So often one hears, "You get what you pay for" and "If its too good to be true, it usually is." So, it is with pleasure we offer this post to you, today.
Unclaimed property? You think you might have riches waiting for you but someone forgot to tell you about it? Those emails keep telling you that you, indeed, have millions waiting to be claimed by a distant relative that died without leaving an heir. All you have to do is pay them, up front, a finder's fee of ten percent of the treasure they have uncovered for you. Look it up yourself. According to the state's website the Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL) administers the Unclaimed Property Program for the state. To check for such assets as uncashed payroll checks, stock and bonds, safe-deposit box contents, insurance proceeds or refunds and bank accounts, search for your name here. In recent years, DSL has received an average of $25 million per year and has returned approximately $8 million per year to owners. All unclaimed money is held in the Common School Fund, and earnings from the fund are sent to all Oregon K-12 public school districts. All states run a similar program, so there is no need to pay a fee to anyone to find these riches for you. You do have to prove you are the person and your connection to the amount that is being held for you (i.e. an old utility bill to show you lived at the rental where the deposit has been waiting for you).
With a FAFSA filled out the government puts together a financial aid packages for anyone going to college. Whether you are 17 or 70 (or younger or older) the Free Application for Federal Student is the place to start regarding how to pay for it all. You may end up with a package consisting of all grants or one consisting of all loans. Most people are provided packages with a mixture of grants and loans. You decide which offers you are going to accept. APPLY NOW, the earlier the better to get the best chances of grants (which you never have to pay back) or great student loans (which you pay back AFTER you leave college and are provided at a very, very low rate). If you decide not to go to school that year your package is discarded, you are not penalized at all. You must apply for this package each year whether or not you accepted it the year before.
The Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation is another source of potential money for education. Their website states, "Our Mission is to create scholarly (educational) and scholarship (financial) opportunities in which participants of all levels have a fair and equal chance to participate and be successful." Developed and administered at Nova Southeastern University, the Common Knowledge Scholarship Foundation (CKSF) awards scholarships to students through Internet-based quiz competitions. CKSF reward students for demonstrating what they know. There is no essay writing or long applications to complete. Students receive scholarship awards based on common knowledge and basic education curricula. The primary focus is to have an objective competition that rewards students who have well-rounded, practical knowledge, and not necessarily those with the highest academic standing.
If you don't have enough spam and are looking for extra cash for fun shopping you might try e-Rewards. Members can earn rewards, by taking online surveys, from a variety of well-known companies including American Airlines®, BLOCKBUSTER®, Borders®, Continental Airlines®, Delta Air Lines®, Hertz®, Hilton®, Northwest Airlines®, US Airways®, Zales®, and eBags® and other program partners. If anyone participates in this program, please let us know either here or write it up and publish it over at NCO. A writer over there, TH, has an idea to use a rewards system based actually on bartering using Clatsop County bucks. Looks interesting, it would be nice to have the local municipalities take hold of this idea and run with it. If they don't, TH will be waiting, patiently, for his time to come and run with all of his great ideas.
For anyone looking for something totally free there is The FreeSite.Com. This site has links to everything from freeware to kitchen appliances to dating services to sweepstakes. A safer bet, unless you like the spam, is to try our local Freecycle. It's an effort to keep our special unused and unwanted things out of landfill and putting them into the hands of people who want or need them. All items accepted, but they must be given away for free. For all of Clatsop County you can sign up here, and you can also sign up for Astoria's own freecycle.
Do you have any other freebies that have worked for you?