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Worth buzzing about: clients find unclaimed money and ways to cut costs
By Tammy May

Last week I mentioned that the Australian Tax Office has a free online service to help people search for lost superannuation funds. There’s also a further $670 million in lost shares, bank accounts and life insurance policies that you could be owed a share of.

Reading conversations last week on MyBudget Buzz, our online community forum, I was excited to see that some of our clients have had success locating unclaimed funds. One client found as much as $6,500!

You can conduct a search for possible unclaimed money on the government’s MoneySmart website. (If you do find your name in the register, you’ll need to prove your identity.)

I really enjoy reading your contributions to the online forum. There’s everything from baby clothes for sale, to clients telling their success stories, sharing their gripes, or lending each other support. Personally, I value each and every exchange.

One of the threads I especially enjoyed reading last week was about the big and small ways clients have saved money recently. Here are a few examples and excerpts. I’m sorry that I can’t share them all.

It's always worth asking for a discount:

Since starting on MB, I've become increasingly thrifty - I'm a huge fan of getting $10 off here, $20 off there. Just today I got my new tennis racquet (old one broke) with free strings put on it - just by asking, saving me $25, which I can now add back to my budget out of my savings.

Free samples and give-aways: 

I get free make up!! LOL. I googled free samples and haven't paid for foundation, powder, blush or cleanser in a few months!!! I got some clothes from a friend who only buys expensive brand names (lucky) because they are "over" the clothes... SCORE! I always ask for discounts. You don't know unless you ask hey.

With a new baby on the way I've been collecting freebie samples over the last few months, I just e-mailed as many companies as I could think of explaining I was pregnant and asking for samples and now I've got a small file box full.

eBay bargains and garage sales:

Found a few good bargains on eBay myself.... found a DS game that my son wants (that I have hidden away for Christmas) that normally retails for around $60 or more - but I only paid $20.50 - still brand new in wrapping and all.... and that amount included postage!

You should get an R4DS. It's a cartridge the same size as the normal game ones. Then you load up a micro SD card and download the games. Store heaps of games on a single cartridge then.

Went to a garage sale today and picked a pair of Doc Martens that were only 2 weeks old!!!! Worth $180.... paid $15!!!! SCORE!!! Also, picked up 5 brand new latest DVDs for $5!!!! WOW!!!! I am a happy customer!!!

Forward-planning and do-it-yourself:

Hubby's into the thrifty shopping at the moment. We're planning on going to the Cape in 2016 and have a yearly budget to slowly kit our car out but we've already got everything on this year's list due to his 'bargain' finds/makes. He had at first insisted we needed a Safari snorkel but settled on a Safari imitation and installed it himself so total cost was $220 instead of $550. He made his rear draw for only $180 instead of the projected $1200. He made our new centre console for a total of $10.29 instead of the projected $100. He won a roof rack off eBay for $36 which was in great condition. We sanded it back and gave it a spray so all up it's cost us $76 instead of the projected $500. He bought himself an arc welder and welding rods off of eBay for $30 which helped him make us a cargo barrier for essentially nothing (he's got all his welding certs and does it at work just hasn't had one at home before). He picked up a 70L fridge for us at the latest camping show for $850 instead of $1,199.00. And next year we'll be purchasing a do-it-yourself rear bar carrier which he'll weld together himself.

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