Money Hiding Spots From The Great Depression

Money Hiding Spot

charlie_imageAfter the Great Depression, it was hard for lots of people to regain trust in the banks and the entire banking system. Most banks during the depression were over leveraged and had almost 99% of people's money lent out in car, consumer, and home loans. As a result, when people started losing trust in the banks, then people started running to the banks to get their money out. Understandably, people were “once bitten, and twice shy” from the affects of this tough economic time in our country's history.

As a result, people stopped saving their money in the banks, and resorted to hiding their money and valuables in their home. From talking with my Grandpa, he expressed how no one trusted the local banks. They were viewed as a bunch of crooks, and Grandpa still had a disgust for one particular banker who foreclosed on one of his dad's properties.

Understandably, people started taking control of their money, and not allowing the bank to have it. That is the height of when people started to hide their valuables in their own home. Hiding them in the oddest places you'd ever think to look. Here are few of the places my Grandpa said his family hid their valuables, and others I found in researching this topic.

  • In the bed/mattress – this is the most common place you hear of the Great Depression generation hiding their valuables and is most often where you find them left behind.
  • In the wall – in a lot of the old homes people had gone to great lengths to hide their valuables, and folks would cut holes in their wall in order to secure coins or cash. Here is a great DIY video on how to make a money hiding spot inside your own wall.

  • Piano or piano bench legs – in recently talking with a co-worker he purchased an old piano and bench and found 3 gold coins hidden in a hollowed out bench leg.
  • Backyard – have you heard of this story? A couple found $10 million in gold coins in canisters in their backyard.  Their dog dug up part of one can, and they found a bunch of 1800's coins. The couple wanted to remain anonymous after their new found wealth, which is completely understandable.
  • Attic – the place that people often go the least and is where robbers would most likely not look.
  • Door – really? Doors? Ya, a lot of people would hollow a hole in their doors and stuff cash or coins in them. I didn't really understand how this would be possible but found a great tutorial on burying coins in your door.
  • Cabinets – in a lot of old Victorian homes people would create secret hiding places in their cabinetry. Below is a long video of a guy walking through a Victorian home, and showing all the hiding spots you could find hidden money. Fast forward to 11:30 in the video and see the hollowed out cabinet.

  • Behind vents – from talking with my Grandpa, he'd often have a vent cover that was a false vent cover, which he could quickly remove and put back. This way he could add coins or gold pieces to his stash quickly if he needed.
  • In the shed – some people might find this unsecure, but a lot of great depressionists would put their coins in the shed where robbers would least likely look. From an old story that my dad told me, he heard of a guy who put all his gold coins in the block of an old engine in his machine shed on the farm. He came home one day to find his entire shed cleaned out! Come to find out his wife decided to take all the old machine shed “junk” to the local dump! Point is, make sure you tell someone (especially your spouse) where you are hiding your gold and silver!
  • Piano – a lot of the bigger older pianos went unused for a lot of farmers during the depression. Instead of being used a musical instrument, farmers would hollow out their pianos to store gold and silver coins. Pretty neat idea and has the ability to store a lot of valuables.

Thrifty Creative Money Hiding Ideas in Household Goods


Morton Salt Diversion Safe – 26 oz


Hair Brush Diversion Safe Stash with Smell Proof Bag


Jiffy Peanut Butter Diversion Safe Stash Can w HumanFriendly Smell-Proof Bag


Speed Stick Deodorant Stick Diversion Safe

Well, readers, these are just a few of the areas that my Grandpa would tell me that his family would hide their money. I'm sure I've missed some that your family hid their money during the Depression. I'd love to hear from our readers on where did your family members hide money or what is the strangest place you heard of people finding money hidden?



