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7 Surprising Ways To Find Hidden Cash At Home

Find Hidden Cash At Home

Whether you’re living comfortably or working hard to make ends meet, it’s always nice to find some extra cash. And many people are totally unaware that they’re sitting on one or more sources of hidden cash as we speak!

Related: 11 Practical Ways To Save Money When Times Are Tough

In this post, we’ll look at seven of those unexpected sources of cash! By the end of this list, you’ll know exactly where to look to uncover a few extra bucks — or if you’re really lucky, a few hundred bucks!

7 Surprising Ways To Find Hidden Cash At Home

hidden cash

Comb through your house (in drawers, pockets, closets, etc.) to search for loose change—you might be amazed at what you can come up with! Don’t forget to check less obvious places too, like underneath furniture, inside old purses, in coat pockets, under cushions, or even the filter in your washing machine.

hidden cash

2. Sell Your Extra Stuff

Do a detailed inventory of your home and make a list of anything you’re not using or would be willing to sell. There are likely a number of items around your house that someone would be happy to buy from you!

Your attic could be a treasure trove, because that’s where many people store things like vintage clothing, retro toys, classic books, and old vinyl records. There’s a market for all of these items as long as they’re in fairly good condition!

Once you have an inventory of stuff you can sell, you can decide on the best place to sell them. A yard sale is always an option, or you can cast a wider net using an online platform like Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or local classifieds.

And even if you don’t have anything in good condition you can sell, you may be able to take old appliances or scrap metal to a local scrap yard and turn it them in for cash. Just make sure to call ahead to find out what types of metals and/or appliances they accept.

hidden cash

3. Find Unclaimed Or Forgotten Funds

There could be money out there with your name on it in the form of uncashed checks, stocks, insurance policies, and other unclaimed property.

Whether it’s an old paycheck from a previous job, an old life insurance benefit, or a forgotten savings account, you may be able to find and reclaim it with the help of sites like Unclaimed.org , TreasuryDirect.gov, or MissingMoney.com.

You may be able to find forgotten funds right in your own home in the form of savings bonds. Savings bonds are a common baby gift, but they take so long to mature that they often get filed away and forgotten about. According to the Department of the Treasury, as of December 2021, the combined value of matured, unredeemed savings bonds was just over $30 billion. Check your files for old savings bonds to find out if some of that money could belong to you!

hidden cash

4. Put Services On Hold

If you’re strapped for cash due to an unexpected car repair, job loss, etc., suspending some of the monthly services you pay for can free up the cash necessary to cover your immediate need. Companies that allow customers to temporarily suspend service typically include cable, wireless, and internet service providers. Contact your service providers to find out if they offer this option.

hidden cash

5. Return Forgotten Clothes

Let’s be honest—who hasn’t had an item of clothing they were planning to return, only for it to remain in the closet or the trunk of the car for several months? But the good news for us procrastinators is that a surprising number of retailers don’t put a time limit on returns.

And even if you’re missing the receipt, many retailers can verify the purchase as long as you have the card you used to buy the item with originally. Now there’s some motivation to finally take those returns in! :-)

hidden cash

6. Forage For Gift Cards

Fun Fact: Most gift cards never expire! That means that all those gift cards you’ve had sitting around for years are likely still valid, so why not use them instead of spending your hard-earned cash? (I recently found six gift cards I had completely forgotten that I had just by going through some old purses!)

A woman standing in front of a bed.

7. Rent Out Extra Space

If you’re a homeowner and have a spare bedroom that’s not being used, or even a basement closet (or any other type of storage space) you’re not using, there’s probably someone out there willing to rent it from you! To rent out a spare room, list it on Airbnb, and for those with unused storage space, list that on Neighbor.

Have you found any hidden treasures or valuable items around your home?

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Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.
I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee

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  • Dumping cable and/or satellite tv ie a good way to save some serious money,If you have a smart tv, an android tv box, or a Roku, there are absolutely hundreds upon hundreds of free channels available, including free movie apps. Do you really need to be paying hundreds upon hundred of dollars every year just to see the absolute latest movies? And many tv (my LS sets being among them) offer their own free channels, of which there are also hundreds with more being added all the time. The only catch is that you need to have a decent high speed internet connection so that the content isn’t constantly buffering ,like it alwas was in the early days of streaming. And then there the “Free TV Project, or, as we old people call it, a tv antenna. With my antenna on a tower and rotor I pull over 80 channels currently, with the closest major city being 40 or so miles south, and the tv transmission towers being another 5 or 10 miles beyond that.. Also, if you are like me and don’t have to have your cell phone surgically attached to you ear 24/7, you can save another ton of money by switching away from the big name companies. There are numerous smaller bargan providers that use the same exact towers as the high dollar providers. The small companies simply rent usage of the towers from the big companies and most offer numerous plans that cost far less than the big name providers. I just switched fom one bargain provider (Tracfone) to another (Mint) last month after a billing dispute (they just up and stopped billing my card a few months ago, lost my account, then shut down my service).You just need to be sure that your phone is unlocked so you don’t have to buy another (unless you’re looking for a reason to).

