How to Store Money without a Bank

Banking

While a bank is typically considered the most convenient way to store money, there are also plenty of reasons why you might prefer not to use a bank account. Perhaps you want to avoid the unnecessary fees, or you’ve been subject to fraud despite having a bank account in the past.

woman opening safe

In any case, there are several alternatives you can pursue when it comes to storing and using your money without a bank account. Take a look at the options below and consider what suits your financial needs best.

Get a Home Safe

One of the best and most popular methods of storing money without relying on a bank is to purchase a personal safe to keep at home. Having a safe at home provides convenient access to your funds. It also allows you to safeguard your savings without needing to turn to traditional banking methods.

However, not all personal safes are created equal. If you’re considering this option, then make sure you take the time to find a safe that ticks all the necessary boxes.

Water and Fireproof

Perhaps the most important detail for any home safe is that it can withstand damage from natural disasters. If you’re using a home safe as an alternative to bank accounts, you’ll want to get a fireproof safe. This is especially essential if you live in an area at risk of serious flooding or other extreme weather events.

Size and Weight

If you’re storing large sums of cash and other valuables in a personal money safe, you need to consider its size and weight. Primarily, you’ll want to ensure that nobody can easily transport your safe.

A safe that weighs 25 lbs., for example, could easily be stolen and removed from your storage place by a thief. At the same time, you’ll have to consider the storage space you actually need. And you’ll also want to be sure that your safe will fit nicely in your intended storage location.

Mounting Capabilities

In addition to weight, a safe’s ability to be mounted is also a critical security feature. Some safes can be mounted to a wall, some to a floor, while many can do both. Be sure to check before purchasing if mounting your safe is something you want to do. 

Location

You’ll want to think carefully about where you intend to store your safe. Most importantly, it should be in a location where it can be properly mounted, and cannot reasonably be removed. You don’t necessarily need to hide a safe, but it’s also good to avoid leaving it in plain sight of visitors.

Buy Gold or Silver

Gold and silver can be a way to store wealth for people without a bank account. They have been used as a store of value for thousands of years. However, precious metals have several downsides as a form of savings.

They can be difficult and expensive to buy and sell, and they don’t earn any interest or dividends. Gold and silver can also be subject to theft. Additionally, their value can be affected by many factors, such as changes in the economy, geopolitical events, and supply and demand.

Here are the best places to buy gold and silver online.

Buy Bitcoin

If you’re a fan of Bitcoin, you’ve probably heard the phrase “be your own bank”. But, is it really possible?

Absolutely, as long as you have the necessary technical knowledge and resources to properly secure your assets.

You need to have an understanding of how to store your private keys securely (which are used to access your Bitcoin). You also need to know how to secure your computer and mobile devices from hacking, phishing scams, and malware.

Keeping your Bitcoin in a cold wallet, also known as cold storage, is generally considered to be one of the most secure ways to store your assets. A cold wallet refers to any type of offline storage, such as a hardware wallet or a paper wallet, where the private keys that provide access to your Bitcoin are stored offline and not connected to the internet.

Use a Prepaid Debit Card

Using a prepaid debit card is a convenient and flexible way to store your money and make transactions without using a bank. Prepaid debit cards work similarly to a regular debit card, but it is not connected to a checking or savings account. Instead, you load funds onto the card and use it to make purchases or withdraw cash from ATMs.

One of the benefits of using a prepaid debit card is that you can easily budget and manage your spending. This is because you can only spend the amount of money that you have loaded onto the card. This can be particularly helpful for people who struggle with overspending or managing their finances.

Another advantage is that prepaid debit cards can be used anywhere that accepts regular debit or credit cards. This allows you to make online purchases, pay bills, and even use them to withdraw cash from ATMs.

However, keep in mind that prepaid debit cards often come with various fees, such as activation fees, monthly maintenance fees, and transaction fees. These fees can add up quickly, so make sure you read the fine print and understand the terms and conditions before you decide to purchase a prepaid debit card. Additionally, some prepaid cards will not work in certain countries.

Discover the best prepaid debit cards by browsing the list provided here.

Join a Credit Union

If saving cash in a bank account isn’t possible, or doesn’t work for you, you might want to consider using a credit union instead. Credit unions provide many of the same basic financial services as banks do.

