One of the easiest ways to get an unexpected cash haul is to find lost money. And with more than $18 billion in officially unclaimed cash lying around, the odds that some of it is yours are *weirdly* in your favour.
Here are seven unexpected ways of finding more money:
- Do you have “misplaced” savings?
People have “misplaced” savings and term insurance to the tune of $802 million… and you could be one of them.
A bank account is labelled “lost” and subsumed into Treasury coffers if you simply don’t make a deposit or withdrawal for three years. ASIC’s moneysmart.gov.au will tell you if one of the nearly 700,000 parcels – with an average value of $1146 – is yours.
- When was the last time you reviewed your health care?
One of the surest ways to throw away money is by keeping obstetrics and reproductive services on your health insurance policy when you don’t need them. If babies aren’t in your immediate future and you have a pick-n-mix style policy, switching these off can save you around $500 a year.
- Have you “lost” some of your super?
There’s a whopping $16 billion in “lost’’ super, so-called simply because the provider has fallen out of touch with you for one year. The average balance is almost $3000 and half of us have multiple super funds (attracting multiple fees).
Search for SuperSeeker on ato.gov.au – you’ll need your tax file number to see if some is yours.
- Do you have shares that you don’t know about?
According to the Australian Shareholders’ Association, more than 150,000 people are the unknowing owners of $1 billion in shares, courtesy of a bunch of mutually-owned companies in past decades listing on the share market (think AMP, NIB, AXA and NRMA).
Go to moneysmart.gov.au to check for particular demutualisations.
Call your office of state revenue to stake a claim on the $140 million in related dividends.
- Could you have an unknown inheritance?
Those emails saying you’ve inherited money from royalty and just need to send account details are a scam ... but it is possible you have an unknown inheritance.
A relative dying without a will can leave you cashed up because their money will be split via a type of family formula. Your local public trustee will let you know.
- Are you paying hidden fees on your super and mortgage?
Hidden fees on a whole bunch of financial products – from insurance to super managed funds and your mortgage – generate some $2 billion a year for a bunch of faceless middle men and women.
Get your share back through commission rebate services like Commission Refunders (commissionrefunders.com.au) and Refund Easy (commissionrefundeasy.com.au). I get $500 extra a year this way.
- Do you have thousands of dollars hanging in your closet?
Look in your closet... being brutally honest, what are you never going to wear again? Post a pic of your throwaway on Instagram, wait for someone to comment they want to buy it and transact on a payment service like PayPal. Check out the hashtags #ShopMyCloset and #InstaSale – but try not to spend your bonus bucks!
This article originally appeared in the December edition of marie claire.