  • I’ve done the Unclaimed money. I’ve found 2 checks in my name. I also found a deposit for rent for my niece, money for my ex, and some insurance for a co-worker (yrs. ago). I have too much stuff that’s too pricey to be donated. I’m computer illiterate so don’t know how to sell it. A yard sale won’t work – some things have never been used. I have to sell my jewelry – I don’t have anyone to leave it to and it’s not costume/fashion stuff.
    Once in a while, I do find a bill or two in a pocket – mad money!! Love this site!!

    • I love when I find mad money. As far as jewelry, have it appraised and it’s really not hard to list the items online. I sell things online a lot, you just have to be careful of the ones wanting a code from you, that is a scam :)

  • I love to recycle! I put out my recycling more than trash. My state has a central site where everything is listed. I can contact them if I’m unsure and they get back to me within 24 hrs. Walmart (you have to search in electronics) & Staples will take ink cartridges, CVS (probably others) have a medication bin. Our center also has a list of events by local businesses – shredding events, e-waste (anything electric/electronic) and eco-waste (poisonous substances such as oil paint, weed killer, etc.)
    We can recycle aerosol cans as long as they’re empty. Some things that can be recycled but not in a bin can be brought to the center and they’ll take care of them (styrofoam is one). We don’t have to remove labels anymore (thankfully!!). Textiles can go in some of the clothing bins around including torn, worn-out stuff where they’ll be picked up and recycled. It takes a couple of minutes if you do these things when you come across something to be tossed – it’s not time-consuming!!

    • I’m replying to myself !! Why on earth did I post this info on this part?? It doesn’t belong here – I must have been half asleep!! Sorry!!

      • I recycle and make money by recycling metal. My neighbor, who has a plumbing company, drops off water heaters and plumbing pipe that he’s replaced, which I load on a trailer and take to a nearby recycling company.

  • Listen to this! When I was married, (ions ago!) I was getting ready to go somewhere with my husband and it was just getting cool enough to need a jacket. I grabbed mine, put it on, reached in my pocket, and felt something. It was a $100 bill!! I quietly kept it to myself, never said a word. I’ve never had more fun spending “mad money” than with that bill…went and got a mannie/peddie and a haircut!

  • One thing I’ve started doing is being educated on coins. There are certain one like old pennies, certain years of other coins if you find them are actually worth a lot of money if you save them. There are sites that will list the monetary values.

  • Some 40 years ago my husband worked for a guy who refurbished old abandoned houses. In one, the large rug was nailed down. As they pulled it up , they found checks and cash all around the edges. I don’t remember what he did with the checks, but the cash amounted to almost one thousand dollars.
    That is not your most conventional way of finding extra cash, but if you’re buying a house, you might want to check the nooks and crannies before plastering over everything.

  • We found an old pay check from one of my husbands summer internships in college using one of those sites. He had moved to off campus housing and didn’t leave a forwarding address. It was a great surprise!

  • Thanks for the tips Jill. An attorney in Indiana found one of my fathers lost investments through a state unclaimed property site. Apparently the brokerage missed it. Well worth the pursuit. You’ll have some paperwork to do, to verify but worth the effort.
    I’ve always wondered about cash for computers..but I’m worried about ways to erase all the data before cashing it in or transferring the information to a current system.

    • You can cash in a used computer, after you have removed the hard drive. It’s usually really easy to pop out, without even unscrewing anything. Then, you can buy a special case for that hard drive, to transfer all the items you still want onto your next computer.

      If you don’t need the hard drive, then there are programs to wipe the hard drive clean. Something about running a complete erase program 7 times. Good computer stores have people who will tell you how, or offer to do it for a small fee.

      • If I remember correctly, those drive wiper were called governmet wipes, or something similar. There are now free data destruction softwares available to do the job. Just make sure that if there’s anything you want to keep to transfer it to the new computer first, because, like they say at Ollies Outlet, “when it’s gone, it’s gone”.

  • You can also compare your medical and dental insurance claim statements to see if you have overpaid for any treatments or services. If the doctor or dentist owes you money for over-payment, tell them you would like to have the money back. They may tell you they prefer to apply the difference to future charges, and you can do that, but if you insist on having the cash, they have to give it to you. I have had this happen with every dentist I’ve seen, and with at least 2 other care providers.

  • I have done the scrap metal, saving change, yard sales. I checked the websites and actually have money from an insurance policy apparently under $100 it says but hey!!!! thank you

  • I went through the vast collection of L.P records my husband and I have and found a few that we either had doubles of, some not even opened (including a James Brown Live) and some we just didn’t want.

    I sold them and made quite a few dollars from them.

  • I’ve done a bit of metal scrapping…more to recycle it rather than just dump it.

    Make sure you separate the motors, copper, brass, wire–and strip the wire if you can. These items typical bring a little more. A bit of time taking things apart beforehand keeps everything from being lumped as sheet metal.

    I recently had to replace a washer. It was going to be $15 for them to take it with them or even move it. I am going to disassemble it in the basement and then take it to the scrap yard. The $15 they would charge me is still in my pocket plus what I will get for the metal when I take it in.

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