Welcome to Day 2 of our 30-Day Easy Money Makeover! Every day in April, we're bringing you strategies to help you improve, and feel more confident about, your money situation. Follow along and see the rest of the calendar here .
Found money can be more than a stash of fallen change beneath the couch, or a forgotten $20 in the pocket of your winter coat.
Think bigger. Much, much bigger.
In fact, there are billions of dollars out there, lost in the societal ether, just waiting for rightful owners to find them. Dormant bank accounts. Mislaid retirement funds. Forgotten rental security deposits. The states collectively hold more than $40 billion in unclaimed cash and property, and the IRS is sitting on $1.4 billion in unclaimed 2015 tax refunds .
We ran our names to see what we’d find.
Grow deputy managing editor Ester Bloom discovered $50 in her own name, as well as 15 claims—most totaling around $50 each—for people in her immediate and extended family. Our senior video producer Stephen Parkhurst got a $100 finders fee from his mom for spotting a “substantial” claim under a deceased relative’s name. At our sister sites, CNBC Make It reporter Kathleen Elkins had a $50 claim owed to her by Disney, while CNBC reporter Jessica Dickler had a little more than $100 in the form of a remainder check from a former employer. And Grow writer Myelle Lansat found a mystery claim for a to-be-determined asset that she is still investigating.
I searched, too, with bittersweet results. More on that in a minute. First, here’s a fast three-step process to see if you have unclaimed cash.