Lost Receipts: $144 a year
Those jeans that don’t fit quite right? Stuck in your closet because you can’t find the receipt. Americans return almost 9 percent of the merchandise we buy in stores, according to the National Retail Federation. Many retailers will let you make a return without a receipt, though your credit may be for the lowest-ever price. When a clerk asks, “Do you want the receipt in the bag?” say no. Keep it in your wallet until you know the purchase works. Want even more extra cash? Here are 10 nifty ways to make a couple of bucks in a pinch!
Unused Gift Cards: $48 each
Gift cards can get left in old purses and buried in drawers. The average card is worth about $48. Designate a holding tank, like an envelope or a file folder, and then schedule a shopping trip to use it. Record and store the card’s numbers (including the PIN) on your computer or phone. Should the card disappear, some retailers will replace it if you can provide those digits. (This is how you can make more money while you’re on vacation.)