Is it Worth Getting a Safety Deposit Box?

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Lock it up!

Sometimes we have important documents and possessions that we want to keep safe.  They might be things that we need but don’t reference every day.  In that case, we could choose to keep these things laying around the house, or we could find a secure location for them.  This is where getting a safety deposit box enters the picture.

I happen to have one.  It came with my bank account, as I have direct deposit and keep a minimum balance in there.  No annual fee for the safety deposit box, so it works for me!  That being said, even if it cost a reasonable fee every year, I think it would be worth it for me.

Is it worth it for everyone?  Well, I think it would depend on each person’s situation, and the need to keep certain things safe.  Again, we’re talking about valuable items or documents to keep safe in a separate place.  Along those lines, here is a balanced list of 3 pros and 3 cons of getting a safety deposit box:

Reasons to Have a Safety Deposit Box

  1. The bank should (one would hope!) be safer than your home.  No guarantees, of course! But to access a safety deposit box, one has to show an ID, along with actually having a key to the box. At least, that’s how it works with mine.  The box is in a seemingly secure vault room.  Do you have such a room in your home?  Probably not, and I don’t personally know anyone that does!
  2. Thieves can find and remove your home safe.  You January be good at hiding things, but let’s be real – if a bad guy wanted to search for a safe, he could probably find it.  Further, it’s not like most home safes couldn’t be carried out.
  3. Insurance savings.  In some cases, insurance on individual items might be lower if they are housed in a safety deposit box versus at home.

Reasons to Not Have a Safety Deposit Box

  1. Items are not with you all the time.  If you need to access those items, you’ll have to go through the trouble of going to the bank. Additionally, you’ll have to deal with going during your bank’s open hours, which aren’t always friendly to the schedules of working folks!
  2. Not FDIC Insured.  This applies to those in the U.S, but those elsewhere can check on local policies.  Anyway, from what I understand, if funds are in accounts, they could be FDIC insured.  However this doesn’t apply to contents in safety deposit boxes.
  3. They cost money.  Yes, we discussed this up front.  However, depending on the bank, the costs January be reasonable or on the expensive side.  Let’s say you keep items worth $3,000 in a box that costs $60 per year.  You’re really paying 2% of the value of the items each year.  Do this over 5 years, and you’re looking at 10% of the value.  Just an example of how costs add up.

Readers, do you have a safety deposit box? Why or why not? Any other reasons for or against that you would like to share?

 

10 thoughts on “Is it Worth Getting a Safety Deposit Box?

    1. Post author

      I think it’s important because sometimes you might have valuable items or documents that you don’t use every day or often, but you really want to make sure they are kept safe.

  1. Finance Inspired

    I dont think its worth it unless you got a whole load of priceless stuff, or you’re hiding something. My friend uses his for gold and silver reserves, then its a good idea!

    1. Post author

      Hiding could be legitimate, when in the context of hiding from potential theives or home invaders:) Diversification of risk is another aspect of a safety deposit box.

  2. The First Million is the Hardest

    I don’t have a safe deposit box. I just don’t have the need for one. I do have a small safe in my house where I keep some important documents and a few valuables. If someone were to break in, I’d be much more worried about my TV, stereo and computers than that little safe :)

    1. Post author

      The bad guys might not leave that stuff alone, you’re right! Hopefully we don’t have to ever deal with such a situation.

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