I really got a check for $192.
Back in 1979 I moved from Round Rock, Texas – just north of Austin – to Kokomo, Indiana – north of Indianapolis. When I hit the road leaving Round Rock and Texas behind, I stopped by the Savings and Loan to close out my small savings account. I don’t remember the exact amount but it was less than $100.
Unfortunately, it was a Saturday and the S&L was closed. So I drove north to Indiana thinking that I would return in a year or two and close the account then. In 1979, there were no personal computers; no on-line banking; and very little banking by mail. Banks largely kept “banker’s hours”.
Three years later I traveled back to Texas. As I drove through Round Rock on my way to San Antonio I stopped at my old Savings and Loan to close the account. With my “passbook” in my hand I walked up to the door and noticed that the name on the building was different.
That worried me slightly but I didn’t think it would make a difference. It did. The new owners didn’t take over the S&L’s business; they just bought the building. For the remainder of my time in Texas I kept my eyes open for another branch of the S&L and I looked for it the phone book. But, the old Saving & Loan was no where to be found.
In my mind, I wrote off the money as a mistake and a lesson.
Thirty years after I moved away from Texas my wife, Linda, heard a discussion on the Clark Howard radio show. The topic was finding lost money through the web sites “Unclaimed.org” and “Missingmoney.com”. I visited both sites and looked for my name in every state I’ve lived in. I found it in Austin, Texas and in Charlottesville, Virginia and I applied for both claims.
I’ve not received a response for the claim in Charlottesville, but two weeks ago I received a check for $192 from the Texas claim. It turned out to be the money I’d left behind at the old Savings and Loan plus thirty years of compounded interest.
Recovering $192 cost me 20 minutes and one first class stamp; one of the claims was made on-line and the other was mailed.
Link to Other Topics in the Special Report: Cutting Expenses