4 Ways to Save Money without a Bank Account (That are Safe)


Saving money is difficult. Saving money without a bank account is even harder. Saving money safely without a bank account, well that’s just…possible actually!

Here are 4 ways you can save money without using a bank account:

  1. Home Safe

  2. Prepaid Cards

  3. Local Self Storage Facility

  4. With a Trusted Friend or Family Member

Before I get into this article, I want to state that I truly believe saving money in a bank account is the best way to go.

It’s safe, it’s insured and it’s liquid. But if that’s not enough, here are 9 more benefits of saving money in the bank. 

But, if for some reason you don’t have a bank account and you don’t plan on opening one, these 4 options are your best bet.

Quick Note #1 – In order to save money without a bank account, you will likely have to be paid in cash by your employer, as opposed to direct deposit or cheque (with one exception, keep reading).

If you plan on saving this money as part of an emergency fund, check out my article here where I talk about emergency funds and how much you should have saved.

Home Safe

A secure home safe is one of the safest and most popular options available for you to store money without a bank account.

Not only do big safes make you look and feel like an absolute boss, but they’re very practical for storing cash because your money will be quickly accessible.

While you can buy home safes for relatively cheap prices, you’ll get what you pay for.

If you plan on storing your money in a home safe as opposed to a bank account, I recommend paying a little extra to ensure your money will remain safe (pun intended!).

Some common features of a quality safe include:

  • Constructed with steel
  • Weighs more than 50 pounds
  • Alarm System
  • Mounting hardware for bolting to floor or wall
  • Waterproof
  • Fireproof
  • Offers a key and keypad setting for entry.

Again, these types of home safes are expensive.

There are other less expensive options out there for storing cash, like storing money in a lookalike book, but if you aren’t using a bank account to save your money, spending a little extra on a high quality safe is advisable.

Quick Note #2 – High quality safes offer great value because they are usually too heavy and secure for a burglar to steal in the spur of a moment. But, oftentimes people are so proud of their big, shiny safe and their lips being to loosen –  this is when pre-meditated break ins may occur.

While it might be fun to talk about how great your safe is, you wouldn’t go around telling people your PIN number for your bank card (if you had one!). So be proud of your safe, but keep its whereabouts to yourself.

Related Financial Geek Article: Will the Bank Close Your Inactive Accounts?

Prepaid Card

If I had to save money without a bank account, using prepaid cards is the route I would probably go.

A prepaid card is similar to a debit card, but it has the capabilities of most credit cards.

To use a prepaid card, you load money onto the card in advance and then spend on it just like you would a normal debit or credit card. Once you run out of money on that card, you have to reload it with more funds.

Quick Note #3 – “Loading money onto a card” means you are putting money on a card, similar to putting money in a bank account.

As I mentioned at the beginning of the article, there may be one exception to needing to be paid in cash to save money without a bank account.

According to The Balance, some prepaid cards also have routing and account numbers, this allows people to receive their pay-checks through a prepaid card account as opposed to a bank account.   

The other great thing about prepaid cards is they are so easy to buy. You can buy them anywhere these days! Costco, Walmart, Grocery Stores, Convenience stores, you name it, these cards are everywhere.

In addition to being widely available across many retail stores, they are also super easy to buy. You buy one like you’re buying a pack of gum! No paperwork or identification procedures needed. Easy peasy.

In terms of ease of purchase, store bought prepaid cards are the way to go, but they are not the only type of prepaid cards available. Banks and other online financial institutions also issue prepaid cards.

Okay, let’s now use an example to demonstrate how buying a prepaid card in-store would work.

You have $100 cash on you, you walk into a store that sells prepaid cards and you buy a $100 prepaid, reloadable Visa card. You now have a $100’s on a prepaid Visa card and this card can be used like any other credit card without any interest charges or overdraft fees.

Not only can you make online purchases, rent cars or book flights with these prepaid cards, but they allow you to save money without the hassle of saving cash.

Local Self Storage Facility

Another option for you to save money without the use of a bank account is to utilize local self storage facilities.

Unlike your home safe, reputable storage facilities offer insurance for their clients’ stored assets, which will help protect your stored cash from damage or theft.

Not only will your money likely be at least partly insured, but it’ll probably be more secure than even a good home safe.

Credible storage facilities will protect your money with things like high fences, security cameras, guards and premium security equipment.

However, the downside of saving money in a storage facility is that you have to go to that facility every time you need more money, and that’s just inconvenient.

Picture this, you are out of money and you need $20 for a late night beer run, your friend is sober and is ready to drive you, “Hey bud! Do you mind driving me down to self storage there, just need to grab a quick $20”.

Yeah, likely not going to happen. And if it does, grab $40, because you owe that friend a few beers.

And did I mention the cost associated with storing money in a self storage facility?

Come to think of it, I have no idea what it would cost – but trust me, it ain’t free!

Trusted Friend or Family Member

While this is my least favourite option of the 4, giving money to someone you trust is a viable solution if you don’t want to save your money in a bank account.

As long as you really trust this person, your money should be secure, but make sure you know where they’re saving your money. Likely a bank account, maybe in investments?  Or maybe one of the other 3 options mentioned above. I have no idea, but you should!

But still, I don’t love this idea, and here’s why.

First off, similar to the storage facility option, it’s just really inconvenient.

Do you really want to nag this person every time you need more money? That just sounds like a terrible experience for both parties involved.

Listen, I love my friends, but I’m sorry, I don’t want to be a banker, and neither do most people.

Secondly, close relationships and money are just a bad combination. People sometimes aren’t as loyal as you once thought.

Are you willing to risk losing a family member or close friend over money? I’m not.

Conclusion

While I personally like saving my money in a bank account, I’m not everyone. And the best way to save money without a bank account is very dependent on the situation.

Not to mention, I would rather you save money outside a bank account than not at all – as the consequences of not saving money are serious, as I outlined here in my article 6 Harsh Consequences of Not Saving Money.

Before deciding on what’s right for you, ask yourself these 4 questions

  • How accessible will I need this money to be?

  • Do I want to make online purchases and travel accommodations with this money?

  • How much money do I want to spend in saving this money?

  • Do I trust anyone enough to save this money for me?

Answer these 4 questions and align your answers with the 4 viable options listed above. This should give you a better idea of the best way FOR YOU to save your money without a bank account.

If you still don’t know, then give me a call, my number is 70..just joking. Peace!

Noel

Noel is the founder and main contributor for his blog - Noel's passion for personal finance has helped him amass over 600k readers to his Financial Geek blog.

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