Many companies featured on Money advertise with us. Opinions are our own, but compensation and
in-depth research may determine where and how companies appear. Learn more about how we make money.

Published: Apr 26, 2023 5 min read
Dollar Scholar banner featuring multiple safes and documents
Money; Getty Images

This is an excerpt from Dollar Scholar, the Money newsletter where news editor Julia Glum teaches you the modern money lessons you NEED to know. Don't miss the next issue! Sign up at and join our community of 160,000+ Scholars.

Crammed in the drawer of my IKEA nightstand, you’ll find my stash of important paperwork: my passport, some credit card statements, last year’s W-2, old medical documents, the playbill from when I saw Hamilton and a Settlers of Catan bumper sticker.

It’s the kind of stuff that, growing up, my mom always kept locked in a safe in her closet. But all I’ve got is an $89 MALM chest. It’s not even made of real wood.

As I was cleaning the other day, it occurred to me that maybe — just maybe — there’s a better system.