Many of us wish that we had a little extra money. It's common to want to have a little more financial security. While there are a number of ways to earn extra money, from starting a business to taking on a part-time job, you might be surprised to find that you already have money.
In some cases, it might be an overpayment to a utility company, or it might be tax return money you haven't claimed. No matter the reason, there might be money that you're missing.
Go Online to MissingMoney.com
If you are curious about whether or not you are missing money, it only takes a quick search of MissingMoney.com. The web site includes information from participating provinces — as well as US states. Every week, the information on the site is updated. After running a search, you can see whether or not you have unclaimed money. The results tell you what province or state holds the money, and what organization is reporting it. It also lets you know whether you are owed less than $100 or more than $100 (if the information is available).
Once you know where the money is, the site can actually help you communicate directly with the province (or state) in question so that you can learn how to recover your money.
What If You Don't Have Missing Money?
Of course, you might not have missing money. While it's worth the minute or so it takes to search for missing money, you might not find any. If that is the case, though, you can still look for ways to improve your financial situation by plugging money leaks. If you have been wasting money, you can essentially find your own missing money by identifying which leaks to stop up.
Track your spending for one to three months to see where the money is going. You might find that there are money leaks that are costing you big. Once you plug those up, you can essentially “find” more money in your budget. That is money that is considered missing as well, and there is no reason to let it continue to leak out of your budget when you can put it to better use.
Ideas for Missing Money
Whether you find your missing money through a web site, or whether you plug up your money leaks, you want to put that money to good use. Some of your options for putting missing money to work on your behalf include:
- Pay down debt
- Boost your contributions to a RRSP, RESP, or TFSA
- Buy something you've had your eye on
Consider what use of your missing money will best benefit you right now, and help you reach your goals. While it might be exciting to buy something fun with your missing money, will it help you improve your financial situation? Consider your goals. Even if you only “find” that you have a couple hundred dollars, that money, carefully used, could offer great results down the road. Look around for money that's already yours, and then do what you can to use it to improve your financial situation.