What if your own money was just waiting there for you to notice it?
Here are eight ways to uncover some cash you might have forgotten about or never knew you had:
Published December 24, 2019
1. Unclaimed Property
Check with your state’s Unclaimed Property website to see if you have any uncashed checks, customer credits (for example, from a utility after a move), inactive bank accounts, and unapplied deposits. The State of Oregon also has a database to search for unclaimed military medals and insignia.
2. Venmo and Paypal
When was the last time you logged into these accounts? That time you had to set it up for an online transaction or an ebay sale or purchase might have left you with some leftovers. It might be time to update your password and email anyway, so go ahead and take a look.
3. Escrow account
Do you pay your property tax out of an escrow account along with your mortgage payment? Has your property tax ever fluctuated? Then you might want to call your mortgage company’s escrow department to see if there’s an overage that could be disbursed.
4. Credit Card Statements
Do you check your credit card bill line items each month? If not, go ahead and take a peek to see if there are any recurring charges. Are you still wanting to donate $50 on a monthly basis to a charity that might not be as active as it once was (and if so, are you deducting that from your taxes)? Or do you subscribe to a training website that you’ve never used? Yes, I know that example is super specific! Check it out to see if there are any automatic payments you’re making that you’d like to adjust.
5. Credit Card Cash Back and Points
If you have a cash back credit card, have you checked to see how much you have banked? Discover Card links with Amazon so you can apply cash back funds towards your purchase. How about your points? It’s possible your next vacation may be funded already. If you have an Alaska Airlines credit card, be sure to take advantage of their annual companion fare, too.
This is in line with the Credit Card Statements idea, but you will want to check with your partner and/or housemates about who is subscribing to what. A friend told me she and her husband both had been subscribing to Hulu, so when she called about it, they credited her with 7 months’ worth of charges. $85 is a nice bottle of wine (or two or three)!
7. Cable/Internet/Phone Bill
When was the last time you checked your cable bill to see if you want to continue subscribing to channels you’re being charged for? At any time over the course of your contract, you can call to see if your provider has any promotions. I’m not saying you should go so far as to threaten to cancel (though some report this as an effective tactic), but a phone call to see what’s being offered might surprise you. Accepting a new deal may kick you back to the beginning of a 3-month, one-year, or two-year contract, so be sure to mark on your calendar when the time is almost up to make adjustments or another call. And sure, phoning the cable company is hardly a joy, but if it saves you a few hundred dollars, that’s a few hundred dollars for a half hour’s worth of work.
8. Coat Pockets
And finally, while not the most reliable or recommended way to save money, do check all your old pockets—pants and coats alike—before donating. There are some pretty whacky stories out there about what thrift store shoppers and clerks have found!
What are some ways you’ve uncovered cash? Drop me a line and let me know!