Do you keep emergency cash in the house? And if you do, where should you put it?
A new study shows that one Briton in three (32%) keeps some spare money in their home – with the average amount being £250 – but we’re making life easy for burglars by being remarkably predictable about where we ‘hide’ this money.
Figures from MyvoucherCodes show the most popular place to put money is in your sock or underwear drawer, followed by hidden in a DVD case or in the wardrobe.
Top 10 places Brits stash cash
Making a mistake
But despite their popularity, almost all of these “safe places” are remarkably risky.
"The sock/underwear drawer is always one of the first places a burglar will look. The bedroom in general is usually where jewellery, cash and passports will be kept so the thieves will always aim for that room and turn the drawers out on the bed whilst searching,” Darran Hull, a property claims manager at Direct Home Insurance, told Yahoo! Finance.
And a DVD case isn’t much smarter.
DVDs are light, small and really easy to sell – making them a top target for thieves, Ian Crowder from the AA told Yahoo! Finance. In fact, very few of the top hiding places are secure.
“Someone breaking in to your house will almost certainly have already thought of these places,” said Crowder.
The safest place
So where should you keep cash then? Well, despite just 1% of people using them, a safe is, unsurprisingly, safest.
“It's amazing so few people use a safe,” Crowder said. “They aren’t terribly expensive and they are the best place to keep cash, passports, important documents like birth certificates and really emotionally valuable items.
“Spend a little more on a home safe and you can get one that may be waterproof and fireproof too so contents may survive a fire or flood (bearing in mind if there is a fire, it could well be deluged by the fire service hoses). They aren’t difficult to fit although you may want a professional come to do it for you.”
But there’s something else you need to think about too. Your insurance.
“Most insurers only cover the first £500 taken in the event of a burglary, so it’s never worth keeping much around the house,” said Mark Pearson, chairman of MyVoucherCodes.co.uk.
Worse, a simple mistake – such as leaving your windows open to cool the house then forgetting to close them before leaving for work - could invalidate your cover.
“Think – did you really shut and lock the windows before you went out this morning? Did you double-lock the front door? Do you leave the back door open when you are mowing the lawn – the racket the mower makes you wouldn’t hear someone slipping in to your house,” the AA’s Crowder said.
“Similarly, do you leave the front door open for latecomers when you’re having a bbq in the back garden?
“Oh, and finally, make sure your home insurance policy is up to date.”