She’s going to kill me when she sees this, but I just wouldn’t be doing my job as a personal finance blogger if I didn’t talk about this today ;) She’s completely off her rocker!
Here’s the deal. You know how we’re living with my mother-in-law (her mom) right now? Well, as part of her agreeing to let us stay there, she kindly asked that my dear wife finally clean out her old room growing up that’s been left pretty much frozen in time all these years. So every night she’s been sorting through it all and figuring out what to keep, what to donate, and what to finally trash. Which she’s doing a most excellent job of so far, I must add.
That’s the good part.
In the middle of all this sorting, however, she has come across something that I cannot for the life of me comprehend every time I try, despite her many efforts to explain to me. Now maybe I love money too much and it’s just the obsessive part of me that can’t imagine how this stuff can go un-tracked after all these years, but regardless I find it completely unacceptable :)
Guess what she’s been finding in all these long forgotten hoards in her bedroom?? MONEY!!! Cold hard freakin’ cash, just laying around as if no one cares for them – what the heck??? And do you know what else she just came across which is WORSE?? An old paycheck that was never cashed!! AHHHHHHHH!!!!
Here’s what she’s found so far, and she’s only on Day #3:
- A $20 bill inside an old Christmas card.
- A crisp $50 bill (!!!) inside a graduation card.
- An un-cashed paycheck circa 2004 for, no joke, $350.00!! Who does that???
Now obviously all GREAT things to come across in a room cleanup (makes YOU wanna go through your $hit too, right?), but it really makes me think twice as to what else is going unchecked in that little world of hers ;) If you’re leaving behind money during one of the poorer times of your life (after schooling), what are you doing now that you have a decent amount stashed away? Haha… Should I be checking through all our boxes we just packed up for yummy crisp bills long forgotten since our marriage as well??
Oh man, what a girl… She sure does make my life more interesting though, I’ll give her that ;) And realistically we’ve all made similar mistakes too over time, just probably not at THAT level, haha… Who doesn’t miss $400???
So the lesson for today is:
- KNOW where all your money is and cash your darn paychecks!
- Take some time and clean up a few piles of junk this week as you never know *what* you may find buried away. Though if you’re on this blog you probably enjoy money more than my wife, so you probably won’t get as sexy of a surprise stashed away there ;)
Anyone have similar stories they’d like to report today? I’m sure my wife would appreciate them so she can rub it in my face that everyone else does the same thing, haha… I’ve been known to leave $20 bills in my pockets or jackets and stuff like that, but never paychecks worth hundreds of dollars!! I don’t think I’ll be able to let her live that one down for quite some time ;)
PS: Remember that time we talked about claiming your long lost money? Well now we know why something popped up for the Mrs. there – the company’s still holding her money!! So there’s a decent chance we’ll be able to get her$350 back to its rightful home in the near future, haha… wish us luck!
(Photo by minds-eye)
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I’m with you bro, I’ve seen people do that with their paychecks before and what bugs me most is that when I pointed it out (a month old check) they didn’t seem to care much. What? !
To be fair, I get in a lot of rent checks at the beginning of the month from my properties, and before I had a good system, they would languish on my desk sometimes for weeks before I’d remember to take them to the bank. That was also before mobile deposit which I loooooove. :)
Good gravy! As soon as I get a check it’s in the bank. I’m not taking a chance on losing it. If I were you, J., I’d be going through every single thing you both own to find any other “lose” change.
Oh yeah – I cash all checks within a few days, if not hours, usually. Deposit by phone is INCREDIBLY helpful for sure!
I’m usually not a very organized person :P but I keep track of my finances very well :) I always put money to work right away as soon as I have it. That’s also why I don’t even have an emergency fund. I think we all keep some small amounts of cash handy for convenience but losing value from inflation on hundreds of dollars isn’t ideal. $350 at just 3% annual return is more than $10 of free money every year which ads up over time.
Any chance you can still cash that check? Depending on where she worked, you might not be able to just go to the bank. I would love to hear a post about how you were able to cash it.
I think at this point you either have to file something w/ those “lost money” types of companies I blogged about, or even reach out to them directly (if still in existence!) and ask to have it re-issued. It would certainly make for an interesting conversation :)
Hi J, just thought I’d chime in since I deal with this in my job also. The paycheck would definitely fall into the Unclaimed Property category and after about a year the company should have sent the funds to the state. If you can’t find it with your state’s Unclaimed Proeprty division, then you should definitely go back to the company. But once it’s with the state, don’t ever pay any company to get it back for you! Unclaimed Property databases are public, and no one is doing any “work” to get you your money, but you’d be giving them all your personal info. Your state should have a website set up for you to claim it back yourself or where you can at least check if you have anything.
