Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Saving Cash – Day 2 – Where can I find some free money?

You might ask yourself, "Could my family give up spending money for two weeks?" I would encourage you to give it a try. While it wasn't fun running out of staples splurges like olive oil and espresso and staples like onions, store-bought bread, and sugar, it wasn't nearly as hard as I would have thought. Who can deny how great it is to succeed in saving cash quickly- about $1300 in 2 weeks??? I admit, it's getting tougher to attempt this experiment with Thanksgiving and various December holidays coming up, including many birthdays (including my son's and mine) (editor's note: Ah ha, that is why we only did 2 weeks!) But then, the rewards could be even greater! And as I stock up the basement bodega, it'll be like shopping for free at home. Saving cash. Free money.

So if you don't want to try the two week experiment of no spending money, what else can you do to achieve the desired goal of saving cash? If you don't know any millionaires who give free money, here's one way. Look for unclaimed property, including money from uncashed paychecks, lost stocks, bonds, dividends, utility deposits, insurance claims and more. For most names, they tell you whether you are owed an amount over or under $100. That's money for nothing! I filled out my form for Virginia but you could do a quick Google search here in the search box on the right with the name of your state and "unclaimed money database." It actually does look like I am owed an undisclosed amount of money! I wonder what that means; they said they would let me know in 8-10 weeks! (With my luck, it's probably less than the cost of mailing me a check) Anyhow, after I did the search to find the Pennsylvania database, I found a link to Missing Money which also has a very extensive database of people with unclaimed money. They even state whether it is over $100 or under $100. I'm not really sure how it all works though, so please be sure you trust the site. I would be wary of that!

I got pretty drawn in by the idea of finding free money, so I checked out a variety of last names including my maiden name, my mom's maiden name, and a couple of relatives. On one site I found unclaimed money for a cousin, and at another site, I found possible matches for one of my mom's cousins and his mom! Geez! I was really surprised. Then I found my father-in-law was owed money from a state he hasn't lived in since the early 70s but I am quite sure it is for him! I recently read somewhere that 1 out of 7 people have unclaimed "property" and I hope many of you are that one! I'll write more about it when I hear how much the undisclosed amount is. And hopefully I'll hear whether my relatives are getting any free money soon too. So now you can stop asking yourself, "Where can I find some free money?" because maybe it's just a click or two away.

(I can't stop humming money for nothing dire straights…)

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