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Identity Theft Prevention Tips

There are more than 799  victims per hour of identity theft. Will you be one of those people this hour? The number of victims grows each year.

Spoiler Alert:
Don't allow your computer and passwords to help a thief!

Identity theft prevention bonus tips:
  • Store your computer passwords where they cannot be easily found.
  • Don't store passwords on a document kept on a computer.
  • Use long passwords with a mix of letters, numbers, characters.
  • Never use the same password for more than one website!
Identity theft thieves steal wallets, browse through garbage, and look for documents to provide them with additional information.
Identity Theft Thief

Using reliable antivirus and spyware software is essential in order to protect yourself against the most savvy identity theft crooks.

Shredders are inexpensive and a must-have for every household and business.

Identity theft prevention tips - easy steps:

  • Shred credit cards and documents containing sensitive information.
  • Use protective antivirus and spyware software.
  • Minimize use of mail to send and receive sensitive information.
  • Buy only from reputable sites using encryption to protect your data.
  • Track your wallet / handbag to guard your credit cards and ID.
  • Never carry your social security card, until you absolutely need it.
  • Avoid opening potential phishing and spoof emails.
  • Go paperless to reduce personal information moved through mail.
  • Use credit card opt-out to reduce pre-approved applications in mail.
  • Request your free credit reports annually to monitor your credit.

Protecting yourself against identity theft begins with the use of some basic tips and knowledge to increase your shield against it.

You will find this information helpful in this identity theft prevention tips video below.

Be sure to watch the entire video to become aware of some important steps to immediately implement if you become a victim of identity theft.

Now if only we could get our government to step up to the plate regarding the publishing of our personal information online!

Visit our additional articles in the links below video.

Additional resources from Money Illusions:
Use credit card opt-out service.

Track your credit by requesting your free credit reports every 12 months.

Budgeting Tip - A Sixty Forty Solution

The most difficult part of creating a budget is determining what the foundation of the plan should be in order to make it work.

What can you use as a budgeting foundation?

You could build it upon the 60-40 Solution!

This budgeting tip is sometimes referred to as: 'The 60% Solution', but I like to think of this as the 'Sixty - Forty Solution'. It just seems to be a easier way for me to remember the phrase for the way my mind thinks.

The strategy is based on using 60% of your budget for the essentials such as housing, food, clothing etc.

60%-40% Solution
Then you use the remaining 40% to split up for emergency funds, play money, long term rainy day funds, and your investments for retirement.

We all need a safety-net!

If you have children, when you plan your budget don't forget to set aside some funds for their *allowance commission, and each time they earn their *allowance commission, give them a budgeting lesson at the same time - following the sixty forty solution - of course!

Budgeting doesn't come easy for many, and to make matters worse it doesn't seem to be taught in school (well at least not when I was there).

Just think of how rich your children could be by the time they retire if they follow and stick with the 60% budgeting solution!

*In a recent article I shared the idea of paying kids commission for chores, instead of paying an allowance! Read my article to learn why!

When Edit for Free is a Deceptive Ad

Got a personal background? Well of course, we all do. Are there websites publishing your personal information as a public profile? Most likely, yes.

My guess is that most people are angered by the fact that their personal information has become aggregated for monetary gain, and made all the more visible because the source of the info was so-called 'public information'. 

That in itself is troubling, but it's even more frustrating since it's a routine practice by sites, even if the person never joined or posted the personal information themselves.

Should there be a change in the laws with how so-called 'public' information is distributed across the internet? My belief is an absolute 'yes' to that question. But, maybe that's just me. Perhaps others are okay with it, as we have become desensitized.

Your question by now may be: 'What does all of that have to do with deceptive advertising? And, what do you get to edit for free?'

Is 'edit for free' deceptive advertising?

Let's get into the meat and potatoes...

Without naming any specific sites this is what I'm referring to:

There are sites who publish aggregated personal information, which they claim is fine to do because the information was 'public' before they acquired it.

However, their site is aggressively making the information all the more accessible to those who would be up to no good, yet they claim they care about our privacy - not!

A visitor arrives on those sites because they discover their information has been published there. They offer visitors the ability to register in order to claim their profile.

Some of those sites attempt to lead its visitors to believe they care about their privacy, when in fact they're flourishing by the monetary gain to charge members if they wish to make their profile private!

And of course, once you register it provides their site with yet another piece to the puzzle - your email address!

The so-called benefit of joining their site is so you can edit inaccuracies, and control your personal information.
The initial ploy is that you can do that for free.

Regarding the personal information publicly displayed, one site offers the person the ability to do these two things:
  1. "Edit inaccuracies for free"
  2. "Control your background report"
My interpretation of those two points may be quite different than yours, as we all view things differently.

The interpretation in my mind results by combining those two sentences as one. To me, it means this: If I join the site I can, "Edit inaccuracies for free, and control my background report." Seems simple enough, so naturally millions would join, right?

However, as one jumps through their hoops and screens, (as the thousands or millions before them have also done), one quickly discovers they cannot edit other information which is displayed publicly, nor control their background report. In other words, they cannot truly edit it for free as they implied.

The 'free' deal only allows a person to remove a written summary, which includes many inaccuracies. However, it forces a person to have something written in the summary field. Otherwise, when you select 'save' it doesn't save your changes to the inaccurate information!

In that it requires some sort of text written in the summary box, I decided to simply type in asterisks! 😜

From reading comments from other people I learned most of them are reporting that the inaccuracies include names as supposed relations, yet they are names they don't even recognize - not as friends let alone family members!

My personal take is that the site is making use of inaccuracies used deliberately as a lure to get more people to register so they can 'edit for free' those inaccuracies, but then leads the registered member to a shopping cart where they are then required to submit payment in order to make their profile 'private'.
Deceptive Advertising
Controls the Puppets!

But wait, they said; 'See any inaccuracies in your information? Edit for free.' And they also stated a person could, 'Control your background report.'

When they make those statements they should have disclosed that payment would be required in order to truly 'Control your background report.'

However again, one soon discovers they want money to do what they implied that could be done for free!

Another problem, is the fact that you can't even access all of the information in the 'free' mode, so how can you possibly truly 'edit for free'? You can't!

Part of (what I feel is a deceptive advertising practice), proclaims that if you 'see' any inaccuracies in your information, you can edit for free. Just to clarify again, the problem is that some of the information isn't accessible in the free mode, so it's not possible to 'see' what remaining inaccuracies exist! It's a total run-around!
Edit for Free???
Another misleading point would be regarding if a person had court records, which may in fact have inaccuracies that were never corrected.

Background Report Control
That would involve far more than just using that site that claimed you could 'Control your Background Report'!

It just doesn't work that way, so that too from my viewpoint is yet another deceptive advertisement. If a person had inaccuracies in their background report, it would need to be changed at the source - not from a site that is aggregating the information!