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  1. This is what I exactly need

  2. My husband’s grandfather was a carpenter by trade. He and his grandmother both lived thru the great depression. Grandfather had hiding spots all over the home. He made a false beam that went across the ceiling of a room, that beam was filled with money! He took the furniture and made areas in the legs to put silver coins in. He also made a false bottoms in drawers in dressers in the bedrooms. false brick in the fireplace, where grandada stash big heavy duty steel tool boxes full of cash and silver coins. those tool boxes could be accessed both inside the house and outside. The clothes line in back yard was filled with cash and then capped with cememnt on the ends. he made in ground safes in the house, where you could look right at the dang thing and never ever guess a safe was hidden there..He also went under the house, here in New Mexico in the late 1940’s the home had heaters with grates built in the floor. if a person needed to get under their home. just pull up grate and down you go. Grand ada built false beams under the house to hide his treasure. Now what he did was make a map of where everything was hidden and left that with his attorney along with his will and a copy of map with grandmother incase he went first, which that is what happened.

  3. enjoyed reading every thing

  4. A relative’s grandmother hid money in the feet of an ironing board.

  5. Getting the gold coins in a canister is an uncertain thing. But many people get. Actually I have also got 5000 in my old home when I went there after 5 years. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  6. My father-in-law would cut out deep rectangles in a book hide valuables inside and place it on the book self, or at the bottom of a stack of books various places throughout the house.

    • I bought a nice old fullsize classical guitar from a secondhand shop over 20 years ago. I played it and liked it but it had a funny little vibration, buzz/rattle inside of it when I played it. The guitar was only $10.00 so I figured it was worth tinkering with. I got the guitar home to restring and clean it up. Looking inside of the guitar with my mirror, I noticed a long, flat, piece of paper taped underneath the guitar’s soundboard. Using long forceps I carefully peeled of the tape and paper. To my surprise there were two 1963 issue $100 bills under the piece of paper! If it had not been those $100 bills vibrating inside of my guitar I probably wouldn’t have known they were in there. And I still own that guitar.

  7. I cleaned out the apartment of a 90+ year old lady. She had a bunch of old bra’s hanging in the closet. Two had the cups hand stiched together stuffed with money.

  8. I need to buy an old Victorian house. I’m missing out on treasures galore.

    • Would be fun to rummage through some of these old houses huh?

  9. We moved an old dresser recently and a piece came off… I was so hopeful something might be there, ha! I have some close family members that keep a “freezer fund” for a sense of security. These are really interesting ideas for hiding spots, there’s no telling what’s still hidden out there:]

  10. When we were cleaning out my great-grandparents’ house after they died, we found a bunch of old $20’s stuffed in coat pockets in the closet. It was such a thrill to find – plus the money was still good even if it was old!

    • In two days my husband and I will be traveling to his Aunt’s home and Grandparents home which were recently left to his father. His Grandparents came here from England and were very big on hiding things. I appreciate all the tips I’m getting. I believe his Aunt that lived with her parents never got rid of their clothing. It’s still all hanging in the basement, his Grandmother passed away in 1992. It should be interesting! I love treasure hunts! LOL

  11. Take a soda bottle, fill it when cash (plastic wrapped) and sand, and put them inside the water tank at home.

  12. My grandmother grew up during the Great Depression. It is hard to fathom what most Americans had to endure. It is easy to see why they were so untrusting of financial institutions. I hope we don’t see this again because of deregulation and the elimination of various protection agencies.

  13. I have to add to this since the in-laws are in town:

    – One of their grandparents used to store their money in a metal lunchbox left outside in a junk car that didn’t drive. They figured that’s the only thing that wouldn’t be ransacked.

    – They also found a tightly folded $50 bill in the grout line of the shower.

    The other one’s parents just never threw away anything, they kept all the cash in a safety deposit box. We found a 1989 never opened Sears outboard motor that the estate gave us for working on the house for a few days, we resold it for $950 in 2006.

  14. When I was finishing my basement 9 years ago, I left a time-capsule cookie box with dollar bills, coins, family photos, and short note containing my email address, in a corner wall. I’m hoping that 30-40 years from now someone will find it and email me about it (that is if it’s not yet obsolete and I’m still alive). This was during the great recession :).

