debt debs

Personal Debt Wrangler – Had my money head in the sand – but no more!


Found money


LOST-FOUNDDo you ever find money where you weren’t expecting to find it?

Whether it be on an inside pocket a small clutch purse from your last fancy gala, a $20 bill tucked in your sock drawer or glove compartment or some birthday money tucked in a card that you could have sworn you already spent.

Those small amounts are not windfalls, but enough for you to say, ‘Hey, cool’, and then get on with your day.  Unless you decide to fret about how you almost threw out said birthday card and that $30 would have been gone and you never would have even known about it.

Anyways, it’s nice when that happens, right?


What’s that you say?  It rarely happens to you anymore because you’ve got your money sewn up so tight that you know where every dollar is designated in your so-called debt life.

Ya, it doesn’t happen to me anymore either.

Until yesterday.

There were two of these in the mail.


2 x 100 dollas!  {insert Gail Vaz-Oxlade voice here}  One made out to yours truly and one made out to the Irishman.

How.sweet.that.was.  … of Prince$$ Cruise Line to send back the deposits we left for our next cruise when we were on our last one in 2010 and obviously giddy with the sea air.

I’ve thought about this money.  But I never even considered asking for the money back.  I thought it was lost money.

So what’s the lesson learned here folks?

Ask for your money back.  Or don’t, and maybe you will get a nice surprise in the mail one day.

That’s going right on our big fat debt, baby.

In other news, I was featured on Brian at Debt Discipline’s blog this week.  You can see the Debt Debs interview here.  Be sure to let Brian know if you’d like to divulge all your embarrassing secrets share your story too.

A big thank you to A Disease Called Debt, Frugal Rules , Debt Discipline and Financially Blonde for linking to my post Worth it Wednesday – Can a Marriage Survive a Debt Crisis?  I think they know how much it took me to write this and other posts I’ve done recently, and I sincerely appreciate their support as I continue to dig deep.  I’ll be back to some funny and quasi-techy stuff soon.  I’m beginning to feel these writing jags go in cycles.  I can only be deep for a short period of time and then I need to come up for air and be my usual quirky, snarky and crazy self.

Thanks to The Pursuit of Riches for mentioning my interview, but you should check her out cause she’s got the best new news since I’ve been following her blog (which is basically from the beginning).

So I need to get crackin’ and help The Irishman clean out the garage.  I am inspired to do this from Holly at Club Thrifty.  Get a look at how clean her garage is!  This is something we’ve been putting off.   I hear him out there throwing things around now.  I better run out and get a before picture….

…. but first, since I love hearing this woman’s voice and her no-nonsense talk, I leave you with a little dialogue with Canada’s version of Dave Ramsey, Gail Vaz-Oxlade:

*To view this video on YouTube Click here

Lost/Found sign Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /


Author: debster

I am a fifty-something wife, mother and new grandmother, who admits to having their “head in the sand” about their financial situation until amassing $247,500 worth of consumer debt for a total debt of $393,500. We've paid $121K in 2 years with four more years to go. Join my journey at sharing ideas and motivation to all those coping with poor money management and bad debt decisions.

41 thoughts on “Found money

  1. Thanks so much for mentioning my post. Hopefully I can keep my garage as clean as it is now!

    • Yes, I hope we both can keep ours clean! Who am I kidding? Ours is going to be a multiple day project. But at least it’s started now. I sound like the commercial for insurance where she says “Your claim is started now”. Clearly I’m delirious from too much back-breaking work. ;-)

  2. That’s awesome! Cash surprises don’t really occur anymore since I don’t use cash as much as I once did. I do remember finding money in the past like that, though, and it sure made my day. Good luck on the garage cleaning and enjoy your weekend!

    • No we rarely use cash either. Only we just got some because he took a bunch of empties back that were in the garage. $50 but then he bought a case of beer so he says he has $19 bucks left. $30.95 for a 24 case of beer!! :o Enjoy your Memorial Day weekend EM!

  3. I agree with asking for your money back. People who are in debt tend to be satisfied with whatever is going on with their money. Every single cent counts. Love the video. When I was in the states I use to watch her show all the time. Thank you for sharing.

    • I agree, when you are in debt it is not the time to be lackadaisical.

      Gail had a number of successful shows, Til Debt Do Us Part, Princess, and Money Moron. My sister saw her speak recently at a convention and had her autograph a book I had given her. I wrote a blog post on that.

      She said she learned that Gail was no longer doing shows because she was being directed to create too much drama/controversy. I am paraphrasing, I hope I got the gist right. I had a love / hate with the drama – it made me squirm but I enjoyed it. Of course, if it’s enacted drama, I do not care for that at all. I want the real real world. I respect Gail’s judgment and believe she chose to do what was right, even if I hope she comes back sometime. I do love her no-nonsense approach and you can see this even in the interview I included in this post.

  4. 200 bucks! Whooo for you! Congrats!

    My bank one time didn’t debit my account when I withdrew $200. It wasn’t until 2 yrs. later that they asked for their money. Eh, I consider it at least an interest free loan at least.


    • Ah ha! Now when were you going to contact the bank to pay that back, Will? Scary that if they make a mistake like that in your favour, what mistakes are they making not in your favour? Check your bank and credit card statements folks!!! Frequently… like almost daily. Thanks for visiting, Will!

      • Whoops forgot to add that bit… I called them 3 different times and each time they said they would fix their mistake. After the third time I let it go but would make sure I had an extra $200 there for when they finally fixed it.