My argument is therefore that you cannot actually 'control your background report' as they claim, yet that's one reason they attempt to get a person to pay-up!

Without diving deeper into those additional challenges, let's return to the simplest form of advertising they proclaimed for the person to 'edit for free' any inaccuracies.

Due to the fact they did not disclose that there would be a fee to truly 'edit' and 'control' the information, I believe they are utilizing deceptive advertising, but that's my opinion. You may interpret it differently than I. But where the rubber meets the road would be with the laws and those who enforce them to determine if it's deceptive advertising.

Correct and Edit
Yet another deception on their site, is where you see the opportunity to 'Correct and Edit your background details', which sounds very similar to their phrase seen earlier on their site as you move through their hoops, 'See any inaccuracies? Edit for free.' yet here again in order to do so, it leads to their shopping cart to pay-up!

What is a Deceptive Advertising Practice?

There are numerous types of deceptive advertising practices. The type of deceptive ad that is the most applicable to this situation, is shown in the example below of a free product or service.

Deceptive Advertising Practice: 
'Offering something that is supposedly "free" but in fact has a cost.'
Reference: Nolo Law. If you wish to read more on their site about deceptive advertising.

As we have read the description of deceptive advertising practice regarding free offers, for me it seems to be common sense and not too complicated. Unfortunately though, law isn't that simple.

"Free" is supposed to mean just that! When a business doesn't follow-through on their advertised 'free' offer, and then attempts to force you to pay-up to accomplish what you were led to believe could be had for free, is it just me, or does that seem to be deceptive advertising?

Returning back to their dashboard:
When an attempt is made to slide the choice from 'public' to 'private', and then to save that choice it then leads you to their shopping cart.

Public vs Private Information
My personal opinion is this: Even though certain information is deemed as 'public information', when it is stored with an entity such as Governmental agencies, the status of 'public information' should not be so easily accessible.

In other words, it should not legally be allowed to be sold and/or scraped by robots to republish for monetary gain.

With all the years that have gone by, it's old news regarding the publication of our personal information, but when is it going to end?

People have sold our information for monetary gain, and robots have scraped and gathered it from across the internet and the end to that madness is nowhere in sight.

The amount of personal information being published without one's permission is staggering, but then to be forced to pay in order to make it 'private' also seems deceptive to me. And, especially when they already declared it was 'public' information to begin with!

Many have also  reported that they email the company and request the site to remove their profile entirely, but that attempt doesn't help.

The company replies to the emails, claiming they have removed the person's profile and information as requested, when in fact they do not!

Their email reply stated the following:
'We appreciate your inquiry about the information on (the sites name that was here - I redacted). The information on each profile page is gathered from public sources, which can be easily found online using a simple Google search. The referenced profile has been removed as requested. Please allow the required 24 hours for the profile to be completely removed.'
The internet robots just keep repopulating the information from their site, which tells me that the site still has it in their database, and that it's not just a matter of the information being 'cached' copies on the internet, or in ones browser. They simply are not willing to delete a person's profile because they want people to pay-up!

Demands for them to remove a person's profile and information from their site are unfruitful.

Our laws remain far from successful with closing the loopholes those schemes use, which make all of us more susceptible to identity theft.

Another deceptive form of advertising is bait and switch, which you can read more about here on Money Illusions, and we also have articles about identity theft.

DealDash Penny Auction Strategy to Win

DealDash Penny Auctions: Is There a Strategy to Win?

Curious about penny auctions, and what strategy might work to win?
(DealDash was originally known as Swoopo).

As you read, keep in mind there are no guarantees that you could win any penny auctions for in fact just pennies.

DealDash penny auction site is known as a 'bid fee' auction house.

Do your research to learn strategies and if they would actually work before you bid your hard-earned money!

If you lose quite a bit of money then I would say that's not a good strategy to win!

Some say that penny auctions are more of a gamble than an opportunity to grab a bargain, but you decide.

You'll need to learn the right strategy to win at penny auctions!

First, begin by going through the inventory to determine if there is anything of value that you would like to win.

Don't get hung up on bidding on items that may not really offer value!

Learn the Penny Auction Strategy to Win Penny Auctions:

Like other penny auction sites, DealDash provides the opportunity to bid and win auction items for pennies on the dollar, but in order to come out ahead you need to identify the winning strategies.

Note that I said, 'opportunity to bid and win', and that there is no guarantee that you can win at penny auctions!

Win Penny Auctions with a Strategy?
Even if you won by what you felt was a solid strategy to win again, that same strategy might not work on the next auction!

DealDash auctions start at just pennies with no reserve, so at first glance, you can get into the action for a variety of items at only pennies.

Keep in mind that you must purchase bid packs, which add to the cost for an auction item. (Check their site for the actual current cost).

Ultimately, the less bids you place, the less money an auction item would cost, if you were to win, and the more bids you place the more it can potentially cost you, and especially if you rarely win any items.

If you'll be away and need to bid, DealDash offers their BidBuddy service to bid for you automatically!

Does automatic bidding increase your odds of winning penny auctions?

Automatic bidding is a strategy in itself if you make use of the BidBuddy method, but again there is never a guarantee to win an auction!

'DealDash' offers 'BidBuddy' for the auto bidding strategy to potentially win more (or less) penny auctions!

If you learn how to use their bidding strategies successfully, your chances of winning could be increased, but again it might work only once and then not again.

Using BidBuddy can sometimes work out to be an advantage to increase your penny auction strategy against the other bidders, but again if you keep losing you'll run out of bid packs and you'll have to purchase more!

As with other penny auction sites such as QuiBids, with DealDash:

You must take time in order to figure out the proper bidding strategies in order to make it a successful endeavor for you.

Otherwise, you're likely to spend a great amount of money on bid packs, yet without winning many auctions. Learn the strategy to win!

Some say penny auction sites are scams, but you'll need to do your research to determine if you can actually work a winning strategy to succeed at penny auctions. Do your research about their company to make your own decision.

Most importantly, should you decide to use a penny auction site that is based on a bid fee requirement, start small and don't spend more than you should!

How to Enroll in Credit Card Opt Out

Credit cards provide convenience, but they can also become the worst debt accumulation tool to work against you! If it's bothersome to you, this information will quickly inform you on how to enroll in the credit card opt out service!

The more credit cards a person has, it also increases the risk of identity theft. The opportunity to make use of the Credit Card Opt Out service can reduce your chances of identity theft.

Enrollment into the opt out service can also serve as a way to help reduce the temptation of applying for yet another credit card! The less offers in the mail, the less temptation to get another card!

Credit card companies and insurance companies pre-screen credit worthiness to determine who they want to send pre-approved applications.

The better your credit, the more likely you'll receive lots of those offers, which you may not want.

