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Everyday Cheapskate: 7 Places to Look for Free Money

Mary Hunt on


Is it possible that you or someone in your family worked for a company that had a pension plan and then terminated it because the company went bankrupt or was bought out by another company? You or that loved one, even if now deceased, may be eligible to receive benefits from the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which is an agency of the U.S. government.

The corporation is currently holding about $400 million in unclaimed benefits for more than 80,000 people. That averages nearly $5,000 per person. To see if you might have anything coming your way, you can perform a search at "Finding a Lost Pension" on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation site.


You or someone in your family may be missing money because you lost track of a refund, rebate, security deposit, insurance dividend or proceeds from a class action suit. It happens. To search online, check out this U.S. government site as well as (scroll down to find the U.S. map, and then click on individual states to go to that state's unclaimed property webpage) and You should not have to pay upfront fees to reclaim assets, so should you click on an ad that requires payment, don't let that tempt you. You can do this search on your own without paying others in the process.



Now just might be a good time to dust off that metal detector you got for your birthday however many years ago. Ha! If you were not that fortunate, don't worry. For under $75, you can pick up a decent metal detector.

Metal detecting is a fun hobby where the more you participate, the luckier you'll get. Want to get serious about it? Join a club. Find other enthusiasts. And make sure you keep a journal of your successes. Check out the Kellyco detectors website. There you'll find a treasure trove of community and detecting how-tos, where to hunt, forums and just plain free-money fun.


Mary invites you to visit her at, where this column is archived complete with links and resources for all recommended products and services. Mary invites questions and comments at, "Ask Mary." Tips can be submitted at This column will answer questions of general interest, but letters cannot be answered individually. Mary Hunt is the founder of, a frugal living blog, and the author of the book "Debt-Proof Living."

Copyright 2021 Creators Syndicate Inc.



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