wikiHow to Find Money

Two Methods:Finding Loose MoneyFinding Unclaimed Money

We all need a little extra. Whether you want to find some extra change and bills to bulk up your wallet, or you want to learn more about claiming money from the Government, you can learn to find money in a variety of places.

Method 1
Finding Loose Money

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    Look on the floor near the checkout counter. One of the most reliable places to find a little bit of change is on the floor near the checkout of any restaurant, convenience store, or other place you have to walk up to a window and pay. People will often drop a few coins and not think twice about picking them up. Keep an eye out when you're at the window.
    • Lots of people pay with cards now, but the bank still always deals with money. Instead of looking at the bank teller, check out the ground under the slow where you enter the money.
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    Check coin slots in vending machines. It happens to everyone, you pay with a dollar and forget your change in the slot. Make a habit of regularly checking out the coin return on vending machines to see if someone made the same mistake. You can also check under vending machines or anywhere around the area a coin may roll out of site.
    • Press the coin return a couple times, just to see if anything comes loose. Sometimes, someone will have loaded some money in without buying anything. The same goes for arcade games, as well.
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    Check out the laundromat. Look in the bottom of the washer and dryer at public laundromats. Often, people will leave a little money in their pockets, and it'll come loose while they're doing a wash. You can make quite a lot of spare change doing a run through the laundromat.
    • Check the lint trap as well, for paper money that might have gotten stuck. Even if it looks torn up, you can still often use it.
    • This can also be a warning to you, though, make sure you clean out your pockets before doing a load of laundry.
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    Check the floor in the bathroom. Sometimes someone will drop their wallet or purse in the bathroom and loose some spare change or a couple of bills. Of course it's not a lot, but it's something. Don't be afraid of germs, the coin has more germs than the floor of the bathroom you're in.
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    Check under the bleachers at sports stadiums. Everything is more expensive at a big sports game, and almost everyone pays in cash. Because you're outside and the wind is blowing and sometimes people are drinking, a lot of that cash gets dropped. But it doesn't need to be lost forever.
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    Check out the bottom of fences. While people aren't likely to drop money by fences, if a couple of bills get blown around, fences are great for trapping that money. When you're walking around town, keep an eye out for bills that might have been blown away, and caught by a chain-link fence.
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    Look under couch cushions. Couch cushions are a classic money trap. When people lean back into a soft couch, the money just comes tumbling out and into the couch. Sometimes, you can find bills, but mostly you'll find lots and lots of change. And also probably some crumbs.
    • Check under the couch as well. Sometimes, people will drop some and it'll fall all the way through the couch to underneath.
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    Collect cans and return them. In many states, a soda can can be returned to a recycling pick-up station, and exchanged for a certain amount. You just have to find a grocery store or convenience store that has the soda can machine. Once you find one, you'll give the machine all your soda cans. Then it will reward you with a receipt which you then bring to a cashier or guest services for the money.
    • Wait until recycling day and do an early morning run through the neighborhood, grabbing all the cans from the "trash." Somebody might as well make money for it. You can also walk around a lake, hiking path, sidewalk, or anywhere else and look for soda cans.
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    Keep an eye out. When you're walking down the street on your way to school, work, a date, a concert, or when in a parking lot. Keep glancing at the street. Look for shiny stuff and only pick it up if it looks half-way promising. Make sure to keep a look out for green colored stuff amongst the beige sidewalk too, it's okay if you find a leaf- you can add it to your collection."
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    Always report large sums of money. Some people with large stacks of cash make notes of the serial number combinations on the bills, in case some is stolen. If you find a large sum of money, you should always contact a nearby police station. If the owner has reported that their money has gotten lost, you could get into serious trouble.
    • Always make sure to have the serial number read for you before you hand the bill out. If a large sum of money is found and an owner has reported it, but does not have the serial numbers at hand, then at least let them tell you the amount in forehand that is in question.
    • If property is never claimed, or can be traced to no rightful owner, then the money is rightfully yours.

Method 2
Finding Unclaimed Money

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    Understand what unclaimed money is. Sometimes, you'll be owed a sum of money by the government, which doesn't try very hard to make you aware of your right to collect. As many as a billion dollars a year go unclaimed as a result of pensions, tax returns, investments, and other reasons. If you think you may be owed some money, you can learn where to look and how to collect it.[1]
    • Technically, this is money that is already yours. You can't claim money on the behalf of someone else who doesn't collect it, unless you're named as a beneficiary. Each type of money will be different, however, and vary state-to-state.
    • You can search by the state you live in, to find unclaimed money, by clicking here.
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    Check to see if you're owed pension. If you were laid off, or your company went out of business, you might be owed a pension that you're unaware of. Unclaimed pensions can be searched via the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (PBGC) website, by searching for the name of the employer, or the name of the business.[2]
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    Make sure you get your tax refund. In some cases, you may have had tax money withheld from your paychecks, but were not required to pay taxes because of your particular bracket. In this case, you're owed a tax refund that you may not be aware of. You can check the status of your return from any year, and find all the proper forms and instructions on the Forms and Publications page of the IRS website. You can also call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).[3]
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    Check about getting a mortgage refund. If at any point you've held a Federal Housing Authority (FHA) insured mortgage, you may be eligible for a refund from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). To find out if you're owed a refund, you can contact the department at (800) 697-6967, or email at
    • It's also possible to search for your case number and name on their website directly.[4]
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    Be wary of scams. A common Internet-era scam is to pretend to be some kind of government agency issuing refunds or unclaimed returns, in exchange for a particular "tax" or other fee. If you're ever asked to pay feeds up front to earn your "winnings" for any type of unclaimed return, this is a scam.[5] Federal employees and agencies never require up-front payments for owed money.
    • Never pay for a prize, including a "lottery" or a fake debt. Never wire money to anyone you don't know.

Article Info

Categories: Coins