Credit Card Opt Out is Free!
The more credit card offers you potentially have coming in your mail, the higher risk of identity theft you potentially face.

Do you wish to reduce the amount of credit card or insurance offers you receive in the mail?

Stick around for a bit longer, as the info is just below!

How to Enroll in the Credit Card Opt Out program:

I've made it easier for you to do so by providing the link to the FTC, which is where you can access the enrollment for the credit card opt out service.

Receiving prescreened insurance and credit card solicitations in the mail frequently, can be quite annoying, so now is your chance to change that!

If you enroll in the credit card opt out program, you'll soon have less junk mail!

I assume you like to play it safe when making those types of decisions, so for starters it's good to know that it's the FTC who provides the information to enroll in the Credit Card Opt Out service!

To begin the process, you would need to provide either your social security number, or your birth date, in order for them to remove you from the program.

Be aware that it will take about a month or so before the offers stop coming in the mail.

Another added benefit of opting out is that it may help to reduce debt - simply because the offers to open yet another card are no longer arriving in your mailbox!

If you're ready to Opt Out of receiving credit and/or insurance applications, head on over to the FTC for the Credit Card Opt Out information.

As time passes after you have opted out, you may begin to start receiving offers again.

Did you opt out in the past, but now you're receiving offers again?

If you begin to receive offers some time after you already opted out, it could be that it's due to a change in your name or marital status, which affects your credit information.

Any change to your information could result in the need to use the credit card opt out service again.

At any rate, it all means less junk mail!

If you would like to read a short dumb criminal story for a bit of humor, this article is here on our site: Identity Theft Thief Traced by Her Tracks!

Why Pay Kids Commission for Chores

Are you considering the idea of paying your kids for chores, but not sure how and/or why you may want to pay kids for chores?

If you're not sure which route is best, you're not alone in the dilemma, but have you considered why to pay commission for chores? Keep this question in mind as we move along:

"Why pay kids commission for chores?"

Let's dive in and explore 3 approaches generally used when parents consider assigning chores to kids at home.
  1. Paying kids an allowance for chores.
  2. Paying kids commission for chores.
  3. Expect kids to volunteer and not be paid for chores.
If you wish to compensate your kids for doing chores there are several schools of thought.

Some parents choose to not pay their kids for chores ever, and feel their kids should simply volunteer.

There isn't any right or wrong method, as all families are different, what's right for one family may be totally wrong for another, and your kids might attempt to compare your family to another.
Pay Kids Commission for Chores,
May Bring Greater Balance

There are several ways a child could earn money for chores, but some question if they should be paid at all.

Let's consider these 3 points, which will help to determine if and how, to pay kids for chores:
  • When kids volunteer to do chores:
It teaches good values and the benefit of helping others.
  • Paying kids an allowance:
May have a negative long-term effect if they believe work isn't required to receive pay.
  • Paying kids commission for chores:
Promotes the concept of receiving pay in exchange for work, which encourages good work ethics.
Let's compare those 3 methods pertaining to kids doing chores!

Although volunteer work is generally what kids learn first at the earlier years, there comes a time when they may ask about money for chores.

An allowance is often paid without necessarily enforcing any chores to be done in exchange for the money.

Unfortunately, an allowance can contribute to a belief in entitlement, which can lead to far greater challenges as kids grow older.

Your family may be different, and in fact may require chores to be completed in order for the kids to get paid, and that's a good thing!

The method you choose is of course up to you, but I imagine you agree that what you want to accomplish long-term is less about getting household work completed, and more about instilling the values of good wholesome hard work!

There's probably no argument from parents regarding the expectation of a child volunteering to complete chores, but kids themselves may feel otherwise.

As kids mature they might feel they should be paid for at least some chores.

Our society is based on working for a living, and at some point a child needs to learn to be responsible with the monies they have earned and how to put that money to good use. That creates a valid argument for why to pay kids commission for chores.

Although kids may become acquainted with the more common phrase of 'an allowance':

Commission is a great method to pay kids for chores!

Depending on the approach to the topic, it's no more difficult for a child to grasp an understanding of being paid commission, compared to an allowance.

Better yet - why even bring up the topic of paying an 'allowance'?

If one wants to enforce a 'work ethic', an allowance is getting off to a wrong start.

In the mind of a child if they are looking to earn money for chores, they are probably not going to get hung up on the method you chose to pay them for chores.

If kids are accustomed to volunteer work without pay, when the time comes, and if it's explained the right way:

Most kids would view commission pay for chores as a positive upward direction.

Getting paid for chores with commission should be viewed like moving up the next rung on the ladder! A promotion!
Promote Kids from
Volunteer Work to
Commission Pay

By demonstrating a good work ethic as a volunteer, they earned the opportunity to work for money, but not to entirely replace volunteer work! Let's not forget the good lessons from volunteer work.

As a child grows, hopefully they have repeatedly witnessed their parents good work ethics, even by the simple routine of seeing them head off to work each day; whether that be outside or inside the home.

The routine becomes the reason a parent explains why they have the need for work, and that one day their kids will need to do the same.

It should be easy for a child to grasp the concepts of volunteering for chores, and/or getting paid commission for work.

Coming full circle, we're ready to dive deeper to answer the question:

Why Pay Kids Commission for Chores?

The Top Benefit of the Commission Concept:
Commission provides a greater opportunity to promote proper work ethics, whereas an allowance can tend to support the belief that work isn't always necessarily required to get paid!
What if your kid comes home one day after playing at the neighbors and suddenly asks you this;
"John Doe is getting paid an allowance every week! When do I get an allowance?"
If paying an allowance isn't your plan, and if you feel your child is ready to move up the ladder from volunteer work, then perhaps your reply might be something like;
"Every family is different, and although we won't be paying an allowance we can discuss the idea to pay commission for chores!"
At that point your child may have many questions regarding commission pay for chores. On the other hand if at least one of the parents works on commission, it has probably already been a topic of discussion in the household.

But, what if a kid has failed to complete work as a volunteer?
Yet now they're asking for either an allowance, or commission?

If that is the case it might be good to consider having a discussion with them about learning to complete the tasks as a volunteer - first.

Once they're successful with doing so, then the topic of getting paid commission for chores could be revisited again in the future.

If they failed as a volunteer another method to encourage good work ethic could be to offer some commission pay for chores they exceed in.

However, you may wish to offer to pay your kids commission for chores, only with the understanding that their earnings would go into savings.

Until they demonstrate proper work ethics they wouldn't be able to spend any! Sounds like tough love, but it's a good thing!

The Economics of Paying Kids for Chores:

If a parent is struggling financially, turning down their kid asking for their weekly allowance can add to the stress.

Then suddenly the parent can be left feeling guilty, when they should not. After all, they're providing for their child to begin with!

In comparison, if the form of pay is commission for chores it gives the parent greater flexibility!

