With what I have found in the Dodd-Frank Bill on Bank “Reform” that I published in My Post last week, I have begun to research alternatives to keeping my money in the bank, and wanted to pass along what I have come up with.
I have my money in the bank, currently, and I am not advocating pulling out your money NOW, not at all. However I think it is time, if you haven’t already, to start divesting yourself and your wealth out of the bank and into more secure forms of wealth preservation.
It think that this would be the first and best step, Credit Unions offer a much more stable atmosphere overall than regular “banks” such as Wells Fargo, Chase or others. Credit Unions are ‘not for profit’ and often give much higher returns on savings than do aforementioned banks. They also dont get involved in the schemes that often topple larger banks, such as real estate, derivatives, etc. The downside is that often outside of your regional area, ATM access is limited/nonexistant. This can be offset by going to a Cash carry for daily needs and gas, as well as keeping your bank account open with the larger bank and depositing a check into it if you need to travel. While A Credit Union will not be immune from a large bank collapse, they will however be more stable than others for a short while.
SAFETY DEPOSIT BOXES
Once you take the step to moving to a Credit Union, i would find a branch that offers Security Deposit boxes, these can normally be rented for a a few bucks per year ($20 or so). If you are going to continue to keep money at the bank, I would keep just enough to keep from getting penalized, and the rest in the safety deposit box. Whenever you need to add money to the account you can go in, open the box, deposit the money etc. I will talk about storing cash at home below, but the danger of having cash at home is always robbery, with a safety deposit box you can have it secure in a vault without worrying about some hoodlum stealing your life savings/rent/mortgage/etc. While I admit this is still not a ‘safe’ option 100% in regards to the new powers the government has, it is not stored ‘digitally’ where it can easily be stolen through a few keystrokes. You might still have the ability in the worst case scenario of going in to get ‘your grandmas jewelry’ you store there and walk out with it all vs, the guaranteed loss of having it stored with the bank in a ‘account’.
CASH AT HOME
This is the most ‘safe’ option from the new ‘bail in’ procedure the government has in place, since it wont be stored there at all. You can store it in your gun safe or other safe, however this is also the most ‘obvious’ place for any thief where things of value might be stored. If it were me, I would store what you would need to pay bills, etc. for the month there, so that it is easily available when you need it.
With the bulk of your cash savings at home I would not keep it in any obvious place like the mattress or tucked behind books or the freezer. If you have ever seen photos of break ins to homes you will notice that they look in freezers, bust open safes and throw all the books on the floor. They also throw the books on the floor because false safes hidden in books are often hiding place. They will also pull off artwork from the walls looking for wall safes, why?, because they have seen the same movies as you have; you are not being sneaky by emulating them.
I would look to invest in a quality floor safe, that is built into the concrete itself and a thief will have to dig the concrete out around it to actually break in, and they will be protected from fire as well.
If you cannot I would consider burying it, using plastic pvc pipe with desiccant packets to absorb moisture you can ensure pretty well you will not dig up any rotted out bills, etc. If you have a crawl space under the house I would pick a place that is not near the entrance to the crawl space but not near a corner or wall, but near the middle and where you can find it again; dont mark the spot….. If you cant I would pick a spot that is outside and out of the way, but not visible to neighbors, etc you can find out about how to bury stuff in my article on gun caches.
Other options include using hollow core doors, those fake power strips, or anything else inventive you can come up with. Perhaps you can buy a busted microwave or old t.v. and open it up, stuff you stuff inside and stick it down in the basement with other junk. No thief is going to steal a 20 year old microwave with a busted window (I would smash it up a bit to make it completely worthless) and no thief can sell off a 20″ projection T.V. from 1992, so its pretty safe. Always make sure that the item doesnt stick out. In the case that the government wanted to look for stashed wealth by those they consider suspicious (highly unlikely any house to house would ever happen), you would want it to blend in. Perhaps have boxes of old clothes, old VCR’s, old tapes, just basic junk and hid it amongst that stuff, dont have it on the shelf in your office, when everything else is reasonably new and up to date. This is not a cash hiding spot, but one i have mentioned before for precious metals is to put them in coin tubes and then open up a turkey or whole chicken and stuff it in there, fill it with water and re wrap it and freeze it. Then it will be safely frozen and if it was looked at you wouldn’t notice it inside and no thief is going to defrost a turkey to check that spot!
This is something i recommend while also not….I do not….DO NOT recommend you taking the money out of your bank account, and spending it all on precious metals, not AT ALL! do not sink all your savings into one vehicle. While I think they are a great store of wealth it is not guaranteed you wont be hard up for doing so, there is no guarantee gold, silver, etc will be taken as currency any time soon, they may even be illegal (in that case the black market will always be open!), however once again, never have all your eggs in one basket, have 10-20% of your savings/wealth in precious metals and that is about it (however DO NOT DO THIS if you dont have any of the basic food storage items stocked away, have a year for each person before you decide to do this).
There are many alternative digital currencies out there, but bitcoin seems to be the biggest, most accepted and a rising star in the currency world. I dont know that much about bitcoin, however the basics are you have a digital wallet and can buy bitcoins from people on the street or through a internet intermediary, even on ebay. With this you can purchase these coins for X amount of dollars (I think it is over $200 a coin now as of October 2013), and many people and businesses take them. The currency in your wallet is very safe from what I have been able to find out, Kim DotCom the megaupload CEO who was arrested for running an online pirating empire still has all the wealth in his bitcoin wallet, the FEDS have been unable to crack it and take it as part of their investigation. I have issues with bitcoin, while i support any alternative currency I see it as dangerous to being unusable if the government decided to outlaw its use in a worst case scenario. Its up to you whether you want to use it or not.
For anything you do, realize that you will still need cash to purchase things, food, gas, pay bills/taxes, etc…… I would try, if it is possible, to get your paycheck in check form so that you can cash it yourself. You can go completely bank free by cashing it at a check cashing center, however they will charge you a fee, usually based on the % of the check total. Often you can cash the check at the bank that it comes from or even other banks without an account, but they will charge you a fee, but it is often lower than check cashing centers.
If you want/need credit card capability without a bank account, you can go to pretty much any store and use a Visa greendot card, often it is $5-10 a month and load it with what you want to use, or need for the month and buy things with that.
Western Union often gives you the ability to pay bills or send cash, for a fee.
As with any of these alternatives, it does cost you money to do so. However I would very much recommend no longer storing the bulk of your savings, and anything past what is needed to pay bills, in a bank anymore.
If you have any tips on going bank free, please comment below!
Want to help support the site? find out more here! Or just click the amazon link below, bookmark it and go there every time you shop on Amazon, it costs you nothing more, but they will kick back a portion of your purchase to the site to help run things smoothly and keep you informed!