Very cool, thx! Had no idea the companies paid all that money to the state – wow. Great idea actually, and I bet the state makes tons of money on interest as they wait and sit on it? :)
I think checks expire after six months. Its highly unlikely she’ll get that money now but you’ll have to tell us if she does. Sounds like the brain of a scattered adolescent mind. Or an elderly dementia patient like my grandmother. Hopefully the former in this case.
Haha that is why I am a huge fan of direct deposit. No hassle of going to get those paychecks cashed. That’d be great if you can get that $350 back. You’ll need it for various things at the new place I’m sure!
Dude! When I was still living with my parents there is NO WAY I would have forgotten about $20, much less $400! I was so broke that I needed to know where every dime was. Seriously, $400 is like 20 cases of cheap beer. 20 I SAY!!!
I KNOW, right??? 20 cases is like a month’s worth of beer! haha…
There was a period when I was in the military and living overseas. I neglected to file federal income taxes for two years, coming up on a third. I was so busy and I knew I didn’t owe anything, and the IRS certainly wasn’t scrambling to get me the money the government owed me. Then I met my current wife who is a Canadian citizen. So I was working on paperwork to get a fiance visa for her, when the immigration folks asked for my last several tax returns to prove I could support my future wife. So I finally did my taxes. I don’t remember how much I got back, but I think it was probably around $1000! At the time I was single, had no debt, and was living well below my means, so I didn’t really miss the money. It made a nice contribution towards an engagement ring ;)
Well that’s good! I bet it felt better to at least get it off your mind too just in case, ya know? Not so much for the money even, but rather getting in trouble. Or at least that’s what I’d be freaking out for.
I work with unclaimed property as a part of my job – it’s amazing the amounts of money people don’t – or won’t – cash! If I get a check, I’m heading straight to the bank. I wouldn’t recommend trying to cash that check from 2004 – but if it is unclaimed property it should have been reported to the state. Good luck claiming!
That’s $350 should be part of the state’s unclaimed property division, so she might be able to claim it that way (my state has a super easy website to look things like that up). In fact I found my grandmother once had some seriously large amount of unclaimed dividends, which was odd because she lived at the same address for close to 50 years and some how they never got to her.
That’s nothing. Wanna talk about found money? I was going through boxes on a bookshelf last year and opened one up to see what it was. It had a card on top so I opened it to see who it was to. $20 inside (it was to my wife). Knowing my wife puts money into places and forgets about it (coats, purses, etc.), I checked everything in that small box and came back with $850!!! (one was a check for $50 from her sister that I still cashed). All gift money from years past.
Then I was cleaning out a stand and there was an old change purse. Found another $150.
Then as I was moving her dresser downstairs, I checked each drawer (having learned from the other two times) and found $168. That’s OVER $1000 JUST LYING AROUND THE HOUSE!!! I gave her the $150 but I put the rest in the bank to at least earn SOME interest. We use the same money, same bank account, same cards, etc., so it’s not like I’m stopping her from still using it either.
OMG. SHE IS CRAZIER THAN MY WIFE!! Wowwww… I feel a lot better now actually, haha.. thanks man ;)
I think this is a winning situation for you. The pay cheque has no value now but you wife is now $70 richer and maybe she will buy something sweet like a professional photo of you and the Caddy.
HAH! Now we’re talking.
Oh man – this sounds very familiar.. ;)
Just recently I’ve misplaced a Home Depot gift card and a $400 pair of prescription sunglasses. At least your wife found her missing money (although of course the paycheck can’t be cashed)
I have zero experience here because I never let $ go missing….ever. I’m too OCD for that to happen. BUT here’s my big question: Is your wife still like that? Or was she just so busy having fun and enjoying her late high school/early college years that she was a bit unorganized when it came to money? Because I’m willing to bet she’s not like that anymore (except for the occasional $10 left in the pockets thing that everyone does). Give the wifey a break and try to relax on this one. Every 30-something person is very different than their 18-something self. Enjoy what you find and love your wife for finding it. ;)
Haha, wise words my friend, wise words :) She’s def. different now than she was back then, thank goodness!