How does paying kids commission for chores offer better flexibility compared to paying an allowance?

If the parent's budget is too tight during a particular period, the parent can more easily divert back to expecting volunteer work - thereby still holding the child accountable for work.

In contrast, if a kid is accustomed to receiving an allowance it's become a very specific routine, and quite possibly tied to less expectation of work in return.

Another potential challenge with paying an allowance is holding a kid accountable to exactly what needs to be accomplished, in order to receive an allowance.

If a child believes they get paid if they work or not,
then what incentive do they have to work?

Paying Kids for Chores
A lack of accountability or expectation tied to an allowance, promotes the entitlement mentality! That's not good!

If a focus toward entitlement is already a problem, it will become more challenging to break that belief as a kid grows older.

Do you feel an allowance would have the potential to promote the entitlement mentality, yet you wish to pay your kids for some chores?

Then why not consider paying them commission?

Paying Kids Commission for Chores Rewards Work Ethic, and Promotes the Entrepreneurship Mentality!

The power behind paying commission promotes the attitude that the child will only get paid if they work.

Work ethic is obviously important to teach and should become a learned trait early on.

It fosters a better opportunity for the child to develop greater respect for themselves.

My personal belief is that if a child has a proper work ethic, they will have greater respect for themselves, resulting in more respect toward their peers.

Paying kids commission for chores can also become the onset of educating your kids about the benefits of working for 1099 income, compared to working as an employee.

Ideally, they should learn the pros and cons of both working for commission compared to working as an employee.

Teach them young enough and we can harness the power to groom kids for their future as a potential entrepreneur!

Motivating your kids to consider a future as an entrepreneur can stimulate their creativity to become innovative leaders with the desire to explore their passion!

In comparison, teaching kids about 'employment' only, doesn't give them free-license to fully pursue their own ideas. Whereas, taking control of their work life as an entrepreneur can!

If a kid is taught the concept correctly, they'll learn and understand that although commission pay comes with some greater risks, it also generally provides much greater reward!

If neither you, or your spouse work on commission it doesn't mean you can't teach the benefits (and challenges) of that opportunity to your kids when you pay them commission for chores.

Most importantly, teach kids that money comes from hard work - except for when they need to volunteer!

A long topic in it's own right, but let's just briefly touch on the subject of doing work as a volunteer.

Working Without Pay - as a Volunteer - Before You Pay Kids Commission for Chores!

Many families already promote the volunteer concept with their kids as they simply learn to help out with chores. Once the habit of volunteer work has been proven, a parent can consider working into at least a portion of chores to be paid with commission.

It's easy for kids to learn they should contribute to household work, yard work, or perhaps help clean up a garage, among other chores.

It's important for a child to understand the value and reward of working as a volunteer - Before they connect earning money to completing tasks and chores.

After all, when we all become responsible adults we need to tend to our household, yet we aren't paid money to do so.

Volunteer work also helps a kid to understand the importance of random acts of kindness, contributing to their society, and good Samaritan deeds. All good and important to learn before earning money for work done.

Kids Moving Up to Earning Commission Pay for Chores:

Once a kid fully understands the value and importance of working as a volunteer, it's easier for them to appreciate working for commission rather than for an allowance. This is especially true if they were never paid an allowance to begin with.

A thorough discussion regarding paid chores vs unpaid chores may be in order.

Of course your discussion would consider the chores and allowance by age.

Hush now, keep me quiet - I thought we weren't going to say the word 'allowance'! 🙃 Let's focus on replacing it with the word 'commission'.

Q and A

Let's revisit and review some possible questions you may have, and consider some solutions. Then we'll talk about chore management and implementing a commission system!
  • Should you give kids an allowance? Or pay commission for chores?
That depends on the lessons you desire to teach your kids! You may first wish to consider the importance of volunteer work, and the alternative concept of paying commission for chores, rather than paying an allowance.
  • Should a parent expect their child to volunteer to do chores?
  • Many parents have some degree of expectation for their children to volunteer to do some chores. Kids volunteering for work helps them to understand the importance of giving to others. It can also contribute to better work ethics. A kid can also be informed that if they prove their work ethics to be admirable during their volunteer efforts, that there is still opportunity to also receive pay from commission for chores later on.
  • How much commission should you pay your child for chores?
In order to determine what the rate of pay should be, first it's important to consider their attained age, the degree of expectation, and the chores you would assign.
  • When should kids start getting an allowance paid commission?
Many parents feel they would like to consider paying an allowance their kids commission for chores, around the time a child reaches 10 years of age, but it really depends on the maturity of a child, the values the parent wishes to instill, and the structure of their family.

Managing the Commission for Chores Projects:

We could go on for some time longer discussing the various possibilities regarding how to track the commission for chores.

There are free printable allowance chore charts, and free printable responsibility charts, which could always be modified to reflect commission pay for chores.

There's also a significant amount of information pertaining to chores and pay by age, teenage allowance charts, and teenage allowance calculators. Many of those are available for your Smart phone or tablet.

How much commission should you pay your kid for chores?

In order to determine how much commission to pay kids for chores, I would encourage you to search for the information as it pertains to your kids specific age.

You may wish to look for any of the following:
  • Chore pay scale
  • Chore chart with prices
  • Chores and commission by age
  • Commission paid chores vs unpaid volunteer chores
Once you narrow your search down to the method for tracking what you pay your kids in commission for chores, you may want to then determine if the chart or application would provide for all of your needs.

For example, there are kids' allowance and chore tracking apps. Some of which you could still use for paying kids commission for chores.

As you search for the best app for tracking chores, remember to consider 'commission' vs 'allowance'. Again, even if an application isn't geared normally for pay with commission, it could still be utilized.

Possible Best Apps for Tracking Pay to Kids - Commission for Chores

If you prefer to use an app for tracking chores, there are numerous ones to choose from. Here's a list of some you may wish to research:

For tracking chores and setting prices:
BusyKid app might provide a solution for you.

Once your kid begins to earn commission for chores, you may wish to educate them with how to track their savings:

PiggyBot, or RoosterMoney are two possibilities. There are many to choose from so do your homework to determine what's best for your needs.

Additional Resources You May Wish to Look Into:

Dave Ramsey:
Recommends paying kids commission for chores!

Coupons Are Great:
Has a Free printable chore responsibility chart!

In closing:

Are some of your kids already young adults? Would you like a great opportunity to teach your young adult children more about money?

There's a terrific free source available! Check out our article right here on Money Illusions, about the FREE Money Smart Educational program!

You can jump-start your young adult kids in the right direction when it comes to money, and personal finance!

1.5B Mega Millions 10-18 Payout

What was the total payout from the $1.5B Mega Millions prize from October 24, 2018?