  5. The husband calls it mystery cash! And we get really excited until I ask him how much he thinks he’s lost from not being organized with those loose bills. :p That’s awesome that the cruise line sent it back! Another place to find it: states have searchable databases where insurance companies, employers, WHOEVER deposit money that they owe to people who they either can’t locate or are too lazy to locate. Each state has one. It’s definitely worth checking out. I found an old paycheck for a family member that way. Bonus pay day!

  6. Since the advent of plastic (debit/credit) I can’t remember when I last got “found money”! That’s great that you now have the extra $200 to slam dunk on your debt :)

  7. I always ask for money back – but then I sometimes end up spending it twice! Thanks for finding me and leaving a comment!

  8. My definition of “found money” is anything that isn’t a line in my budget. So I have a lot of things that are cash equivalents that then free up cold, hard cash. For example, when I redeem my PC points and then have an extra $50 in the grocery category. I’ve been tracking it and I’m close to $1,800 so far in 2014. That’s a bit ridiculous!

    It’s always nice when you receive a cheque when you weren’t expecting it.

    • Wow $1800 is really nice! So are you saying you don’t track it until you redeem it? Then you apply it to your grocery budget? What would be really cool is if when you used the points, you still recorded your groceries at the gross amount and then transferred the cash you saved towards debt. Do I make any sense?

      • Yep, exactly. I record it when I redeem it. I do try to shift the money back from my budget to my debt, but honestly it’s just been giving some breathing room in the budget rather than helping with debt repayment too much. Though I suppose it is helping because then I am not going back into debt, and I don’t decrease my debt-repayment.

  9. I love when that happens! I used to be lazy about money when it came to asking for something back, but I’m really on that stuff now. I love Gail too!

    • That’s great Tonya! I’m better too but could always be better, obviously. Gail’s a hoot! Omg some of the Til Debt Due Us Part shows I couldn’t believe some of the ‘tudes on those couples, though most were really positive and got with the program.

  10. Hey Debster, I love finding money. I only find it outside though usually. It’s awesome that the cruise line sent you your deposit back! Nice surprise!

  11. I used to hide bits of money around my room as an incentive for me to clean up. However, that stopped when my dad accidentally threw out some of my money. :

    I really liked that interview you included in this post! I feel like I live under a rock, but I have never heard of that woman before. I might enjoy that lady’s TV show “Till Debt do us Part.” However: 261 rules?!?! I thought there were only 3: Spend less, earn more, need less.

    • Bummer. If I hid money around my room I’d never find it. Seriously, you know when you have something important and you say, I’m going to put this in a safe place. But then later when you need it, you can’t remember the safe place.

      The 261 rules are just different PF topics. She has a page for each item in that book. I’ve read that book, although I know she has lots. I like her shows too.

      • I’m actually one of those people that can’t find their glasses when they’re already on my face. Last week, I thought I had misplaced a necklace, I looked all over the house and couldn’t find it. I finally found it last night, it was on my necklace rack the entire time.

  12. Nice that you got money back that you forgot you had paid out back in 2010. I’m glad you learned to perhaps not do that in the future. I don’t know about Canada, but many states in the U.S. also have sort of a dead letter office for funds that were paid to institution that may have been forgotten about. Quoting from California’s unclaimed property web site, “California’s Unclaimed Property Law requires corporations, businesses, associations, financial institutions, and insurance companies (referred to as “Holders”) to annually report and deliver property to the California State Controller’s Office after there has been no activity on the account or contact with the owner for a period of time specified in the law – generally (3) three years or more.

    This search page will allow you to locate Unclaimed Property that already has been sent to the State for safekeeping, as well as property that is about to be sent to the State by a business as required by law.”

    I have never found unclaimed property or funds for myself, but I have found money that the state was holding for several members of my extended family. I told them about it, and they retrieved their forgotten funds fairly easily.

    • Hi there Bryce ~ yes I definitely learned my lesson. I know we have something like that for forgotten bank accounts in Canada. That was great that you were able to help your family get their money. Every bit helps! In fact, I was just telling my husband tonight that that extra $200 bucks will really help towards our property taxes due next month. It means I don’t have to let my Emergency fund dip below 5K, which is the minimum amount I need in that account to earn bank interest.

  13. I received a check for over $200 this month because our dehumidifier was recalled. The best part is we paid less than that when we bought it back in 2009. We don’t really need a dehumidifier anymore (our basement in this house is a lost cause), so it felt like a good chunk of found money.

    Not being Canadian, I only recently discovered Gail Vaz-Oxlade, and I like her. She does seem no-nonsense, and down-to-earth, not someone just trying to be another celebrity. My kind of person!

    • Yay for $200 bucks month! Great stuff, Jen! Gail has a blog and website. Alicia, above actually writes on her site as she has some guest bloggers.

  14. Woohoo!! LOVE when that happens. We kind of got “found money” this month too when our state legislature passed a tax cut bill due to a surplus in the budget. Every little bit helps! :-)

  15. Every time I come across “found” money I say two things. 1. “Thank You” and 2. ” I am a money magnet!”

  16. Dude that is awesome! I haven’t found any money lately but you never know! ;)

  17. I find money on the street all the time. It’s usually only a penny or so, but it adds up. I started tracking it on Twitter and am up to $11.56 this year. That’s a free lunch.

  18. I hardly ever pay with cash so when I find money its a big deal. I found $20 while walking downtown once and it was awesome. Aside from that I don’t think Ive ever found money

  19. The last time I “found” a sizable amount of money was when we overpayed on the licensing fee for our new car. That $85 check, however immaterial compared to the cost of the car, was a welcome surprise!

  20. I love it when you find money! It doesn’t happen often anymore though… :( When you’re an adult people stop sending money in your birthday cards.

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