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What to Do With a Windfall

by Jackie Beck

We’ve heard the stories about lottery winners who go bankrupt, and assume that would never happen to use if we received a windfall.  But have you thought about what you would do with a windfall? 

I’m not talking about “if I won the lottery I’d pay off all my debt and buy a new house” type daydream either. I’m talking…what if you got an extra $250?  Money that you weren’t expecting, to be sure, but not a pile of money that could last you a long, long time.

The typical reaction

Most people who come into a little bit of extra money — whether that’s $20 or $2000 — tend to view it as money they can blow. So they go out to eat, buy something fancy, or take a trip. And when it’s gone, it’s gone. 

Sure, they had fun, and that’s worth something, but if you have a plan you can do so much more.

Having a plan

The easiest way to have a plan for what to do with a windfall is to have a plan for your money in general. You’ve got goals, right? A windfall can help you get there faster. The source of your money shouldn’t change what you choose to do.

So if you typically put the majority of your money toward one or more goals, and spend some too…well, why struggle with what to do with a windfall? Stick with your plan, and use the windfall to speed up your timeline.

Give it thought

No matter what you decide to do with a windfall, do it intentionally. Give your actions and choices thought, and you’ll be a whole lot happier than you might be if all of a sudden that money was just gone.

So, what will your plan be? And if you’ve gotten windfalls in the past, what did you do with them?

Posted in Money Management on 07.18.12 with 6 comments.

6 Responses to “What to Do With a Windfall”

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