When they moved into their Staten Island home, Matthew and Maria C. noticed an old electrical box in the yard.
The box was partly hidden between some trees and they never paid much attention to it.
“I thought it was an electrical box,” Matthew told local media.
But when trees in their yard were damaged by wildlife they got a better view.
“It was prominent when the deer ate away all the foliage,” Matthew said.
After digging up the box, they realized it was a rusty old safe.
Inside they found wet money and a lot of jewelry in plastic bags.
“Hundreds, jewelry, diamonds, engagement ring. Dozens of rings, gold with jade. It was stunning,” said Matthew.
There was also a piece of paper with an address on it.
It turned out to be the address of one of their neighbors.
Matthew went to the neighbor’s house and asked if the house was ever broken into.
The neighbor told him yes, and that the only thing taken was a safe.
And according to the New York Police Department, a burglary was indeed reported at the neighbors’ home the day after Christmas in 2011.
The stolen safe was said to contain a large amount of cash, jewelry, and other items: a total of $52,000 worth of property, police said.
Matthew said their neighbor was shaking when he told her they had found her safe.
“The cops told the homeowner, you’ll never see your stuff again,” said Matthew.
But eight years later, they did.
“The reward is karma. Good karma.” added Matthew.
Now, the crooks who made off with the neighbors safe didn’t get very far.
But the safe wasn’t ever found because it was buried.
Which begs an interesting question…
Should you consider burying cash as part of your preparations?
Many people have done it.
And we’ve just seen that even a modest effort concealed $52,000 in valuables for a while.
But, if you decide to bury some cash, you need to do it the right way…
Why Bury Money at All?
Cash is critical to get you much-needed supplies or even a favor when you are in a tight spot.
It is in your best interest to have a good wad of cash as an emergency fund.
I recommend keeping at least six months’ worth of living cash on hand if you can manage.
But don’t keep this in your bank, in case you can’t access it when needed.
When things go south, you can’t trust banks and definitely cannot rely on ATMs.
But storing your cash all in one place inside your home can be risky. Diversification is a good idea.
So, burying money – if done correctly – can be a good option.
Here are steps to take when burying cash.
Try to make sure the bills you bury are in good condition and very dry. You don’t want to use any stained or wrinkled bills.
Once you have your bills sorted and stacked, put them into bundles and secure them with a rubber band.
Next, insert your stacks of cash into vacuum bags.
You can fit between 4 and 6 stacks of cash (depending on thickness) in a standard gallon size vacuum seal bag.
Make sure the bags are as compact as possible. Air is the enemy in this case.
Standard U.S. currency is made from cotton fiber paper, not wood fiber paper.
This means that it is highly resistant to deterioration from moisture.
But it’s not indestructible.
So, do NOT insert a desiccant pack into the vacuum bag with your cash.
This will accumulate moisture which can damage your money.
Now assemble a PVC container to bury.
Start by cutting your tube to lengths long enough to fit your bundles of cash.
Once the lengths are cut, take the time to sand, file, and clean up the edges – this is important to ensure a watertight seal.
Next, use PVC cement or heavy-duty glue to seal one end of the container with a cap.
Toss a desiccant pack inside the tube (again, not your vacuum bag.)
The desiccant pack will intercept any moisture that is still in the tube or that makes its way in through your seals.
Once you are sure everything fits, use the cement or glue to attach the other end cap.
Pick a location close to your house.
This will allow you to get to your cash quicker.
Try and have as much control over the land as possible. (You own it, a friend owns it, etc.)
I had a friend who buried his cash at the city cemetery. He never found the money again.
And ensure the location is not prone to flooding and is not likely to be built over.
Now, before you bury your cash, first create a map or write notes of where you buried the cash. (hide this somewhere good and use “codes” that only you’ll understand)
Remember: your buried cash is worthless if you can’t find it.
So, take the time to make your map beforehand.
Burying cash is not only for pirates. It is a good method of security when all other methods are too risky.
But to make sure your cash is preserved you need to do it the right way.
Using these tips will allow you to do it correctly…
Which means you’ll always have a secure source of cash available to you when you need it.