Wouldn’t it be nice to make more and spend less? You may be able to find some extra money in some unexpected places. Check these out and you may be pleasantly surprised
Utility deposits can be a hidden source of some unexpected cash. This may skew towards young people who may have moved several times in a short period of time and don’t leave a forwarding address to get their deposit mailed to, or just never knew in the first place. On top of that some utilities often estimate a final bill before they can get to the property to get a meter reading and the charge may be inflated.
Out of site out of mind
In the US, the amount of unclaimed life insurance is approximately $7.4 billion (2017). It shouldn’t be that surprising, often the recipients never know they were a beneficiary on a policy. If you have a policy, declare it in you will, if you are settling an estate search the bank statements for insurance payments. Not all states handle unclaimed life insurance the same way but checking with their unclaimed property division may turn something up.
Unclaimed tax refunds
The IRS has over $1.5 billion waiting to be claimed by rightful owners. Refunds often go unclaimed due to address changes, marriage, divorce or death of a spouse. The IRS does however want to return your money and filing form 8822, which updates your contact information including address, is an easy way to help them find you. You want to do this as soon as possible because after three years the funds become property of the US Treasury. Ouch!
As of January of 2012 the treasury is no longer issuing paper savings bonds. However, due to the fact that the maturity date of these are 30 years, there are still millions of them floating around, probably at the bottom of some drawer or safe deposit box. People used to love giving these as gifts because the face value was always double what they paid for it. Wow, a $100 bond looked cool until you find out it only cost fifty bucks and it will take 30 years before it’s worth $100. Once they mature some do not earn any interest. Find them and cash them in.
It’s not always easy keeping track of all your assets especially if they’re small and scattered about here and there. But this can really add up. Perhaps you or a child forgets that last paycheck from a summer job or it got lost in the mail. Grandparents used to open savings accounts for their grandchildren with an initial deposit of $25 and then receive a free toaster of electric blanket. You may have several of these in your name and not even know it. That free gift was a real closer for my grandparents. A gift from a relative that died could be out there waiting for you to claim it.
In situations like this no one is trying to find you and hand over the money. However, unclaimed property has to be turned over to the state and they’ll hold onto it. You’ll have to find it for yourself though. This is a great site https://www.missingmoney.com to start your search, and it is free, and a bit addictive.
If you worked a union job for a long enough period of time you may be vetted and eligible for benefits like a pension or life insurance. Give them a call or check their website to see if you are eligible.
Most frequent flier program miles are transferable to family members when you die. You will need to contact the major airlines for more details but a little time invested could lead to a nice cache of mileage.