Raising cash in a hurry #17: Clean out your house

Update May 2009: New pennies, nickels, and quarters have elevated couch-diving for dinero from a business plan to a favorite recession recreation. Remember: change is good.

When I've been broke in the past and in need of quick cash, the first place I naturally look is in my own home. Drawing on my experience, here are some tips to uncover the hidden cash lurking in your home.

Everyone's living quarters are different, of course, but there's a certain (rather obvious at first) list that everyone should go through first.

Your bed stand. Don't most of us have a little spot where we put money, after we toss off our clothes at the end of the day? But, sure, there's probably nothing there, because you've already raided this.

Hone in on your home office. Have one? It seems like another natural place where you might have stuffed a few bills or coins aside at one point.

Survey your sofa. Underneath those cushions, where pocket change slides out and drops into the crevasses of your couch, is often, quite literally, a gold mine. And possibly half of a melted Hershey's bar. You really do need to get down here more often.