Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Safety deposit box, fire safe, or neither?

One of the million tiny moving related details I need to deal with is figuring out is what to do with my important documents. They are all in a fire-resistant lock box at my parents house, but won't do when I live several hours away instead of half an hour from home. Putting them into the new. larger, fire-resistant, electronic media rated, waterproof filing box I bought my mother for her birthday today isn't an option. (Happy birthday, Mom. Please quit reading my blog.)

Nothing I need to store is irreplaceable. It would be a hassle to get new copies of my birth certificate, passport, social security card, immunization records, and savings bonds, but it could be done. Really, my losing those things if I don't have a designated place to store them is probably a greater risk than theft, fire, or other natural disaster.

I could just stick them in my accordion file and forget about it. That would keep things organized, and it wouldn't cost anything. However, it might fall into the cheap rather than frugal category since a firesafe is fairly inexpensive and would provide better protection.

A safe deposit box at a bank would be an even more secure storage place than a cheap firesafe, but then I'd have to pay the bank every year instead of making a one-time purchase. Also, in addition to making my documents less accessible to thieves, a safe deposit box would make my documents less readily available to me. Just because I probably won't ever develop a sudden need for my passport at 2 a.m. on a Sunday doesn't mean I like the idea of not being able to get it at all times.

Where do you keep all of the papers you rarely use but mustn't lose?

12 comments:

stackingpennies said...

In a non fire safe file cabinet... Maybe someday I'll get a better solution, but it just hasn't been a priority for me.

Mary Sue said...

Oh, God, I'm embarrassed to admit it-- my sock drawer.

I was actually using my birth certificate as a bookmark for a while.

Jim ~ mydebtblog.com said...

I have a relatively large file box, fireproof, waterproof, electronic media airtight style safe. It contains things like our birth certificates, passports, car titles, inventory listing of our personal property, an external hard drive with a backup of important documents and things like pictures from college, our wedding and honeymoon, etc., our official transcripts, degrees, certifications, and adding soon documents in the event of our death like wills, power of attorney, and life insurance. I personally would rather these things be stored in my home so we have access to them when/if we need to. If you rent a safety deposit box you have to go somewhere to access it, on their time frame too. We can't schedule if the house burned down or a rain storm caused a flood, or God forbid something happens to us, so I would rather have the peace of mind this thing contains and protects some of the most important things we have.

plonkee said...

A cardboard box decorated with wrapping paper. Nothing is irreplaceable, and I sometimes do use my passport at short notice.

Blubba said...

We Blubbas keep our goodies at the bank. I always liked the idea of ready access to the important documents, but to be honest, I have never needed my passport, marriage license, car titles, shot record or birth certificate on a moment's notice. Also, some banks give you a deposit box free with the account you open.

Anonymous said...

Hey listen....I heard this on a talk show or one of the morning shows once. One of the best places to store important documents is in the freezer. Not because a thief wouldnt look there but because in case of a fire, it would survive in there. They talked to a fireman who confirmed this. He said that in most all fires the only thing that survives is items in the freezer and it really makes a great fireproof safe. It really makes sense dont it? -patty

E.C. said...

Patty,
The freezer idea is intriguing, but you can get a rigorously tested, UL certified small fire safe for around $25 that might give you a bit more peace of mind.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah? 25 bucks? I always thought fire proof safes were much more expensive. I like the freezer idea better - that way you see when I die, no one needs to know the combination lol.

patty

budgets are sexy said...

i got a fire-proof safe in my closet to these types of things. mainly though just cuz i think it's COOL!

sometimes i open it up and just put things in cuz it's so fun - reminds me of the movies ;) it helps with the peace of mind too, of course. cost $89 at Home Depot a few years back.

Anonymous said...

lol @ budgets are sexy's comment. Do you also dangle from a wire without touching the ground when you put things in the safe? :))

patty

joana lui said...

It is great to observe somebody put enough craze towards a matter. I'm thankful that I stumbled upon this process. I am lucky I used the time to read on past the 1st paragraph. You have got a whole lot to say, very much to offer. I really hope guys understand this and look into your page.


safety deposit box
bank safety deposit boxes
mailbox post
residential mailboxes
gold bar for sale

safety deposit box
bank safety deposit boxes
mailbox post
residential mailboxes
gold bar for sale


safety deposit box
bank safety deposit boxes
mailbox post
residential mailboxes
gold bar for sale


safety deposit box
bank safety deposit boxes
mailbox post
residential mailboxes
gold bar for sale


safety deposit box
bank safety deposit boxes
mailbox post
residential mailboxes
gold bar for sale

Amela Jones said...

Is there any further reading you would recommend on this?

Amela
safety deposit centre