild summer and a bitterly cold dry winter. I know it sounds crazy that it's dry with 4 feet of snow pack but it's true. So cash doesn't seem to go bad here. At least not as quick.

Now in the case of storing cash... Get some kind of fire prevention. And if you transport cash lock it up to have at least a 4th Amendment case if there is a police issue.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #31 on: June 12, 2019, 04:09:15 PM »
In my case it certainly isn’t the climate, it’s the humidity that comes with storing paper in a firebox with the added humidity inherent to that type of insulation.  If anybody knows of a fire resistant box that doesn’t rely on a high humidity barrier, I’m all ears. 

In taking a second look at the fine print on the inside of the Honeywell lid, it says something to the effect of opening the box up every week to prevent dampness of the contents. Yeah, right.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #32 on: June 12, 2019, 04:57:22 PM »
Why not just rotate the money once a year?

Offline Ken325

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #33 on: June 13, 2019, 02:57:05 PM »
I think the best option for a fire proof safe would be a floor safe that is mounted in the slab of a home when it is built.  Something like this.  https://www.amazon.com/Protex-IF-1500C-Floor-Safe-Medium/dp/B01BXXK3HM/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=in+slab+safe&qid=1560458490&s=gateway&sr=8-1

But that is not possible in all circumstances.  I live in a townhome and can't jackhammer a hole in the slab.  My original question was about mold forming on the cash and how to prevent it.  I had some cash in a airtight fireproof safe, in an alternate location, that I had not gotten into in over a year.  It had some mold on it.  The desicant I had in the safe was used up or didn't do enough.  A friend told me he had the same problem. 

I checked with my insurance company.  Gold, silver and cash are not insured in the event of a fire.  Use a fire safe.  Try to put it somewhere it won't be exposed to fire.  Tell no one to avoid robbery.  My own personal rule is don't keep enough cash that it will ruin you if you lose it and don't keep it all in one place.

Offline iam4liberty

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #34 on: June 13, 2019, 03:14:13 PM »
But that is not possible in all circumstances.  I live in a townhome and can't jackhammer a hole in the slab.  My original question was about mold forming on the cash and how to prevent it.  I had some cash in a airtight fireproof safe, in an alternate location, that I had not gotten into in over a year.  It had some mold on it.  The desicant I had in the safe was used up or didn't do enough.  A friend told me he had the same problem. 

As mentioned above, most firesafes contain moisture in the walls. No amount of dessicant will absorb it and if it did it would make firesafe less effective.  If you want to keep cash in firesafe from gaining mold, dry them then seal in mylar bags with dessicant. 

Offline Gamer

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #35 on: June 14, 2019, 12:11:09 PM »
Incidentally, country and western star David "Stringbean" Akeman kept his money at home but made the mistake of letting too many people know it, and he and his wife were murdered by two burglars in 1973, who never found the money and left empty-handed.
Another mistake was that he didn't tell at least one close friend or relative that his money was hidden up the chimney, so after he was killed it all went to waste because they never saw a penny of it..

"Depression-era bank failures caused Akeman not to trust banks with his money. Gossip around Nashville was that Akeman kept large amounts of cash on hand.."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_%22Stringbean%22_Akeman

"..a decomposed wad of about $20,000 in cash was discovered behind a brick in the cabin's chimney nearly a quarter century later.."
https://www.idolnetworth.com/stringbean-net-worth-62659

Offline Gamer

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #36 on: June 14, 2019, 07:11:16 PM »
Another thing worth mentioning is that if we've got passwords to our bank accounts (and other sensitive stuff) stored on our computers, a burglar who pinches our computer will have a field day going through it to gain access to places we'd rather not have him gain access to..;)

PS- I don't know what the law allows in America, but here in Britain the police are apparently allowed to seize your computer if you've been arrested for anything, and I speak from personal experience (minor vigilante rap in 2001), they seized mine and kept it for 10 weeks before eventually returning it to me after going through it looking for "evidence", but they didn't find a sausage, hehe..:)

PPS- They also took a DNA sample from me (a small swab from my inner cheek) but apparently couldn't match it to any criminal.
The moral?- Don't commit an arrestable offence of any kind..;)

Offline Ken325

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #37 on: June 16, 2019, 11:10:19 AM »
Use a password manager.  I use ewallet and have since the palm pilot days.  It is synched to all my devices. My information  is not stored in the "cloud", it is stored on my computer, and it is encrypted so even the software manufacturer can not see it.  This also allows me to use long, complex passwords.   I cut and paste my passwords so keyloggers cannot see it.  I also use 2 factor authintication when I can on every account that is connected to money.  I use a VPN when using public wifi.  That may not be a perfect system but it is all that I can do.

In the US you can be required to give a fingeprint to the police, so passwords are more secure than using your fingerprint for a password on your phone.  You can't be forced to give up a password becasue that is protected by 5th ammendment.

I have system so close relatives can find my cash.  Well the larger chunks of it at least.  I have a bad habbit of hiding $20 dollar bills in various places and a lot of this will probably not be found. We are talking less than $500 total when talking about my emercency cash stashes.

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #38 on: July 06, 2019, 05:45:02 PM »
Never say never.  I’m still not sure it’s a failure, but I rotated some cash from the Pelican case and it felt noticeably damp to the touch and the bills were sticking to each other.  I lubed the seals with silicone grease and dumped several desiccant packets in. Neither the Pelican nor the Honeywell cases felt damp inside. I’ll see how things are in a month or two.


Last week I decided it was time to dry out the stash of cash in the oven, because it was still pretty damp, and was surprised how much steam was generated in the process.  I retired that particular Pelican Micro Case and started playing with some other Pelican alternatives.


