We could all do with a bit more money, and there is nothing better than finding some cash that you didn’t know you had – even if it’s only a small amount.
But did you know that many people have money and assets hidden away that they don’t even know about? There could be as much as £15 million waiting to be claimed according to some estimates.
Perhaps you have some money hiding away somewhere too. If so, here’s a guide to how to track it down.
One of the most common ways to find lost money is to find old savings accounts that you have forgotten about.
Many people move money to different accounts to get better interest rates, and all this constant moving around of money could make it easier to leave some behind. Also, now that many of us opt against receiving paper statements, this can make it easier to forget about our savings.
Fortunately, you can search for your old accounts easily. Simply head to MyLostAccount.org.uk and conduct a free search. This service has already uncovered hundreds of millions in forgotten money.
If you find some extra cash, that could be great if you have a purchase in mind or if you have a business loan to pay back (see businessloans.co for more info on these).
Nearly a third of people hold Premium Bonds, and yet millions in prize money goes unclaimed. Sometimes these prizes go back many years and can be as high as £100,000.
Why do people forget their prizes? Sometimes they move house, and sometimes the bonds are bought for them as a child and they forget about them.
You can check if you have a prize to claim. If you know your Premium Bond numbers, simply head to NS&I to start your search.
You may even be due an inheritance from a relative who died a long time ago. It sounds like something from a film, but it does happen. Sometimes people die without leaving a will, and the estate may belong to you.
The government has an Unclaimed Estates List you can check to get you started, and you can claim your inheritance up to 30 years after the person has died.
People move jobs all the time, and this can lead to lost pensions. It’s estimated that as much as £3 billion lies unclaimed in pensions.
Again, searching is fairly easy to do. Simply use the government’s search service, and it can tell you if you are signed up to a pension scheme. From there, contact the scheme and get your pension back.
A bit more tricky is tracking down lost shares. Someone may have bought shares for you in the past, and if you have lost track of them then you might want to search for them.
If you have shares in a company, or think you do, contact the company registrars and they can check their records. If it turns out you do have shares, you can then get a share certificate.
Or contact the Association of Investment Companies if you think you might have an investment trust.
Keep Track of Your Finances
Many people miss out on money that is rightfully theirs because they lose track of it. You could even have some life insurance waiting for you. So follow the tips above to find any money you may have, and keep better track of your finances from now on so you don’t miss out on money that’s yours to spend.
Guest article provided to The Neat Things in Life by Keith Peath. Keith Peath writes about personal finance. Once deemed bankrupt he is now mending his ways and well on the road to recovery. He hopes his mistakes can help others learn the do’s and don’ts of money.