Clever dude- thats just crazy
Jmoney-that sounds similar to my friend. Growing up she didnt believe in having a bank account so she cashed her paychecks and left the cash lying around. Literally lying around…on her dresser, in pockets, on the floor. One day I was shocked that I just walked around her room and picked up 4 hundred dollar bills. I mean @ 16-17 I needed every penny I got and she just had it thrown around not knowing where it was or how much she had.
wow, that’s incredible. i wonder if she’s STILL like that? and how much she’s saved after all these years too??
This has happened to me! Back when I was terrible with money, in high school, I’d let money like that slip through my fingers. Now, years later when I’m scheming ways to pay off my debt faster, I think about that money and want to kick myself.
LOL oh no!!! I hate that for her! I just wrote a post about how my hubs forgot to pay our water bill, which lead to our first ever married fight. I think he really liked it that I spread that one all over the interwebs. ;)
haha… that’s what us bloggers are here for ;) gotta keep things nice and juicy!
Holy crap! That’s awesome and terrible at the same time. I found some rolled change one time but that’s about it for me. I dont consider finding $20 in a jacket or anything bad though. I just think of it as an early (or late) Christmas present from me to myself….now I’m thinking about going to Disney World with extra money like I’ve been wanting to plan…thanks for kicking in my ADD J!
Wow, my wife and I had a very similar experience when I lived with my in-laws before we were married. It wasn’t as much as your wife found, but still… ;)
Great story! I don’t think I have ever forgotten to cash a paycheck. I usually just find money in pants pockets when I’m doing the laundry. That always makes me feel like I’m getting paid for doing the chore.
Wow! I used every penny I earned. Never left checks uncashed for sure.
I intentionally stash money around. Not much, like 20 bucks here and there when I know we can afford to miss it. My favorite stash place is the chest cavity of a Dinobot I’ve owned since I was a kid. I usually forget about it in a day or two. Then, when I come across it again, I take my family out for a surprise treat.
Nice! I’m totally down for that too when it’s done on purpose (and not left for 10 years ;))
Haha, too funny. Even though I’m a huge finance nerd, I have forgotten to cash paychecks before. I was on a summer mission trip and had a job at the local supermarket. Because I was temporary, they didn’t do direct deposit. I didn’t notice until about a year later that I never cashed my last 3 paychecks (about $500 worth). They had gotten stuffed away in a folder when I moved back home and I totally forgot about them. So, I can see where your wife is coming from. You can bet I’ve never done that again.
I’m like your wife. At X-mas last year, I had to ask my family to rewrite their checks from the year before because I had never cashed them.
Wow, that’s crazy! I have definitely always cashed any checks I’ve received. I had a coworker who would forget and leave checks lying around because he didn’t really need the money…he was known to put them through the wash at times.
My mom just found a $50 bond yesterday while getting my birth certificate out of a folder for me. She has no idea where it came from but she was pretty happy about it!
I’m with Miriam on this one. I occasionally will stash money around my place in places I know I’ll run into it again in the near future. It’s a great surprise finding it again and I feel like it’s money i didn’t have in the first place so I will use it to take myself out for some primping or something of the links.
On the other hand my favorite is when out and about hitting garage sales and buying clothes or purses and getting home to clean them to find out there’s a present in one of the pockets for me :)
YES! Now THAT is awesome. I had a friend who once found over $2,000 rolled up in a camera lens too! He picked it up for like $3 and inside had a stash of crisp $100 bills – so crazy… Who knows how long those had been there for?
Haha that is bad! I never forget about money :)
My great uncle had been a physics professor, the stereotypical mad scientist kind (In a good way!), after he died we had to sort his belongings including his large book collection, literally thousands, stacked in every room of his house.
We were boxing them up for a second hand book store and about 3 days in I was leafing through a book and saw a 20 pound note tucked in, I checked a couple more and sure enough it turned out he was using 10, 20 and 50 pound notes as book marks!
We had to go back through all the books and found almost 3000 pounds tucked away, some books had already gone to the bookstore and so some lucky shoppers might have done very well with their cheap book purchase.
HAH! Hidden surprises everywhere – that’s hilarious!
I had a friend in middle school who used $20 bills as bookmarks. She was a major “book abandoner” (she almost never finished the books she started) so what she was really doing was “hiding” money from herself. HOW CAN YOU FORGET IT’S THERE?! I never understood that!
