Due to the purchasing power and general imperviousness of the US dollar to inflation, it comes as no surprise why Zimbabweans prefer it to other currencies. The rand comes in second but most people do not prefer it. The US dollar is a sure way of preserving your monetary value. However, there are several issues to explore when it comes to how best to store your US dollars. For the most part, people prefer to store it themselves as cash – the storage approaches are so diversified. I will first of all look at why people have that preference then I will get into ways people use to store their US dollars cash.
Storing US Dollars In Bank Accounts
In principle storing one’s US dollars in a bank account is the most secure way. However, given the monetary and fiscal dynamics in Zimbabwe people avoid that by all means. It has become abundantly clear that when you deposit your US dollars or even receive them into your account there is no guarantee you will access them later as cash. One of the most recent examples is that of US dollar allowances for civil servants. They have not been able to access but rather have been made to spend them in electronic form. Sure enough, people can receive money through the likes of World Remit, Mukuru and the like. The issue comes when you deposit the US dollars into an FCA – accessing them later as cash is a tall order. This is part of why people prefer to store the US dollar cash themselves. Let us now explore ways in you can securely store them:
I have already touched on this and the major takeaway is that accessing your cash later can be an uphill task. Additionally, there are bank charges to consider which chip away at your hard-earned money over time. This is exacerbated by the fact that monetary and fiscal policies in Zimbabwe are very mercurial. One day you wake up to the news that the US dollar is no longer legal tender. The next day you probably wake up to a reversal of that. Zimbabwe is now characterised by perpetual statutory instruments (SIs). This not only points to deep-seated economic problems but makes storing your US dollars in a bank account very risky. Under normal circumstances, storing your US cash in a bank account would be the safest.
This comes to mind immediately when we explore storing your US dollar cash at home or other exclusive locations. This does come with lots of variables and several things to consider. When you keep your cash you are liable to several risks e.g. theft, physical damage (e.g. fire), just to mention a few. Thus the potency of a safe box does not consist entirely on the safe box alone. There are other factors to consider. The type (especially the features it has) of the safe box matters and so does the actual location of the safe box. Typically, a safe box that can be fitted into a wall and hidden from plain sight would do. A safe box that is standalone can be simply carried away if found so that would be a bad idea.
Safe Deposit Boxes
This is one option that you can also explore. According to Investopedia, a safe deposit box is an individually secured container—usually a metal box—that stays in the safe or vault of a federally insured bank or credit union. These are meant for storing personal valuable items. In Zimbabwe, I know of two banks that have safe deposit boxes facilities. These are CABS and First Capital Bank. This is far removed from a normal bank account in that if you place your cash there it will remain as is, untouched. The obvious downside is that the money does not appreciate any value – it just stays there. However, as far as safety is concerned, it is guaranteed.
Hiding The Money Inside Or Around A Building
Here I am dealing with hiding the money in a building e.g. your house, your office, and the like. This option I am dealing with here excludes the use of safe boxes. The possibilities of where to hide it are endless – depends on your imagination. The most elementary place to hide money is the bed mattress – ludicrous but many people do this. Essentially any hidden spot in a house would do the trick. Places, where one would least expect to find money, is strategic. Some examples are the toilet water tank, under the floor (where possible), inside walls, just to mention a few. You could even bury the money somewhere around the building. It could be in the earth or unusual places such bags of grain, for instance. This is an open-ended way because as I said, the possibilities are infinite. Just as much as you can be so confident that your hiding spot is impossible to discover, the risk factor is still extremely high.
These are some of how you can store your US cash. Every option has its advantages and disadvantages – the risk factor is always there. Give due thought to this before settling for a means of storage. Another thing is that you should not carelessly share the whereabouts of your money. Over time it might be wise to shift the storage means or location to avoid being too predictable. One last thing, do not store cash along with your other prized possessions – in the event of loss the loss can be immense; store cash on its own.