There is nothing better than free money. Lest you go through your seemingly-junk mail too quickly, be sure to look at those return addresses. If it says "U.S. District Court Settlement Administrator" on the return, open that little puppy up right away. I did that tonight and found that I was 3 clicks away from $25, and so was Scott! It seems there was a class action suit against credit cards charging too much for foreign exchange rates made on purchases in foreign countries between 1996 and 2006. If I wanted to try to itemize for those 10 years, perhaps I would be due more, however, I find my time more valuable than the extra nickel or two I may glean from that beleaguered process. Regardless, $50 is a nice little amount of moola to come in the mail (and timely considering I just dropped off that 1st of 2 property tax payments.....ouch).
This reminded me of one of my all-time favorite websites - the California State Controller’s site, where you can search for unclaimed money due to yourself or anyone else you can think of. It's a great way to get in touch with old friends....just find out if they're due money, then e-mail to let them know. Maybe they'll cut you in. It is so addictive you'll find yourself glued to the keyboard trying to remember all the people you ever knew......I think it's the manual precursor to social networking sites.
While I'm sharing free money tips, be sure to check out the CoinStar machine in your local supermarket. Normally they charge an outrageous fee to count your coins and give you cash....but during the holidays there is an abundance of retailers who are dying for you to convert your change to giftcards and are willing to absorb that fee. So if you shop at Amazon or Borders or Starbucks or Home Depot, etc. - take your change in and cash out.