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13 Tips and Tricks for Hiding and Storing Money

These hiding ideas are brilliant. Just make sure no one tosses them out!

hiding money in a phone casefamily handyman

Your Phone Case

These days, you’re much more likely to forget your wallet at home than you are your phone. Keep a little extra cash tucked behind your phone case for emergencies. — J.M. Rotzenberg.

hiding money in an empty chapstick tubefamily handyman

An Empty Chapstick Tube

Sometimes I don’t want to carry my wallet around. At the beach, I’ll leave my belongings unattended while I go for a swim, but I still need cash on hand for food, drinks, etc. So I turned an empty tube of lip balm into a secret cash stash.

You could do the same with an empty stick of sunscreen, too. A long nail works great for digging out any remaining bits of lip balm, and a cotton swab wipes away any waxy residue.

Not only is the tube small enough to fit in my pocket, but it’ll also fool any potential thieves. I mean, who would steal someone’s used lip balm? — Jenny Stanley.

hiding rolled up money in a toilet paper roll holderfamily handyman

A Toilet Paper Roll Holder

Take apart the spring bar that holds your toilet paper. Roll up a stack of bills, stash them inside and reassemble the bar for a hidden away safe.

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Not IN the Drawer

Drawers don’t go all the way to the back of a cabinet, and there’s typically a little space on the underside too. Put cash or important papers in an envelope and tape them to the back or underside of a drawer.

hiding money and important documents in a hoover vacuumfamily handyman

An Old Small Appliance

It doesn’t have to be an old vacuum cleaner. Any common household item with a cavity will work as a secret compartment. Think old printers, computer towers, children’s toys, etc.

For easy hidden storage access, choose an item that opens instantly, like a vacuum cleaner bag compartment. For more security, choose an item with a cover that screws shut.

secret hiding place in a kitchen drawerfamily handyman

False-Bottom Drawer

Pick a deep drawer so the depth change won’t be obvious. Cut 1/4-in. plywood 1/16-in. smaller than the drawer opening and rest it on a couple of wood strips hot-glued to the drawer sides. Then hot-glue some item you’d expect to find in that drawer to the bottom, so you have a handle to lift the false bottom secret compartment and reveal the booty.

hiding rolled up money in a markerfamily handyman

A Marker

Pop the end cap off a marker and remove the ink cartridge. Just right for a spare roll of cash.

hiding money in a mayonnaise jarfamily handyman

Counterfeit Containers

Comet, Coca-Cola, Bush Beans — whatever. But you can craft a homemade version, too. This mayonnaise jar had its interior spray-painted with cream-colored paint for plastic.

hiding money in a sneakerfamily handyman

An Old Shoe

Some shoes have a removable sock liner (the foam pad your foot rests on). Pull out the sock liner and slide in some cash. What thief is going to want to dismantle your stinky shoes?

This is also a good place to hide emergency cash on your person while you’re on vacation — unless your sneakers are nice enough that someone would want to steal them, too.

hiding a flash drive in an ironing boardfamily handyman

An Ironing Board

Many ironing boards have tubular legs with plastic caps. Pull the cap and you’ve got yourself a perfect little hidey-hole. I slide in a wad of paper towels first so my secret stays near the opening and doesn’t rattle around.

hiding money in a paint canfamily handyman

Which Paint Can Contains the Gold?

Next time you use up a can of paint, save it and fill it up with valuables. Then put it back on the shelf with all your other cans.

hiding money and important documents under a wooden chairfamily handyman

The Bottom of a Chair

Dining chairs often have a false bottom box space under the seat for a drop-down hinged panel. These can be one of the best places to hide large amounts of cash.

hiding money in a pill bottle buried in a potted plant family handyman

A Potted Plant

Roll up some cash, stick it in a medicine bottle or any other watertight container and bury it in a potted plant. For quicker access and to keep dirt from getting under your fingernails, place a stone or pine cone over it. Not many burglars are going to be excavating around your houseplants.

Alex Shoemaker
Alex is an avid DIYer but had little experience before purchasing his first home in 2019. A Family Handyman subscription was one of his first purchases after becoming a homeowner, and he's been hooked ever since. When he’s not working, he can be found fixing up his 1940s Florida home or relaxing on the beach with his family.