The Mega Millions unclaimed top prize winner had 180 days from the winning draw date to claim the state’s largest jackpot winning ticket, which for that lucky winner it was a very good thing it was 180 days!

It wasn't until March 2019 when they finally came forward!

Yikes, that's cutting it too close to 180 days! One doesn't want to lose, or misplace a winning ticket with such a huge $1.5B payout!

In this article we'll also see what the Annuity Payout Calculator reveals about the Mega Millions winnings and the payout results! 😎

We'll make a payout comparison with two options to choose from:

The Mega Millions annuity payout results vs the lump sum option! Let's get started!

What were the 10-18 Mega Millions 1.5B winning numbers?
"The October 24, 2018 ticket matched all six numbers drawn:
5 - 28 - 62 - 65 - 70 – Megaball 5.
What MAJOR decision did the Mega Millions winner need to make? 
One of the first decisions the winner must make is a choice between the cash option of approximately $878 million or the annuity, the full jackpot amount paid out in yearly payments over 29 years.
When the winner finally came forward, this was their payout choice:
The winner elected to remain anonymous and has chosen the cash option of a one-time payment of $877,784,124. This is the largest jackpot payout to a single winner in United States history."
In my opinion, this fact; "The winner elected to remain anonymous..." is the best decision one could make when winning a large amount of money! And, the fact that they also chose to seek an attorney to represent them as they chose to remain anonymous was another very wise choice!

If you purchase Mega Millions or other lottery tickets:

Remember to always immediately sign your lottery tickets, even if you don't yet know if you won. Why?

Tickets are bearer instruments, meaning if you lose a ticket before you sign it, you no longer have valid ownership of the ticket.

The Mega Millions Payout Results - Lump Sum or Annuity?

Ever wonder what the payout would be if you won $1.5 billion? More about that in a bit, as we'll demonstrate the calculations.

Although, I'm sure we would agree, that the lump sum payout vs the annuity payout is a win, either way! However, if a person doesn't have good money management a huge lump sum could foolishly be blown.

If I had won, I would have made the same choice as the winner - to take a lump sum. Taking a lesser amount upfront to take control of the winnings in my book is the best choice, but that's me. What would you have chose?

Why would a Mega Millions $1.5B winner want to take a lump sum payout, rather than monthly payments from an annuity?

Let's look at some of the benefits of taking the lump sum lottery winnings compared to receiving it as an annuity:

In my opinion, these are the reasons as to why a lump sum would be best:
  • Although there is nothing wrong with an annuity as the $1.5B payout instrument, once the choice is made to enter into the annuity contract, you don't have full control over the annuitized payments.

  • By taking a lump sum payout (less than $1.5B upfront), it allows the winner to take full control of the Mega Millions with how they wish to invest it, and gaining greater growth. Ultimately, from the growth -gaining far more than the original $1.5B payout, and in a short time!

  • The opportunity for greater diversification of the investment provides not only greater growth potential, but also less risk through diversification.

  • With that large amount of money the winner could certainly leverage the winnings at a higher risk than what the lottery commissions annuity would have offered. We'll show you one way to do that.

  • With good management of the investment placed into areas such as the stock market, real estate, businesses, etc., the growth from those choices would soon exceed the original total $1.5 billion. Far more than what the lottery commission's annuity would have paid out.

  • The Mega Millions lottery commissions annuity payments would have been based on a conservative rate. Coming from a fixed annuity, the growth would have most likely been around 3% at most. That's not enough to even outpace inflation, averaging around 3% for over 40 years. May not seem to matter much when one wins $1.5B, like the lucky winner 10-18,  but if you have heirs why not secure their future too?

  • By taking a lump sum payout, the winner could still invest a portion of the monies into an annuity, but would have greater choices as to the type of annuity - offering greater growth potential.

  • Two types of annuities that would offer greater growth potential than a fixed annuity are: An indexed annuity, and a variable annuity. I mention that because it could be one method to far exceed to original $1.5B payout.

  • Taking the lump sum payout also provides more to give as charitable contributions, allowing the additional benefit of tax breaks!
Taking control is important, but for some taking the Mega Millions lottery commissions annuity may be a better choice.

It's of course an individual choice, and with $1.5B mega millions, the winner should always seek professional advice before they make any choices! Get the facts, the scoop and then proceed!

The winner of the Mega Millions October 2018 lottery made a very wise choice by first seeking professional legal counsel.

From there they would have most likely also then chosen professional Financial Advisors and professional CPA's to assist them with money management.

Now for the fun part: It's time to dig into the numbers!

Mega Millions $1.5B Payout Calculator Examples:

Let's take a look at how much the payout would have been had the winner decided to take the annuity option, vs the potential of the lump sum!

In order to calculate the payout for the 10-18 $1.5B prize, I decided to make use of an online calculator, rather than using my old financial calculator.

I wanted you to see the numbers within the calculator screenshots, and also provide you with the site to visit so you can do your own calculations with the variables you wish to implement. Much funner that way!

The calculator site I chose to use is also an awesome resource for any type of calculator you would need access to, and worked great for the mega calculation!

And, upon my request they approved for me to make use of screenshots of their calculators - thank you Henry over at! 😃

When you see the numbers for the Mega Millions Payout, it's a shocker to say the least! For starters - just the thought of winning $1.5 billion dollars is enough to make one faint! Can you imagine the shock the winner had!?

Annuity Payout Calculator Results for $1.5 Billion Mega Millions

We will demonstrate two calculations as follows:

  1. The first calculation: Will illustrate the annual income from the full $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot - had they decided to take the annual payments from the lottery annuity. But remember, they chose to take a lesser amount in order to receive a lump sum.

  2. The second calculation: Will illustrate the income potential from the lump sum payout of $877,784,124.00 - wow, that's a big number!

Before we see what the calculator reveals, I want to clarify a few points:

  • For the annuity option, the South Carolina Education Lottery stated the winnings are paid out YEARLY over a period of 29 years.

  • However, they do not reveal what the annuity rate of return will be, and therefore we have to take that possible variable into play.

  • I chose to use a 3% rate of return for the annuity interest, which is a realistic figure to use.

  • Inflation is also figured in at 3% due to the fact that inflation has averaged that amount for over 40 years on an average. With the exception of possibly hyper-inflated years, based on past track history 3% is very realistic to use.


While working on the payout amounts I was realizing how growth on the money the prize winner missed out on, by waiting so late to claim the 10-18 lottery! Lol - well worth the wait though.

The first calculation:

$1.5 billion dollar Mega Millions 10-18 jackpot invested in a fixed annuity over a period of 29 years, with annual payouts:
$1.5 B Mega Millions Payout Results for 10-18

Note: It's 29 years rather than 30 years because the winner would have started out with a single upfront lump sum check for the first annual payment of more than $78 million big ones!

The grand totals to view! Shocking, indeed! 😎

A whopping *$78 million + per year (More about the red * in a bit)!

