Do you keep cash in your couch cushions?
Across the UK, we’ve got around £320m in loose change just hanging round the house. But how much money do we have stored up in loyalty schemes, foreign currency, gift vouchers, rail vouchers… the list goes on!
New research from Lloyds TSB found that we each keep an average of £14.15 in loose change just lying around the house. Apparently, over a quarter of us say we have over £20 in coins stashed away at home, while one in 10 has between £50 and £100. A lucky 3% of us even say we have over £100 tucked away!
Personally, I’d rather keep that money in the bank. And yet, while I might only have a few quid of loose change in my wallet, I admit I have a small fortune in loyalty points scattered across an array of schemes, including Boots, Tesco ClubCard, Nectar and Superdrug. Like many of us, I think I’m holding onto my loyalty points for that special occasion that never quite seems to arrive.
Don’t leave your money lying around…
However, on top of that, I’ve also got a bag of foreign currency tucked away in the back of a drawer. I’ll use the euros when I go to Germany in January, but how often do I really go to Canada to spend my Canadian dollars?
Sifting through my documents-to-file heap, I found a £10 John Lewis gift voucher just waiting to be spent. Gift vouchers often have use-by dates on them, so I could risk losing my money if I hold onto it for too long. I’m also running the risk that the company could go bust, potentially rendering my voucher worthless. I don’t think there’s much danger of that with John Lewis, but many disgruntled customers recently faced with this problem with Comet.
As I tend to jinx any public transport I travel with, I’ve also managed to gather a couple of rail compensation vouchers at home. Both are near expiry and yet sit there unused, as I tend to buy my tickets online. Frustratingly, rail vouchers can only be used if you tickets in person.
You guessed it – there’s more! I recently sold some DVDs via eBay and have a few quid sitting unclaimed in my PayPal account. There’s also a small amount left from the Amazon voucher I got for my birthday recently. Finally, I’ve got cash balances in an online consumer survey account, a tenner or so stashed up with a couple of cashback sites and £40 sat in a wine club. Unfortunately, I can’t get my hands on most of that money unless I spend even more.
Cashing in for Christmas
With Christmas around the corner, I’ve motivated myself enough to start spending my treasure trove of points, odds and ends. It might not be a fortune, but it could take some of the pain out of Christmas!
Do you think you could round up an extra bit of cash simply by tracking down what you’ve already got (or what’s fallen behind the sofa)? How much have you got squirreled away in non-cash rewards at home or online?
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