  15. A number of years ago I found a hole filled in and a 1930’s shovel about ten feet away. The metal part of the shovel was half rotted away. I went on the net to see how long it would take for half of the shovel to rot away turns out to be about 80 years. This was in the middle of the woods well off the beaten trail. I was looking for a place to sit the terrain was ruff when I came upon an area that flattened right out even a couple of rocks to sit on. If I had not been looking for plants I would never have been looking at the ground and would not have ssen the hole. About teen feet away was a very old shovel as I said half rotted away. I that it may be a child buried there and I left. Going back today hopefully to retrieve my treasure.

  16. If your cleaning out the home of a loved one who’s passed, make sure to inspect the items in the freezer. Even if it’s wrapped in the white butcher paper. Gram used to freeze her money rather than trust a bank.

    • That’s one I’ve heard about before as well – I wonder how much money is in the landfill because people just threw it out when cleaning out the freezer.

  17. My grandfather hid his life’s savings in the furnace unbeknownst to my grandmother. In the fall my grandmother LIT the furnace, igniting the cash! She was furious! She took over handling the finances after that. She did very well – she invested in a few properties in Downtown Toronto! She lived a very comfortable retirement, travelling the world and leaving a little to her children and grandchildren.

  18. Besides where to store your valuables you need to consider what to store them in, a fireproof container of some kind is wise. What happens if you put a wad of cash in your wall and, God forbid, your house burns?

  19. Place your valuables in a carefully opened and resealed tampon box.
    A whole lot easier and no chance you will move out and forget.

  20. Had a good friend whose parents buried cash in their basement cement floor. Several newer areas of dried cement was the clue.

    • That isn’t a half bad idea! If you put furniture or carpet over the cement, then people probably wouldn’t know.

  21. My family owned a business in Viet Nam and because it is a third world country banking institutions did not exist. So everything is cash based. My grandmother had her money in a dresser/amour and carried the key with her at all times. Brings back memory of me seeing her go to her “bank.”

    • Haha…I think a lot of today’s generation is soon forgetting the problems of 85 years ago. Would you agree?

  22. Charlie the banks have never had the money in the bank. They loan out up to 10 times the deposits and charge interest on that “money” they don’t have. If there ever is a run again they’ll write you a check or give you a card or some such substitution. The money was never there.

    Absolutely take possession of your coins or bars. When things get ugly, when you need it, the bank will be closed. Safety deposit boxes are worthless.

    You can google money creation or email me and i’ll get something to you.


    • I think the banks have the money required by the FDIC, but the total FDIC liabilities is too much. Also I think the derivatives of the banks is what will screw up the whole banking industry.

  23. My grandmother (who immigrated to the US in the 1940s) hid money in coat pockets and in the lining of her dresses when she was on the boat over! My grandfather put all of his pension money in the lining of the couch!

    • J$ – I really like!! It is a really good site, and is a rarity in the finance industry!

      Thanks for the links.

      • Sweet – glad you like it! Thanks for letting me know :)

  24. Important that wife/or a kid knows about hiding spot. Story of one guy that did not inform his wife of his money being hidden in an engine block in the garage. Wife got tired of the engine taking up space and cleaned the garage out. $175,000 Gone! Ouch! Salvage guy say’s he didn’t find anything.

    • Of course. I was thinking about this today that it really is important that only a couple of people know where your hidden money is at. Also it’s important that those people don’t ride in the same car or plane at the same time. :) That is when you get people who lose $10 million in your backyard! :)

  25. With a little extra work, bedroom wardrobes can be made to have a hinged floor. Under here can be a great place to keep valuables. In my last house, I had a small floor safe installed under a built in wardrobe and a hinge put on the wardrobe bottom. To look in it looks perfectly solid. A couple of pairs of shoes etc. on top of it, and you’d never expect it was a door.

    I would avoid storing money in books, DVD cases etc. They seem like great places that are quick to access, but you’d be surprised how often charity shops can get books with “donations” hidden between the pages!

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