Can you dig it? Oh, well no sorry, you can't dig up that treasure as it belongs to someone else, and I can tell you it wasn't me! 🙈 🙃

Such a problem to have: To manage $78 million a year!

Should you decide to take a break and head on over to do the calculation on your own, you can use the same Annuity Payout Calculator at

Oh my goodness, those numbers were so large they made my head spin! *Did you catch the huge error I made?

Let's see if you caught this error:

The 'Starting Principal' for the calculation above should have been the $1.5 billion minus the 1st year payment the winner would have been paid upon claiming their prize (that is if they had taken the annuity option, rather than the lump sum option as they chose).

Ugh, when I realized the error I made, I decided to just leave it the way I have it since I would have to redo all of the images of the calculator and results!

Hopefully you don't mind the error too much, and now you know I freely admit my mistakes. 🙈

I think leaving the error makes this more interesting as it turns this article into a puzzle - lol. 🙃 Just kidding - okay, I'll compromise. Instead of making you wait to redo all my nice images with corrections, I've provided a written explanation with the corrected amounts below.

The $1.5 Mega Millions October 2018 corrected prize payout:

For those of you would prefer a written explanation, rather than an image:

1st Step -
Divide the 10-18 $1.5B Mega Millions prize by 30 years to figure out how much the winner would have received for the 1st lump sum payout upon claiming their prize, which equals $50 million big ones!

2nd Step -
Now we figure the remaining payout amount as the investment into the annuity, which is $1,450,000,000.

3rd Step - Using the Annuity Payout Calculator
Interest calculated on the 10-18 Mega Millions $1,450,000,000 balance at 3% interest annually, and at a 3% inflation rate (yes, I know it's a wash, but I'll still mention it so you know I didn't overlook the essentials).

*The corrected amount would therefore be a payout of:
$75,566,273.10 annually! (Yes, including 10 cents - lol)

After 29 years, $75,566,273.10 is equivalent to $32,066,273.10 in purchase power.

Total interest earned: $741,421,920.03.

If you wish to make a run over to you can play with the numbers on your own, but before you do stick around and find out what the comparison is as we move into the close of our article.

Moving right along, let's now do our comparison calculation!

Just to refresh, now we are going to demonstrate the PURELY HYPOTHETICAL calculation of just one possibility to what the winner of a lump sum payout might have done. Let's get rolling...

The second calculation for the 10-18 payout:

The winner of the Mega Millions $1.5B jackpot decided to take the lump sum, and according to the South Carolina Education Lottery, the lump sum jackpot would have been: $877,784,124.00!

Note, we will of course have to consider huge variables for this calculation as it will be totally hypothetical.

The variables:

  • We don't know how the owner will decide to invest the lump sum, nor how much of it will be spent, vs invested.
  • We don't know how many years a particular amount will be invested.
  • Because the winner chose to remain anonymous, we also don't know their age, if they have children etc, to even make a guess at the number of years. Again, too many variables.
Therefore, the number of years I decided to use for this calculation will be 29 years. Why 29 years?

Twenty nine years was the annuity payout period, had they taken that option for the full $1.5 billion jackpot; (the number of years from our first calculation).

Again, this is purely hypothetical!

With that much money they have many choices with how to invest, play, and how much to gift or give to charitable organizations!

In that there are soooo many possibilities with what one could do with that much money, if we chose to do multiple variables, well - I would never be able to leave my desk!

I would have to continue on into eternity typing and presenting the possibilities in this article! 🙃

Due to the fact that it was also the largest jackpot payout to a single winner in United States history, this article would end up being the longest written article ever on the internet!

That is - should I continue to add calculations and variables attempting to guess what they would have done with their Mega Millions winnings! 🙃

Obviously, I wouldn't want to put you to sleep either, so let's move on!

$877,784,124.00 Minus Play Money for Fun -
With Remainder Invested:

Decisions, decisions! How much should we figure they would use for play, and how much to invest?
The 10-18 $1.5 B Mega Millions Payout

Let's pretend they decided to set aside $100,000,000.00+ for play.

The remaining amount I'm just going to round down for investing a total of:


Phew, that's a big number! Did I get my zero's right - lol.

I then chose to figure an 8% interest rate. Assuming if a person invested their money into the stock market, an 8% averaged rate of return over a large number of years is possible. That is, if there wasn't any large losses.

Again, this is purely a hypothetical, and by all means not investment or savings advice.

If the Mega Millions Jackpot winner kept the $770,000,000.00 invested at only an 8% return on their money, and if they didn't withdraw any, we now come to the last of our calculations for the $1.5 billion dollar Mega Millions jackpot!

But first, I wanted to give you the opportunity to head on over to and do the calculation of the lottery winnings on your own, if you wish. There are a variety of ways you can calculate the winnings, but because I most often used my financial calculator to solve for future value, I chose to make use of their Future Value Calculator for the Mega Millions.

Now finally, for our last calculation!

What's the last calculation?

I would like to demonstrate from our hypothetical the schedule from the interest earnings from our 2nd calculation! Now this is interesting to take a sneak peak at the results.

The grand question is:

How many years would it take for the $770+ million lump sum to reach and exceed, the original total $1.5 billion dollar jackpot?

The answer is.... drum roll please.... only 9 years!

Future Value Calculation at
It certainly proves why it's great to take control of the lottery winnings!

Take the hit on the initial amount you won by taking the lesser lump sum.

Then grow it to an amount that will exponentially exceed what a person would have had if they had instead chose to take the lottery annuity!

Remember, in this hypothetical we were figuring they took a nice chunk to spend initially, but we didn't address taxes! Say what? Yes, taxes!

I'm not going to ruin our fun by talking about taxes - lol.

That's for another day, another topic, but taxes aren't anyone's favorite topic unless they work for IRS, so let's just skip taxes on the growth etc.

Avoiding Lottery Scams:

If you choose to play the lottery, play wisely! There are lottery scams a person can get caught up in. Some of those come via a phishing email, or a fraudulent phone call informing you that you won a lottery.

There are also the Nigerian scams where they inform you they won the lottery and need someone to help them accept the winnings - lol.

Keep your head on straight and ignore their bait! Recognize it for what it really is - a losing opportunity scam!

Should you chose to do additional reading from the links below, you can also read more about avoiding lottery scams.

Have fun, and good luck to you - to be the lucky winner of a winning ticket!

Related Reading and References:
(These links will take you off our site).

Where the 10-18 $1.5 billion dollar lottery was won:
South Carolina Education Lottery

Information about how the 10-18 winners won the Mega Millions:
$1.5B Mega Millions Jackpot Claimed by Winner

Email Processing Work at Home Scam

Looking for a remote email processing work from home telecommuting position?

You surely want to avoid this email job scam, and in fact the copy and paste email processing positions are all scams!