But then, I never even forget bills in pockets/purses, much less forget to cash a paycheck!
I’m constantly looking through pockets and purses to see if I can find extra cash, lol. I have a coworker who puts off cashing checks not for months but years!. Her explanation is that if the check’s not cashed, she can’t spend the money… I explained to her that for the person who writes the check, it’s a huge annoyance to have it just floating out there and not cashed so they can’t balance their account properly.
I have been known to email my friends to ask them to cash checks I have written them so it doesn’t goof up my budgeting on Mint.com!
AGREED!! I can’t stand it when people don’t cash my checks :( I do my best to cash others’ right away too as a courtesy – you don’t want that open on the books for years and years to come, bleh. Even months!
Oh my and I thought I was bad. I pile mail for months and then get overwhelmed and sort. I usually find reimbursement checks from dental/health plan, I had escrow check of $900 just sitting for six months.
So your wife is not alone. I act like its a treasure hunt now when I go through the mail
I was once digging through some really old stuff because I needed my sim details to recover it from the network and stumbled across $500 that’s been there probably since I bought the sim card 5 years ago. Man, that was one of the best days of my life! Lol. A feat that will probably never be repeated now that I’m obsessed with tracking down what every last penny of mine is up to.
In 2008, we lived in Washington D.C. area. The last month, somehow we paid more in electric bill. In the last part of 2009, the company sent us a check for the excessive amount. It wasn’t much but still…. I put it in my wallet and completely forgot about it. Three years later in 2012, I went to the bank and deposited it in my account. The following month when I received my bank statement, the electric company had closed my account in 2010. It was good for only 6 months. The bank charged me $15 because the check bounced. Now I am very careful. Whenever I get a check, I deposit it within 5 days.
Hahaha, that’s hilarious. I always put the cash in one spot so it’s easy to find … and spend. :)
Admittingly, I sometimes purposely leave a $10 or $20 in an inside coat pocket so that next season when I go back to wear it, I’ll be greeted with a new surprise.
In relation to finding old cards though with money, I’m always fearful I would end of throwing them out. Funny you found that much extra money on-hand.
Super funny! I actually track everything down to the penny, but ya know what? That’s because I’m kind of anal. Sounds like you have a lovely wife, and you can file this under “everyone is imperfect.” Whatchya gonna do with the $70 in cash?
Well now that I’ve blogged about it I have no say in where the $70 is going ;) My wife has made it a point to tell me so, haha…
When I was in high school I would have cash and checks all over the place in my room. Sometimes I’d find paychecks that were months old. Direct deposit has saved my life!
Hahaha, that is hilarious! Here’s to hoping I have a similar experience when I clean out my stuff from my parent’s in a few weeks!
I recently found an escrow check from our refinance laying amidst random statements on our study desk. We got so much paperwork from that transaction that I assumed it was all repeat stuff. So glad I took the time to go through it before the check expired! I did feel pretty silly but hey, it happens.
Thankfully it didn’t get accidentally thrown away.
In France you have a year to cash the check. Maybe you can wait a year and turn 2004 into 2014?
Haha…. there you go ;)
I love finding cash in my pockets, but $350 would make my month. It’s like getting free money.
I find this cashing your pay check thingy rather quirky. In The Netherlands it’s just wired to one’s bank account automatically every month. And you’ll get the overview in the mail. Makes things a lot easier, I guess?
That’s how most people do it nowadays for sure – through “direct deposit” – but back in the day not so much I guess… You know, when people were scared to give out their details online and what not ;)
Way to put your wife on the spot ;) But you’re right – money should be doing something productive with itself instead of just laying around.
Yikes! I’d be surprised to find cash — outside of my piggy banks — but I’d definitely find a lot of stuff I’m not using that would be better on Ebay or something.
I had a similar experience when I went through my closet upon returning from abroad–a treasure trove of collected change, etc.
I used to be just like that! In fact, unclaimed money found me $1200!
There you go! That’s what we’re probably gonna use too to get her money back. Hoping it works as well as it does for others!
Ha, ha! I am with your wife on this one and it can be very satidfyibg to find money. When I was at university, naturally I hit hard times – all my money had been spent on…well, on whatever and there was a week left till my next check from Dad (we are talking different place and time here :)) and nothing to eat…or smoke (yeah, I did this back then). ‘Well, I’ll read some Hegel, I thought, just to take my mind off my hungry tum. Open the book and there was close to $100 that I had completely forgotten about. Winning the lottery was nothing compared to how I felt then.
