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Banking Finances & Money

Would you rather save for your child’s future in a piggy bank or a real bank?

Pop question, hot shot: If you had a few grand stashed away for your young children, where would you keep it?

A.) A bank vault
B.) A piggy bank on top of the fridge
C.) In the oven
D.) Under the mattress

Well, it turns out that I’ve heard of people doing all of the above, and while a bank (we’re talking United States here) might collapse, your money, up to a certain amount, is insured either by the FDIC or NCUA (for credit unions). But if you keep your money in a piggy bank, oven or under your mattress, well, you’re a little bit on the dumb and paranoid side.

The Tale of the Stolen Piggy Bank

Ok, first up is the piggy bank. Just last week, a friend was telling me how their relatives would put money into a big piggy bank (it had to be one of those HUGE ones) for years when they would get home from work. Not just spare change, but 10s, 20s, etc. It was for more than one child and was meant to be for their college fund or whatever other big thing they may need it for…but specifically for the kids.

Well, one day someone who most likely knew exactly what was in that pig and when the homeowners would be gone (i.e. a family member, friend, former contractor, etc.) pushed in a window A/C unit, crawled in, put the A/C unit back in place, took the piggy bank and left out the door, making sure to lock it on his/her way out. Why all the extra work? Most likely to give him/herself time to get away before anyone noticed.

However, since this couple puts money in almost every night, and they also noticed some other things misplaced (not sure what), they immediately found that the bank was gone. There was THOUSANDS of dollars in the piggy bank! I was not told how much, but it wasn’t chump change.

The Tale of the Toasted Tens

Next up: what would you do if you sold your car and, for some reason, wanted to hide the money from your wife. Well, you would put it in the oven of course! The linked article explains the details, except why the husband was hiding the money, or why Australia has Shrinky Dink money, but nevertheless, the husband figured his wife never cooked, so his $15,000 was safe in the over.

For God’s sake, why would you put ANYTHING in the oven that isn’t meant to go in an oven? Put it in a jar in the toilet tank if you’re trying to hide it; your wife probably won’t be doing any plumbing and it’s sealed. Why the oven????

So the guy’s $15,000 was all melted together in lumps, and the worst part is the bank wouldn’t accept it. They changed their tune later and “are going to see what they can do”, but in the end, he may not get it all back. In the US, you need to have a majority of the bill with a readable serial number to get credit for that bill. When everything is melted together, good luck.

The Tale of the Tossed Tempur-pedic

Ok, it wasn’t a Tempur-pedic mattress, but I liked the alliteration in the title. You may recall back in 2009 the story of a Jerusalem woman who bought her elderly mother a new mattress and tossed out the old one. Well, that old mattress has $1 million stashed inside!!!

A frantic search went underway to find the mattress, but as of 3 years later, I couldn’t find out if it was ever found. An entire life savings simply tossed in the back of a garbage truck and hauled away.

Why did this old woman stash all that money in something so flammable and insecure as a mattress? Because “she had traumatic experiences with banks before”. Well, that’s a good explanation. Granted, this is not the US and I don’t know how banks in her neck of the world operate, so I won’t judge TOO much, but dang, a million bucks gone like that.

Any funny places you’ve heard of stashing money?

Where do you keep your money? Bank? mattress? A pair of undies with a fake skidmark (they exist!)? Any friends or relatives do something stupid like those mentioned above? If you don’t keep it in a bank, send me your home address and when you will be away from the house…and if you have an alarm system and any dogs. Thanks!

About the author

Clever Dude


  • I heard of one where someone put money in the bank and BANG a creditor levied their account and it was all gone.

  • Yeah, we use the bank and investment accounts for the vast majority of our money. 🙂 BUT, we also keep some money nearby too (not a college fund though, about $1000). We started doing this after Hurricane Ike…no power, no ATM’s, no way of using credit cards, so cash was king for more than a week in our part of Houston. And we only had about $60…$60 does not go very far after a few days. BUT, it is not in a piggy bank, the oven, or our mattress. It’s in the safe that is poured into the foundation of my in-law’s house. 🙂

  • @Crystal, good idea about “Hurricane money” considering the big storm that blew through the D.C. region recently for us. We lost power, but the banks were still running but no one took credit cards. I would just want to make sure I remember where I put the money. Oh, and is that safe waterproof too? 🙂

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