Today’s money-saving (or should that be money-finding?) blog post is an interesting one and it’s a topic that I’ve only just started to research. I wanted to share what I’ve learnt with you so far just in case there are some pots of cash out there that you never knew you had. Wouldn’t that be nice, eh? Actually, I bet you do have some hidden funds, you just need to know where to look for them..!
1.Overpaid utility bills
If you’re been paying by direct debit for your bills, it’s likely that you’ve been making over payments. While it’s a good idea to pay a little more in summer to account for extra energy use in the winter, you could still be sitting on a bigger-than-neccessary stash of cash in your gas or electricity account. If you provide your supplier with an up-to-date meter reading, they’ll be able to tell you how much you’re in credit by. It can easily add up to a decent sum over the course of a year, so there might be a pile of cash with your name on it.
You can therefore ask to reduce your monthly direct debit payment for a few months – keeping the money in your bank account and using up the credit you’ve accrued. Or you could ask for your money back. This is especially true if you’ve moved house and closed an account with your old supplier – if there’s credit sitting in that account, it’s yours!
2. A childhood bank account
Did you have one of those Post Office savings accounts when you were little? I know I had one of those little paper account books until I was about 20 years old! If so, you might still have some savings stashed away in your childhood account. Or perhaps your parents set up a fund for your birthday money when you were little and forgot to give you access to it when you became an adult. Or maybe you took out an ISA when they were introduced back in 1999 and you thought you were going to save sensibly for the first time. Even if you didn’t put anything else in that account, you will have needed to put some money in there to open the ISA in the first place. The key here is to look back at all your previous bank accounts and double-check for lost cash!
3. Insurances you never used
Yes, the dreaded question of PPI raises its head again. If you’ve had a cash loan, or bought a car on hire purchase, used a credit or store card, or even had an overdraft, it’s possible that you could be one of those people who are claiming back plenty of cash in the form of a Payment Protection Insurance refund. There’s a PPI deadline coming up on 29th August 2019. Sure it seems like a long way away, but after this date there’s no chance that you’ll be able to get a refund so if you’re going to look into it, now’s the time to start.
4. Payslip deductions
Finally, but no less importantly, is the subject of pensions. If you’ve paid into a pension scheme in a previous job, even if you don’t work there any more that money is still yours. Any change of career or employer could result in little pots of money that might otherwise become lost. You can keep track of your pensions with the Pension Tracing Service. If you were paying into a pension before 2015 but spent less than two years at the job, you could get a refund of the pension contributions you made. Or at the very least, you’ll know where all your pensions are held and can feel reassured by the pot you’ve built up for your retirement.
I hope these suggestions have helped you to realise that you might have a little more cash floating around than you thought! Sure, it might take a bit of admin to find these pots of money, but if they’re yours why wouldn’t you want to know about them?! Let me know if you can think of any other places you might have ‘lost’ money (did you check the sofa?) in the comments below 🙂