I almost wouldn’t not believe these stories of decluttering financial windfall if I had not been personally involved in every one of them.
Story One is my own. Last year I was tidying up my fireproof safe that contains my most important papers (birth certificates, wills, passports, etc.) and discovered an envelope containing $500. I was shocked for about 30 seconds before I remembered that I had put that money in there after Hurricane Rita, which affected the Gulf Coast, about five hours from where I live, and the giant city of Houston. In the mass exodus, many locations did not have electricity, so evacuees could not access cash machines, could not use their credit cards, and were completely handicapped by a lack of cash. I had completely forgotten that I had put this money aside. Theoretically I would have remembered or found this money in an emergency. . . . Right?
Stories Two and Three both happened within the past 30 days.
Story Two: A friend of mine became depressed and, as a result, allowed his mail to back up for months. To help him out, I went through an enormous stack of mail and papers he had squirreled away without processing. In total, I found six checks worth over $2500. Four of the checks he knew about; one he had opened but completely forgotten about; one was in an envelope that had never been opened.
Story Three: I have made reference several times to folks who live in California but have a storage unit here in Texas. In December when they were visiting, they cleaned out several boxes in their unit and found $5000 of U.S. Savings Bonds which had matured and were available to be cashed. (For those of you outside the U.S., Savings Bonds are a very safe, long-term investment, usually 20 or 30 years; the amount of interest earned is guaranteed by the U.S. government and is known at the time that the bonds are purchased.)
The sum of these three decluttering stories is $8000. Could you sitting on a windfall and not even know it too?