My fiancé was recently cleaning through my old office space and found all of my birthday cards. One from my aunt had a crisp $100 bill in it!!
That’s too funny – the worst part is that the $350 is totally lost since it’s FAR too late to cash that cheque!
Haha this post made me crack up. Just about 2 months ago, I found a check from my old university for $375. I was floored. I’ve also found an old check for $50 from MCI, my old landline phone company from AGES ago. I was extremely disorganized when I was younger, and I also made quite a bit of money and was careless with it, so this is likely why I forgot about them. Now, I’m super frugal and a SAHM, and I am totally not like that. So I get it, and I feel for your wife. She’s not alone! :D
She’ll be glad to read that ;) In fact, all these comments really! I’m sure she’s shortly read it and tell me “See??? Everyone does it!”
Ugh! This! My mom always said, when you move, stash money in pants pockets, etc. so you’re both motivated to unpack AND you get the little surprises. It works! But!,,, I stupidly did this with a $100 bill in a book (?) and I have yet to find it…FIVE YEARS AND TWO MOVES LATER. I still look for it, though!
HAH! I wonder if you lent it out accidentally or something??? I hope you find it when you’re like 50 and get a nice smile out of it :)
Crazy!!! Though…I have accidentally left a graduation check in the card before…so I am guilty of the same!!! Ah! I have definitely become more thorough of checking for money before I put cards away now.
In high school I used to put my paycheck in my wallet and not deposit it. I thought of it as my mini savings account. I did lose a paycheck here or there and now that I know about interest, I realize it probably wasn’t the best idea.
haha… it actually IS a good savings acct cuz there’s no way you can spend it!
When my wife and I first started dating, my grandma gave her $50 as a Christmas gift. After everything was all said and done, she couldn’t find it. We looked everywhere, even through the discarded wrapping paper and such, and it was nowhere to be found. Fast forward three years or so later when we were going through some old boxes in the closet, and looking through the box for the camera she got that year, what did we find? The money.
Dont know if this was already said, but through escheatment, some gov/state org is holding those check funds now waiting for you to come asking. It’s usually a really simple process of filing out a form (sometimes online!) and showing proof of id etc.
Totally worth doing some google searching for $300+! She’s cleaning out her room – the least she can do is finally resolve a stale check!
Haha, I know right? I’m totally forcing her to do that next :)
LOL!! Me and hubby went thru some old cards (I like to keep really sentimental ones) and found
$20 in a baby shower card
$10 in a Christmas card
$50 in a wedding card.
$50 check in another wedding card.
We are keeping the $50 cash for our anniversary trip in July and put the 20 & 10 in our son’s piggy bank since it was his cards those were in. The check….we told my Grandma about it and her reply was “I wondered why I never received a thank you card for my gift”.
Wow. You and my wife would be best friends :)
I am probably as obsessed with money as you. I never forget even a single penny of where I placed them.
Well, just the other day i found $6 bucks chilling under the seat of my car, I guess it had fallen out of my pocket at some point. I’ve also found money in old cards like your wife. No paychecks though. The worst is finding old gift cards which had the $2 a month inactivity fee and they had since been run down to nothing….now that’s depressing :(
Yuck! Just the fact they have $2 fees every month is depressing – what a bad gift card.
Haha, it reminds me the days long time ago when my grandmother kept her money under the carpets and inside armchairs (really). Usually granny remembered where and how much money she had hidden. But there where times when we accidentally found some cash during house cleaning or armchair replacement!
Human memory is not perfect :)
THAT IS AWESOME!!! :)
I am guilty of this! I have been running a side Avon business ( my first venture into making money for myself) and needed to keep cash for giving customers change ( who pays with a $50 not when their order is $10?!) I made the decision to keep my “change” float separate to my earnings so i could keep track of my earnings. Only thing is I forgot about this change and created a new float thinking id banked the last lot. Cleaning out the spare room last week uncovered …I hate to admit it. just under $100! But the positive of this is I have no more money floating around the house and cleaning out the room revealed a whole heap of trash that is now someone else’s treasure ( and more money in my pocket!)
There are worse problems to have! :) And I agree – who the heck even *carries* around $50 bills??