So, in an effort to be a bit more scientific, the last few weeks I've been measuring the internal humidity of the Honeywell fire boxes, as well as that of the small Pelican Micro, Go, and Ruck cases that will fit inside them.

The humidity inside the Honeywell varies widely between my 4 examples, with some around 90% and others near 70%, and I haven't been able to figure out what contributes to this variability.

Measured humidity inside all the Pelican cases tend to stay at or slightly above my ambient inside humidity of 50% when locked inside the Honeywell.  But the Ruck series consistently shows lower humidity levels than the other two, probably due to its robust seal mechanism, with the Go series being worse than the Micro series, which is weird because the Go is rated to be submersible.  I wouldn't buy the Go again, better off saving money with a Micro (plus with the clear lids you can see what's inside without opening the lid) or get a much better box with the Ruck versions.  Either way, I think you need to test them before you commit your valuables.



Offline Gamer

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #39 on: August 31, 2019, 06:54:12 AM »
I keep my cash in a small metal cashbox, but when I saw an advert for this fireproof/waterproof bag I just had to have one, it only cost peanuts (12 GB pounds/ 17 US dollars).
Now I keep my cash in the bag inside the cashbox for double-whammy protection..:)



PS- Regarding the danger that some members have mentioned about banknotes going mouldy, personally I'm always in and out of my cashbox and bag to take money out to spend, and put fresh money in, so a build-up of mould won't ever be a problem.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2019, 06:59:55 AM by Gamer »

Offline Prepper456

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #40 on: December 19, 2019, 01:40:43 PM »
how much cash should i keep on hand?

Offline Ralph

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #41 on: December 31, 2019, 10:59:04 AM »
A couple thoughts.  The fire bag looks like it's worth looking into, but keep in mind if the temperature inside the bag exceeds 350 degrees or so paper will start to deteriorate or even catch fire.  The bag may survive but it's contents may not.  A fire box/ safe has very thick insulating walls for a reason, and temperature vs time ratings for it's contents to be safe.  I suspect that if exposed to a 1200 degree fire for 30 minutes (not an uncommon fire safe rating) the contents in the fire bag will be toast, where a fire safe may not get over 350 degrees or less inside depending on the ratings.  Things like film and electronics must be kept even cooler than 350.  Check out Fire King's website for some useful information on fire protection.

For the changing humidity, temperature changes are probably the cause.  If you seal air at 70 degrees and 50% relative humidity then cool the container, the humidity will go over 50%.  It's the same in winter where the humidity outside may be 80% but in a warm house it may only be 30%-  and the same reason a cool basement will have higher humidity than a warmer outside.  I keep silica gel inside sealed bags with a color changing humidity card for quick spot checks.  The gel helps keep humidity steady.  Over time the gel will need to be replaced or reactivated as it becomes saturated with moisture, especially shortly after you first seal the container.

Online Greekman

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #42 on: January 02, 2020, 07:23:37 AM »
Ralph you posted the gist on the issue.
Start with low humidity (heat helps in that regard)
Add silica gel
Seal waterproof

Much how seeds are packed too

I have been there and done it not with cash but with film.
So, if you want to keep humidity low in a confined space there is the low wattage incandescent bulb trick photographers used to do. Like 5-7watts for a safe.

Offline Ralph

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #43 on: January 28, 2020, 10:27:57 AM »
I keep mostly film stored as well.  The box is kept in a heavy mylar zip lock bag with a gel pack.  At the time I did some research and looked thru a lot of specs which led me to metal filmed bags which are good at blocking moisture and light.  I don't vacuum seal the bags, only using the zip lock so I can make an occasional check or look for something.  Sorbent Systems is where I bought the bags- and they have rifle sized bags if of interest.  BTW, I forget if it's 40 or 45% and below which stops rust from forming.  They have specs on the various materials they use (moisture leak rates, etc), probably more info than you will ever need to know, and although a bit expensive they sell silica gel in handy size plastic boxes. 

Even if using a fire box of some sort the sealed bag/ silica gel is not a bad idea.  From some reading a fairly common problem with fire boxes is the contents survive but get water damaged if there's a flood or the fire dept hoses down the place in a fire.  There are commercial waterproof fire boxes if you want to go that route, but like anything sealed moisture will vary. I looked up conservation and archival sites to see where to keep humidity levels, different materials need different humidity storage.  Too dry makes paper brittle.  A general rule of thumb I use is 40-45% is good for most things.

Offline CagedFeral

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #44 on: February 29, 2020, 04:15:01 AM »
I keep $150 cash with 5 one oz silver coins in a pepper can.

The coins are for weight & jingle so it won't get thrown away by accident.

I don't keep paper cash on me so I keep a little for just in case.

Offline suzysurvivor

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #45 on: March 21, 2020, 07:32:32 PM »
how much cash should i keep on hand?
i have about $300 tucked in a secret compartment in a piece of furniture.   it's enough to buy milk and eggs at the farm around the corner.

Offline IKN

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Re: Storing Cash Safely
« Reply #46 on: March 21, 2020, 08:05:51 PM »
I bought a big, old safe shorty after the 2008 housing bubble crash when the small fire safe I had was getting full.
Along with needing the extra room, I was concerned about the ability for someone to easily pick up and carry the small safe out without too much effort.
I also started buying silver bullion and wanted a safe place to store it. The cash I keep in an old Crown Royal velvet bag inside the small safe which is inside the large one.
With a safe inside a safe along with all the contents, it weighs north of 800 pounds. With it being inside the house, I haven't had any issue with mold or moisture.

Quality old safe can often be found fairly cheap on eBay and Craiglist.