Financial Challenge – Day 18

In our last Financial Challenge we searched the state data bases to see if we had any unclaimed money that we had forgotten about. We are going to continue along that theme today and search several Federal data bases which may also contain some forgotten money for you.

Find unclaimed money

In the last challenge, we had you write down a list with 1) all the different states where you have lived or held a job and 2) where all your deceased relatives and the states where they lived and worked. Take that list out again so that you can search the following data bases:

The National Unclaimed Property Database: Free search database and resource site for over $35 billion of unclaimed money and property held by U.S. federal and state government agencies, Canada and others.

Housing And Urban Development: Free search for funds for mortgage insurance obtained by government loan.

Pension Search: Free search for funds on retirement accounts.

US Savings Bonds: Free search for lost, stolen or destroyed saving bonds.

In the time you have set aside for today’s Financial Challenge, do a search again for yourself(and your friends if you have the time). Just as before, if you come away with some money, you should place it toward your debt reduction or simple investing plan.

Since the weekend is upon us, if you have some extra time, you may want to search the names of your friends and family. Why? If you lucky, you may find some money for them and they may even give you a portion of it.

When I first discovered both the state and Federal free money search tools a few years ago, I went through and listed quite a few names. I ended up finding a small amount for me, but actually quite a bit of money for friends and relatives. I never asked for any money from any of them, but almost everyone I found money for ended up giving me some type of gift as a “thank you” for finding their money for them (there is actually a huge industry that does this using these databases that charge anywhere from 20% to 50% of the amount they find to give the information to the person).

The effort was worth it not so much for the gifts (which were also nice) but for making my friends and relatives just plain happy at getting unexpected money. You’ll know exactly what I mean if you find some money so that you can walk up to a friend and casually say “Oh, by the way, I found $400 for you if you want it.” Then you can watch their eyes open wide and the smile cross their face.

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5 Responses to Financial Challenge – Day 18

  1. Gloria says:

    No lucj today, but thanks any how :) It was fun searching.

  2. Donna Luna says:

    I followed the link to the National Unclaimed Property Database and began to sign up until I saw the amount of personal information, such as income, home ownership, that the site required. That is absolutely outrageous, and I find your recommendation irresponsible. While I understand that the site is maintained by advertisers and the information is wanted to help the advertisers target their audience, that amount of personal information out in cyberspace in a time of increased identify fraud – especially when merely a name, age, and zip code can provide a third party with enough information to acquire detailed information about a person – is dangerous. I have been generally pleased with your newsletter, but this time it’s “thumbs down.”

  3. Greg says:

    Put in false info – it’s only for advertisers. They never asked for my name.

  4. Wilson says:

    Hey Jeffrey, finally got down to the last day of your series! Man, you are perhaps the most hardcore about this type of advise as I’ve seen. Looking forward to your next pieces.

    Greg’s comment does raise some doubts for me though as far as the credibility in some of these ‘searches’. To be practical and honest, I would think that I’d know if I had some real estate or bonds left somewhere. But a search (if legit and doesn’t promote spam) couldn’t hurt. At worse it will turn up nothing.

  5. Pingback: Retire at 30 » Festival of Frugality #11

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