Home Safe or Safety Deposit Box?

by Kristina on April 14, 2011 · 5 comments

When we start to accumulate wealth we need to start protecting it along with other important documents.  Some of us may be wondering what to keep in our Safety Deposit Box, and some of us may be wondering what we should keep in our Home Safe.

Some of us may have a Safety Deposit Box at our bank, and some of us may have a Home Safe.  Some of us may have both, although I think that may be safety overkill.  There are several things that we should keep in our Safety Deposit Box at our bank and other things that we should keep in our Home Safe if we choose to do so.

What is in Your Safety Deposit Box?

As a bank employee I have no right to know the contents of a client’s safety deposit box.  This is why after retrieving our personal items we are escorted to a private room with our Safety Deposit Box.  People may choose to keep only important papers such as insurance policies along with their Last Will and Testament in a Safety Deposit Box.  However, some other people keep jewellery, family heirlooms, their birth certificates as well as their Social Security Card in their Safety Deposit Box.

In movies and on television we often see people keeping cash in their Home Safe or their Safety Deposit Box.  I disagree with this because if the money is in a Safe and not in a bank account, it is not earning any interest.  The contents of a Safety Deposit Box cannot be seized, even upon death or bankruptcy.  However, the contents of a Safety Deposit Box are also not insured by the bank.

Clients only rent the space from their bank for their Safety Deposit Box to keep their assets safe, the contents are not property of the bank and therefore they are not insured by the bank.  If we have a Safety Deposit Box we should have separate insurance for our assets and valuable items on our Homeowners Insurance Policy.

Do you have a Safety Deposit Box or a Home Safe?

The advantage of having a safe at our home is that we have access to our valuables and assets at all times with the twist of a dial or the punch of a keypad.  A fireproof and waterproof safe is definitely a good idea for the safekeeping of important documents and it is convenient to have at home.  However, it can be troublesome if we forget the code to open our safe.  We have so many pin numbers and passwords to remember, it may be easier to have a key to open our Safety Deposit Box at the bank.

There are pros and cons to having a Safety Deposit Box at our bank, and there are pros and cons of having a Home Safe.  A Safety Deposit Box at our bank ensures that our assets are protected and safeguarded at all times.  However, it may be inconvenient to go to our bank every single time we need to retrieve our assets.  A Home Safe ensures easy access to our valuables, but remembering the code could be a problem.

Photo  by K Tyler Conk

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 clouserw April 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

The contents of a Safety Deposit Box cannot be seized, even upon death or bankruptcy.

That’s what they tell you when you sign up. Google for “safety deposit seize” in the news to read about why that’s not always the case. Particularly recently in California where you live: http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=4832471&page=1

2 Bret @ Hope to Prosper April 17, 2011 at 7:47 pm

I used to have a fire-proof lock box to secure our important papers. But, I was always afraid someone would steal it, thinking there was something valuable inside. Luckily, my brother just upgraded his safe and gave me his old one. Now, I have something a little more secure.

3 Kristina April 17, 2011 at 8:23 pm

My parents had a Safety Deposit Box when we were younger. Now my Dad has a home safe. The last time I went to his house I noticed that it was all dented and banged up. My Dad is now 58 years old and he can`t remember the combination to his safe, he also can`t see the small numbers on the rotating knob. My Dad tried to (unsuccessfully) open his home safe with a crowbar, it`s good to know that home safes are secure. I think that my Dad should have had the home safe when we were younger, and his eyesight was better.

4 ali June 28, 2012 at 5:21 am

hi. i have a strongbox and i forget that code, how i can open it or change that code. please help me. thanks.

5 James October 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm


The money earned from bank interest is virtually nothing, at least here in the states.

You might as well keep your cash in a home safe, you’ll save money on safety deposit box fees.


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