Cash stashing, long the realm of the paranoid and the Depression Generation, is back. But, according cash stashers quoted in yesterday's LA Times, hiding it in your mattress is a really bad idea.

I'll have to admit: I've been thinking about cash stashing myself (although the complete lack of spare cash is something of a barrier to entry). I'm sure I could come up with all kinds of great places: like my kids' toy bins -- the die-cast car bin seems appropriate somehow -- and sewn inside the tail of the stuffed IKEA dragon.

Those who stash cash have always been depicted in the media and popular fiction as having one foot in the loony bin. But with real financial insecurity, banks failing and pundits wondering whether the FDIC could truly handle a wholesale bank disaster (the insurance company wouldn't have had enough to cover depositors if Washington Mutual had failed unassisted), declining 401(k) balances, and exploding layoffs, cash stashing is beginning to look more "keen foresight" and less "cuh-razy."

When our six-year-old started squirreling cash he'd been given by his aunts and uncles, instead of advising him to deposit it in his savings account, my husband instead urged him to find a really good hiding place. Somewhere we couldn't find it. You'll never know what parents desperate to pay the gas bill might do...

Do you stash cash? Where do you hide it?

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