This is an actual example of the email processing scam!
  1. Read through the actual email advertising the remote email processing position.
  2. We'll review why it's NOT a legitimate offer for work!
The only change I made to the email was clean up some of their poor spelling (for easier reading here in this article).

Other than that, the content has not been changed, except for changing what the sender's actual email address was.

As you read through the email below, see if you can recognize the signs as to why it's not a legitimate offer of work:
"I just wanted to start off by thanking you for your time and interest in the position.
Basically what you would be doing is "processing" emails. This means that when someone clicks on an advertisement they will enter their contact information.
You will then receive an email with that information. In the subject line of that email it will tell you what advertisement they replied to.
You then look up in your training materials the corresponding reply, and you cut and paste that reply into the email and click send.
That's it you are done. Yes it really is that simple. You will get paid 15 to 20 dollars for each "processed" email. The pay is immediate there is no waiting period whatsoever.
You are paid to your personal paypal account. If you don't have a paypal account then sign up for one free at
You will need the personal account because that one is the free account. Therefore you aren't charged anything for receiving money.

There is no website i can send you to or anything like that. I am an independent contractor just like you would be. This enables you to chose your own hours.
There is no contract to sign you simply work when you want to or when you have the time. Like any legitimate online position there is a SMALL one time fee of 16.00 USD. This is only for administrative fees.
All of your materials and training are provided to you. You are not left high and dry. In no way do I want anyone to feel miss lead.
This is legitimate, there are no hidden fees what so ever. You may begin work as soon as you receive the materials, there is no waiting period.
If you try this you are guaranteed to make money. With your first email you will have already made back your administrative fee.

I was skeptical at first just like anyone else, but i did my research and found that anything you would want to do at home requires a small fee.
So, i decided to try it, and trust me I'm happy I did. I make on average 500 dollars a week. Give or take. I figured hey if I could sit in my jammies all day and make money then why the heck not. There is an unlimited amount of work.
If you are still interested simply open a paypal account and process the administrative fee.
Send the payment to scamprocessing@crooksville when you do that I will receive an email from paypal.
At that time I will send you all of the information you need to get started immediately. Thanks for your time and have a great day."
Now let's take a close look at the email processing advertisement, and take it apart to identify why it's a scam.

Email Processing Telecommuting Work

 "When someone clicks on an advertisement they will enter their contact information."

That reveals they are advertising the work from home email processing positions!

They may do so from legitimate career websites - making job seekers more vulnerable to accept their fraudulent position.

Their basic description of the email processing work was as follows:

 "You then look up in your training materials the corresponding reply, and you cut and paste that reply into the email and click send."

As mentioned earlier in this article, they describe it as a basic 'copy and paste' task.

Keep in mind, legitimate employers don't need people to copy and paste to reply to emails, as the first response to many emails is often automated by email software - reducing the amount of physical labor.

 "You will get paid 15 to 20 dollars for each "processed" email."

Sorry folks, but that pay is a major red flag!

A legitimate employer would not pay $15.00 - $20.00 for a simple cut and paste task per email, which would only take minutes to complete!

If the pay is really high, then something is terribly wrong!

 "There is no website i can send you to or anything like that. I am an independent contractor just like you would be."

Keep in mind the fact that legitimate businesses that are doing business online, would have a legitimate website.

Even if the person is claiming to be self employed, independent contractor, if they were legitimately representing a legit employer, there would at least be a website of the legitimate employer!

That is therefore another major flag, as there is too much secrecy! Moving on now to the next red flag, which has two rolled into one:

⚑ "There is no contract to sign you simply work when you want to or when you have the time. ⚑ Like any legitimate online position there is a SMALL one time fee of 16.00 USD. This is only for administrative fees."

A legitimate offer of employment will require you to jump through hoops, so they can determine if you are qualified for the position. There is no required experience!

A legitimate offer for independent contracting would also normally require some sort of an agreement to be signed, as that person would be entering into a 1099 contracting position.

That should always be a red flag: No employment hiring documents required, or no contracting documents required!

The fee of $16.00 for administrative fees is the second red flag within that paragraph.

A legitimate employer takes on the costly burden of bringing an employee on board, and they therefore would not charge an employee an 'administrative fee'!

An independent contracting position would also not normally require an 'administrative fee'!

What it boils down to, is the fact the person is scamming individuals out of $16.00 for the so-called administrative fee. Then they would probably disappear after collecting the $16.00 from the person, and move onto the next!

Don't take the crooks bait! Let's continue on to the next point:

⚑ "All of your materials and training are provided to you. You are not left high and dry. In no way do I want anyone to feel miss lead."

Not 'left high and dry.' and doesn't want anyone to feel 'misled'!

Now that's where we can get a good laugh!

In order to attempt to defer a person from becoming suspicious, they actually make it a point to tell you exactly what they intend to do after collecting your $16.00! To leave the person 'high and dry', and yes, 'misled' is absolutely where it was leading! Notice how they attempt to use reverse psychology to deceive a person, by actually admitting the deception they hope to indeed mislead a person!

⚑ "This is legitimate, there are no hidden fees what so ever."

Once again in order to deter a person from thinking it's not legitimate, they attempt to emphasize that it is legitimate, another sign that it's all smoke and mirrors!

⚑ "If you try this you are guaranteed to make money. With your first email you will have already made back your administrative fee.

How is it that there is any type of 'guarantee'? If a position is a legitimate 'independent contracting' position, there is no guarantee that one would be paid for their work completed, unless they signed a legitimate contract! 

Yet, remember, they made it clear that there is no contract to sign!

No contract, therefore no guarantee that a person would be paid for completed work.

This smacks of them simply wanting to collect the $16.00 (or often times even more), and then move onto the next victim.

In this next point we again have two red flags rolled into one statement:

⚑ "I was skeptical at first just like anyone else,  but i did my research and found that anything you would want to do at home requires a small fee."

As the person did with their prior statements, here again they attempt to deter their victim from thinking that they should be 'skeptical'.

By reassuring their victim that they are empathetic (not), and know you would feel skeptical, they hope to detract you from those thoughts by actually bringing it up.

Then in the second red flag they attempt to assure the person they; 'did research and found that anything you would want to do at home requires a small fee.' which is simply not true!

By telling their victim that it's been researched, they hope to deter them from feeling they need to do the same!

The other point to stress is again the fact that they are trying to assure their victim that there is no work from home opportunities without a small fee. This is again not true! There are many legitimate employers and businesses that hire people without charging a fee!

 "If you are still interested simply open a paypal account and process the administrative fee."

Now they have made their closing statement, as their final attempt to hook the person with their bait. Now we are at their final statement:

  "At that time I will send you all of the information you need to get started immediately. Thanks for your time and have a great day."

They now attempt to assure the work from home independent contractor, that once they send the money they will then send the information.

