A recent survey found we Brits have almost £5.2bn in cash stashed in our homes. But before we get overexcited looking for our retirement funds in the sofa cushions, this works out to an average of £200 per household.
I can certainly believe the research, but it’s still a pretty significant amount of cash to have lying around the house. And these stats don’t include the money you have kept in your purse or wallet – so where’s it all hiding?
For me, I have a confession to make – it’s everywhere. I’m a change collector. I save the pennies, but my problem is I never seem to spend them. When my purse reaches a certain bulk, I tip it all out into an assortment of jam jars, dishes and surfaces in my room, never to leave again. I’d be intrigued to see how much it all adds up to.
Why it’s handy to keep cash at home
So why are we keeping our cash around the house, and why don’t we put it in the bank?
Some people seem to keep a little bit of money around the house on purpose, for emergencies or convenience. On a previous Convo, commenter Dave told us:
‘I keep more “petty cash” around the house now than I ever used to, because putting it into a bank or building society would earn me about 10p a month. Not worth the effort and I pay less visits to the local ATM, and always have the cash for the pizza man etc.’
And maybe it is worth checking the sofa after all, as Jim M said:
‘I recently disposed of an armchair after 19 years. I opened it up and found a large number of coins down the back totalling £58.36. Hardly “super-rich”, but well worth looking…’
Is your cash covered?
If you’ve got cash lying around your house, you might be wondering if it’s covered on your home insurance. Contents insurance policies will generally cover you up to around £500 of cash in your home, with the odd few going up to £1,000, but this is likely to be high-end policies only.
Only a very small minority (2%) of the adults surveyed by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) said they kept more than £1,000 in their homes. And I think that’s for the best – as while it might be sensible to have some cash to hand in an emergency, you could lose out significantly if something were to happen to it. The FSCS suggests you keep your savings in the bank, to make sure your cash is covered under its scheme.
However, the amount of cash we’re keeping under the mattress has apparently dropped £80 from two years ago – is this a sign of our tightening purse strings? How much cash do you usually keep at home?