Hide and seek: Secret box of cash thrown out with the recycling

Advice from the Great Depression was to hide your money inside your home, but this tactic has led one man into a great depression of his own after his wife unknowingly dumped his stash.

Advice from the Great Depression was to hide your money inside your home, but this tactic has led one man into a great depression of his own after his wife unknowingly dumped his stash.

Rejecting the security of banks and savvy investments in favour of home-based storage alternatives is not uncommon, and in fact the practice is known to spike during periods of market volatility and uncertainty.

After all, why risk a freeze on your assets when you can put your assets in the freezer? Why keep stocks when you can keep cash with your socks? Why rely on a bank vault when you have a perfectly good cookie jar? And storing money under the mattress – safe as houses, right?

It will come as no surprise that financial experts disagree.

As will, presumably, the newly enlightened man in China who had selected a cardboard box as the ideal hiding place for his savings – a fact he neglected to share with his wife.

Diligently collecting recyclables around the home – but not so diligently as to check inside the box – the man’s wife took the ‘waste’ to a collection centre and exchanged it for a nominal fee.

Upon learning of his misfortune in relation to the rubbish tip, the man quickly contacted his local police in Taizhou, Zhejiang, to help him locate his discarded 10,000 yuan (about A$2100).

Officers sprung into action, trekking to the recycling facility and hunting through mountains of paper and cardboard, enduring 40C temperatures in the process amid a sweeping heatwave across the country.

The officers were eventually able to find the needle in the haystack and returned the money.

Others in similar situations have not been so fortunate, however, such as the man in Illinois, US, who in 2011 accidentally donated a suit with US$13,000 stashed in a pocket.

Or the Israeli woman who in 2009 replaced her mother’s old mattress, only to learn that it was where she’d hidden her life savings, an estimated US$1 million.

Sources:

 

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