Problem is though, again there is no actual business plan, contract or agreement. There's nothing binding them to submitting the 'information', and this is when they possibly head for the beach to spend the $16.00.

If you receive that email, or one similar cancel their phishing trip by not responding to them! And, be sure to report them to the proper authorities!

In regards to work at home email processing scams, that actual example of email processing by all means represents what NOT to get involved with!

You may also wish to read our related articles:

13 Actual Examples of Work from Home Scam Ads

Phishing Money Laundering Payment Processing

Work from Home Scam Sting Operation

Yes, you read that title correctly...

This is about a work from home scam sting operation!

Spoiler alert... They successfully uncovered the location of the fake recruiter! 🕶

Although it was an impromptu plan, and not carried out by law-enforcement - mission was accomplished since they determined the location of the work from home scam computer! Good job guys!
Work from Home Scam
Share this comic on your site, or in Social Media!
With a link - please - to this article:
Work from Home Scam Sting Operation.

How did they do it?

It was a combination of being tech-savvy, along with having quick thinking caps!

They responded promptly to the fake recruiter's questions and demands.

Pretending to be naive, they followed along with the scam until they could carry out the sting! Sweet!

The tech-savvy fellow named Josh, outsmarted the work from home job recruiter job scammer!

Due to the fact that Josh was able to determine the location of the scam recruiters ip address, they were able to report it to the appropriate authorities; the FTC - took over from there!

The work from home scammers got stung by who I'm referring to;
the 'Sting Operators'! 😎

You will want to read the details for yourself as the scammers had quite an elaborate plan, and you won't want to miss the details that Josh provided. This is only a few of the many points Josh shared:
  • The work from home scam involved using resume's from legit sites.
  • The scam involved impersonating a legit business person.
  • They used a well-known legit site as their front.
By now your curiosity should be preparing you to read Josh's full article. His information may save you, a friend, or a loved one from the same type of work from home scam - so it's a must read!

His explanation is complete with screen shots of their tech savvy sting operation!

Plus, the added bonus...

For many of us, who are not tech-savvy as Josh is: You can learn the secret sauce Josh used to get the ip address of the scammer! Awesome work, Josh! 😃

If you enjoy reading my articles, please leave a comment, and consider providing a link to my site, or directly to your favorite article. Thank you!

How to Claim Unclaimed Property and Money

Avoid paying a finders fee to locate your unclaimed money, or property!

  • Do you have unclaimed money, or unclaimed property?
  • Do you know how to determine if you have unclaimed property or unclaimed money, and how to claim it?

Locate your unclaimed money or property!

The opportunity to claim your money or unclaimed property is a reality for many people, especially if they moved or relocated - that's the first clue!

But, that's not the only way to end up with unclaimed property. Yet, changing one's mailing address is probably the primary reason money or property goes unclaimed.

Change of Physical or Mailing Address May = Unclaimed Money!

One story that comes to my mind surrounding unclaimed money or unclaimed property is the scenario where people wish they had a rich distant relative they didn't know, who magically left them a fortune to claim. Lol - does the story sound familiar?

Be cautious - there are unscrupulous individuals that use those types of stories to lure you into paying them a percentage, to locate and retrieve your unclaimed money or unclaimed property!

However, you don't need their assistance to locate it!

Don't Become a Victim of an Unclaimed Money Scam!

A common misconception in regards to unclaimed money or unclaimed property... You'll be notified if it's there for you!

However, the fact is: Most people are NOT ever notified if they have unclaimed money or property to claim! The exception however, is if there is a large amount to be claimed, as those individuals may get notified by a business or individual soliciting their services to claim it for a percentage of its value.

The larger the claim, the higher the likelihood of getting a solicitation to recover the unclaimed property for you.

But again, the State is NOT going to notify you, because again the primary reason your property may be unclaimed is because you moved! So, how are they going to reach you? They won't track you down! And, another reason why is below, so keep reading!!!

Now let's dive into what you're waiting for!!!

★ How, and where do you claim your potential unclaimed money, or unclaimed property?

★ How do you make a claim without paying a percentage of your claim? (In other words - claim it without paying a 'finders fee').

In the US, you can contact the State where you resided.

For example, if you lived in California and moved to Washington State, you may have left some loose ends if your mailing address was not updated. You would therefore want to check with California.

Think about loose ends you might have like from a former employer, former bank, or other entity who may owe you money.

Then consider the fact that if you moved, or if there was perhaps a data entry error while updating your change of mailing address - then boom - your money could have been sent to unclaimed property!

Change of Mailing Address
May Have Resulted in Unclaimed Property!

If an employer or other entity complies with the laws within their state, the funds are supposed to be turned into the state, but not all employers and organizations comply with the law, which presents another issue!

Now in this example, let's assume the employer or organization was playing the States game legally; therefore the State would be holding the unclaimed money or property, and potentially for many years!

Some never receive their money or property, and it remains unclaimed for decades! That's why it can also end up being an heir who makes a claim.

You may be thinking the state government should inform you, but again it's not their responsibility to do so. Don't expect them to!

To complicate it even more, the government has plenty of incentive for your money to never be returned!

Is the Government Earning Interest on Your Money or Property?

Yeah, I know what you're thinking - and you're right! Each State stands to make a "should-be-illegal" amount of profit from your money as they earn interest on it, and quite possibly for many years! End of rant - that's a different topic all of its own!

Let's get the information to you now for how to claim your unclaimed money or unclaimed property!

Step 1: Identify the changes of address you may have made. Also consider loose ends that may have developed by you changing your phone number.

Step 2: Determine your prior physical and/or mailing addresses. If you moved from a different state then where you reside now, you'll need to check with the state government office from where you lived.

Step 3: Go search for possible unclaimed property! This is where the fun begins! Just think about it being like a treasure hunt!

Where do you start your treasure hunt for unclaimed property?

Search online for these words:
Your state name, unclaimed property.
Unclaimed Property and Money!
OR search:
Your state name, treasurer.
OR search:
Your state name, department of revenue.

Yes, it's the treasurer or department of revenue who may be holding
your treasure, so go and find it!

Word of caution:

Be sure you only visit the official state government page! Don't be lured by other sites that try to convince you that you will need their assistance to locate your property.

Once you locate each state treasurer for each state you lived in, then conduct your search. If your name changed, you may also need to search using that name too.

Be prepared to go through their hoops to claim your money and/or property.

You may be required to provide the necessary legal documents to make your claim.

To make your claim the documents you may need may be:

A photocopy of your state drivers license or state ID card.

Supporting documents related to the party who owed you the money. In other words, they may require you to submit a photocopy of a prior employers pay stub to prove that you worked for the employer, if it was an employer that submitted money to the state treasurer for you.

It's worth going through the hoops to locate your money! So go get it! 😎