You can open a high yield savings account or a money market account. However, they often come with lower fees, better rates and better customer service overall.

Although credit unions are not insured by FDIC, they are protected by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) for the same value of $250,000. In addition, credit unions don’t always require the same degree of personal information that traditional banks do upon sign up.

So if privacy is a concern for you with a traditional bank, or if you’re not comfortable holding all your money at home, a credit union could be your best bet.

Bank Account of a Family Member

You might consider asking a family member or trusted friend if you could send money to their account to hold it for you. This could be a good idea if you need a temporary solution whilst keeping some distance between yourself and the banking system.

Benefits of Storing Money without a Bank Account

If you’re interested in the idea of storing money without a bank account, you may be wondering what exactly the benefits are. Well, there are several potential upsides to consider:

Avoiding Fees

One of the primary advantages of avoiding the banking system is getting away from the host of fees that many traditional bank accounts come with. From ATM fees, monthly fees, overdraft fees and more, many people are attracted to the idea of saving money from avoiding banking fees.

Total Control over Your Money

Storing money outside a bank allows you to be in total control of your finances. You’ll have more freedom when it comes to storage, investments, and transfers. Plus you won’t have to make any formal requests, or wait around, to withdraw funds. You might also prefer to have an emergency fund stored at home for instant access.

Avoiding Debt

A lot of folks choose to go without a bank account to avoid getting caught up in debt. It becomes much harder to open new lines of credit if you don’t have a bank account. This typically means you’re less likely to be reckless with credit and get into large debt.

Access Better Rates

When it comes to saving money, traditional banks don’t offer very inspiring rates. Using a traditional banking alternative, such as a money market account, for example, may allow you to access more competitive interest rates. Even online banking can expose you to better rates on your savings.

Benefits of Storing Money with a Bank

On the other hand, there are many advantages that come with using a bank to store your money. Here are some of the benefits of storing your money in a bank account:

FDIC Insurance

The vast majority of legitimate banks in the country are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, which means that your money is insured up to $250,000 in the event that the bank collapses.

If you decide to store your money yourself, you won’t have that protection if, for example, your home safe is damaged or stolen.

Easier to Apply for Loans

An important advantage of having a bank account is that it makes it much simpler to obtain credit. Banks often ask for bank account statement as a proof of financial stability and income. This documentation is very useful in the approval process of many types of loans.

If you want to take out a mortgage, for example, the lender will usually require monthly statements on your income and expenses. While there are of course other ways to provide this information, having a bank account makes it extremely easy and hassle-free.

Easy Return on Savings

While many banks don’t offer fantastic interest rates on savings, you can find better rates if you shop around. If you’ve got a checking account, it’s typically very easy to also open a savings account and begin earning some return on your savings.

You may also have access to other bank products, such as high yield savings accounts and retirement accounts.

Easier Money Management

It can be much easier to manage and organize your money when it’s in a bank account. It also acts as an easy way to track your expenses for budgeting purposes.

When you can see precisely how much income you’ve got each month, and where it’s going, it can be easier to figure out how you’re going to save money. Plus online banking allows you to check your account details 24/7.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I transfer money without using a bank account?

There are many ways to transfer funds without a bank account. You could use an online service such as a money transfer service, wire transfer, money order, or a prepaid debit card.

Can you transfer money from a prepaid card to a bank account?

It is usually possible to send money from a prepaid card to a bank account. The process will vary depending on the card provider, but it’s typically a matter of using your online account or to transfer the funds.

Can you get a credit card with no bank account?

Yes. Credit card companies will primarily use your credit report to judge your application. However, if you don’t have a bank account, it might be a little harder to pay your credit balance each month.

What happens if I lose my prepaid Visa card?

In the event that you lose your prepaid debit card, you should immediately contact the issuing company and have them lock the card. They can then send you out a new one to replace it.

Final Word

Knowing how to store money without a bank account doesn’t have to be complicated, but there are several ways to go about it. With the options mentioned above, you could safely store your money while avoiding the fees associated with regular bank accounts.

Steven Brennan
Meet the author

Steven Brennan is a freelance writer specializing in finance and cryptocurrency. He has an MA in Literature from Maynooth University in Ireland, and lives in the Pacific Northwest with his wife and young daughter.