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What options for storing cash and documents?

Saving | Current Accounts Helpful? 2

Asked by serendipity, submitted 22 December 2009.

Open Quote I should like to keep documents and or cash in a safety deposit box. Which bank has the best terms to set up and maintain safe deposits?

Do you know of any other way to store documents/cash safely apart from a freezer?
End Quote

Answered by Justin on 22 December 2009

Sadly safety deposit boxes at banks are becoming less common than they used to be, with availability and pricing seeming to vary by location. If you can find a local bank that still offers such a service then expect to pay around £20-£40 a year. They might also require you to supply your own secure box for storage in their vault.

There are various private secure storage companies dotted around the country, but they tend to be based in larger towns and cities where the most potential customers will be based. These companies are usually more expensive than banks, typically charging £100-£200 a year.

I think the most convenient option (and probably the cheapest too) would be to buy your own safe. These can be purchased from around £30 upwards and most have at least four small holes in the base allowing them to be secured firmly to a wooden floor or shelf. For example, you could mount it in an attic or basement if you have one. While not infallible, if the safe is well hidden and secured the chances of a thief removing the contents are slim. There’s plenty of online shops offering safes, e.g. has a wide range and appears competitively priced (just type ‘safe’ into their search option).

Otherwise the freezer is still apparently one of the better places to hide cash and important documents in your home. Other options within your home that I’m told can work well are creating a hole in a wall and covering it with a photo or picture frame, hiding items under a loose floorboard and inside women’s sanitary product boxes in a bathroom draw or cabinet (sounds strange, but as thieves are more likely to be men maybe logical).

If you have a lot of cash I'd always recommend putting it in a bank account. Apart from being safer (provided you stick to the £50,000 Financial Services Compensation Scheme limit), you should earn some interest too.

Please note this answer does not constitute a recommendation or financial advice and should not be relied upon when making specific investment or other financial decisions. You should always undertake your own research into whether a product or service is appropriate for your needs and, if necessary, use a qualified professional adviser.

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