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5 Common Places To Avoid Hiding Your Jewelry


I was watching the news the other day and this home robbery story grabbed my attention. A burglar broke into a home and stole $10,000 worth of jewelry when the homeowners were in church. I was thinking wow, that’s a lot of money. Then I turned to my wife and commented, if they broke in here, they would walk out with just the change jar. We only have a few pieces of jewelry and they are locked up in our safe. Mrs. RB40 doesn’t like to wear jewelry, so I haven’t had to buy anything for her since I purchased our wedding rings years ago. Yes, I am the luckiest guy in the world. 🙂

where not to store your jewelry

Home security

Back to the story. The homeowner said they had a home security system, but they forgot to turn it on. They also had a safe which the burglar couldn’t break into. Wait a minute. Why didn’t they turn on the home security system when they went to church? If they turned on the home security system, they wouldn’t have to deal with the burglary. And why didn’t they put their jewelry in the safe?

Where NOT to hide your jewelry

It seems a little silly to have a security system and a safe, and then not use them. I did a little research to see where people tend to keep their jewelry, so here are some places NOT to hide your valuables.

  1. In the jewelry box. Why would you keep $10,000 worth of jewelry in your jewelry box? Just keep the cheap stuff in the jewelry box and hide the expensive items. I guess some people don’t have cheap jewelry.
  2. In the freezer. More than one in four Americans hide items in the freezer. Burglars know about the freezer and that’s the first place they will look.
  3. In the sock drawer. This is the second most popular place to hide money. Burglars will go through your socks and check under the drawers for money taped under there.
  4. Under the mattress. Another popular hiding place that is easily checked.
  5. In a Bible. The burglars know about this popular hiding spot as well. Cash is easily hidden here, but jewelry probably wouldn’t fit too well.

Leave some cash for the burglar

These are just a few of the burglar’s favorite places to check first, so you probably should avoid them. I read that it’s a good idea to leave some money in obvious places for the burglar to quickly find so they can take it and leave. The burglars usually just want to get something and get out as soon as they can. If they can’t find anything, they’ll tear your house apart to find something valuable.

Personally, I have my cash allowance envelope right next to my keys near the door.  There’s not much in there, since the money seems to disappear on groceries at the beginning of the week.  We also have the usual electronics like laptops and a TV, but that’s about it. Mrs. RB40’s laptop is so old that I don’t even want to use it.  Our safe only has a few pieces of jewelry and just a few documents. Any burglar would be pretty disappointed if they broke into our home. If you have a safe, you should use it.  Lastly, please remember to turn on your home security system when you leave the house. Why pay for it if you’re not going to use it?

photo credit: flickr apple_pathways

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Joe started Retire by 40 in 2010 to figure out how to retire early. He spent 16 years working in computer design and enjoyed the technical work immensely. However, the job became too stressful and Joe retired from his engineering career to become a stay-at-home dad/blogger at 38. Today, he blogs about financial independence, early retirement, investing, and living a frugal lifestyle.

Passive income is the key to early retirement. This year, Joe is increasing his investment in real estate with CrowdStreet. He can invest in projects across the U.S. and diversify his real estate portfolio. There are many interesting projects available so sign up and check them out.

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Leah February 17, 2013, 5:42 pm

    My best tip is to have jewelry that’s not worth much 🙂 My jewelry is all beads, fused glass, or shells. I guess they could steal it, but nothing I own cost more than $30.

  • Eric February 9, 2013, 5:10 pm

    Great article. As a 30 year Cop in metro-LA (recently retired) I can tell you, the crooks are smart! They know where to look, and go to the obvious first, then to the ‘hiding places’. Leave some cheap stuff in the jewelry box, and a little cash in a drawer. If you use a safe, it better be BIG and HEAVY. Otherwise think outside the box.

    • retirebyforty February 10, 2013, 11:20 pm

      Thanks for the tips from an expert!

  • Rob @FinancialSprout February 4, 2013, 7:53 pm

    Wow, I have never heard about the freezer as a hiding spot! Well, well it goes to show you the crazy stuff people come up with. Seriously though, if you have a security system and you forget to turn it on, that’s your own fault.

  • Rob @FinancialSprout February 4, 2013, 7:52 pm

    Wow, I have never heard about the freezer as a hiding spot! Well, well it goes to show you the crazy stuff people come up with. Seriously though, if you have a security system and you forget to turn it on, that’s your own fault.

  • You really cannot beat these guys, but I like the part about leaving some money in clear view. The other part is to make sure that your house doors are in clear view and well lit at night with big spotlights and nightlights.
    But if they are gonna getcha there is little you can do.
    Finally, homeowners insurance and riders for the valuable stuff may be a consideration.
    Just hope you are not home when they come a callin!

  • Sarah Park February 3, 2013, 7:36 am

    Not turning on the security system was such a big mistake. I guess burglars got lucky at that time.

  • Jose February 3, 2013, 6:16 am

    I have a decent sized safe which in my opinion, is the best place to keep your jewelry as well as other valuables. one thing to remember if you get a smaller one. Bolt it to the floor or the wall. I cant imagine anything worse than having an entire safe stuffed with valuables get stolen from you!

  • Elizabeth @ Broke Professionals February 2, 2013, 11:54 am

    I read this with trepidation – I was very worried I stored my stuff in a “bad” spot. Turns out, I don’t. Hooray!

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