You probably already know about this stuff already, but just in case I’m gonna shoot you a reminder in hopes you’re a lot luckier than I am ;) Every dang time I get excited that perhaps I “forgot” a million dollars somewhere too, only to walk away feeling depressed and wondering why I just wasted 2 hours of my life, haha… Why don’t I deserve some of that free money for doing nothing ??
If I’ve completely lost you, I’m talking about the billions and billions of dollars unclaimed out there just waiting to be sent to their rightful homes. Things like forgotten bank accounts, pay checks, dividends, tax refunds, etc etc. Scattered across the entire country and probably pissing off a lot of accountants just hating that there’s money outstanding, haha… it would drive me crazy too! I hate it when people don’t cash my checks in a timely manner, as if it’s completely rude to do so. It’s not! It’s rude to WAIT weeks and months (even years!!) to cash those dang things – quit it! But I digress…
I’m reminded of all this today ‘cuz of a nifty infographic sent to my email by the fine folks at People Finders. Who sorted through the stats to pump out some pretty amazing factoids. Things like:
- The total unclaimed is $37+ billion dollars
- California and Texas are two of the biggest states with missing money over $1.5 BILLION alone. (It’s too bad California can’t use some of that to get out of debt, eh? Or maybe they can??)
- If your name ends in Smith, Johnson, Lee, Brown,Williams, Jones, or Garcia, the odds are in your favor you have some unclaimed ;) Especially if it’s “Smith” who has claims on over 90,000 units of property/money valued at almost $13 Million alone. And that’s only in California and Texas.
It also shares the most common sources of this lost money too, some of which are (in order of highest to lowest):
- Savings, Checking, Certificates of deposit, Interest
- Insurance matured, Payout, Refund
- Outstanding Checks, Drafts
- Refunds, Rebates
- Court Settlements, Awards
- Mineral Royalty
Why does this money go unclaimed?
It’s not listed in the infographic, but if I were a betting man I’d put my money on some of these:
- Original owner died – new owner doesn’t know he/she is owed anything
- Original owner is incapacitated in some way
- Original owner sucks at managing stuff
- Original owner sucks at remembering anything
- Original owner doesn’t feel it’s worth their time to go out and get it… Maybe they don’t get out of bed for less than $10,000 a day? (Linda Evangelista anyone?) Or they hate pennies and a billion + people only have change in their accounts and thus never bother with it?
Who knows why people don’t pick up their money… Either way they’re stupid :) And if I had the authority to go in and rack it all up, I’d totally go for it and then throw a big ass party and give all the rest away to the less fortunate – a la Robin Hood. Even if it’s not worth YOUR time, it sure is to others in $hittier situations. Know what I’m saying?
So, the takeaway today? Make 100% sure you don’t have money laying anywhere, and if you do, go and grab it and then give it all away, haha… Or save it and go treat your family to a nice dinner out at Applebee’s (Unless you’re owed like $1,000+. In that case, you can graciously thank me for giving you the kick in the pants and split it with me 50/50 – it’s only fair ;))
Where to start your million dollar search:
Try these guys first:
And then just Google the crap out of it until you exhaust all avenues (and yourself). The last time I ran the search was 3 years ago myself, and there’s no way in hell I’m doing it again for another $0.00 :) But then again, if you find a nice jackpot?? Easiest money of your life! So I definitely urge you to at least try it out once and make yourself feel better. Someone’s owed those billions!
Anyone already claim some? Anyone know of anyone ELSE who’s ever claimed some?? I still have yet to hear a success story out there from any of my friends or family, but would love for you to help change that. So keep me posted!
Big thanks again to People Finders for today’s blog topic and graphics too – I owe you one… Or perhaps some of my future unclaimed money :)
PS: Some of my favorite tools:
|Personal Capital (FREE) -- If you’re looking for a robust financial tracker, Personal Capital is the way to go! They’re like Mint, but on steroids and have much better tools for investment and net worth tracking. // Full review|
|Digit (FREE) -- A super easy (and automated) way to save. Every day Digit analyzes your income and expenses and will push money aside for you any time it sees extra sitting there. I've saved over $4,000 myself using them so far! // Full review|
|Acorns -- Having trouble finding money to invest? Check out Acorns – they round up all your transactions to the nearest $1.00 and drops the difference into an investment portfolio for you. Easy way to start investing! // Full review|