Many of us can only dream about getting a financial windfall someday. We think about how nice it would be to win the lottery or get a large inheritance from a long lost rich relative or get a huge bonus check from work after a successful year. These kinds of things happen sometimes throughout our lives. The big question is whether or not we are prepared to handle them in the best way we can, when they come.
I came into a couple of windfalls this past year after my grandma passed away. The one I got last year was expected, but the one I just got in the mail today was unexpected. As I think about how blessed I am to have gotten it in the first place and to be in such a great position to handle it, I’m overtaken with thankfulness. Because of that thankfulness, I thought I’d share my thoughts on what I feel got me to this position of being able to handle it well so that I may be able to help you do the same when the time comes for you to be given something too.
Being Prepared for a Windfall Changes Its Value
For someone not paying attention to their finances and living for today with a high class lifestyle, a windfall can be a very exciting thing. A big chunk of cash to that person who is spending everything they make is a new car, vacation or new boat waiting to happen. Since they spend everything they make, it’s a sure thing this money will get spent too. That’s great, right? Well, if that person is spending everything they make, they likely are spending more than they make, which means they probably have debt, too. When a big chunk of money comes in and it gets spent instead of used for debt reduction, it really ends up being an enabler to an already bad financial lifestyle. It ends up hurting the person who receives it instead of helping them. What a shame.
A person receiving a windfall could also be in a more intermediate financial position where, although they have been spending everything they made and more, they have recently woken up and are trying to get out of their mess. This person, when receiving some extra money, will likely put a good chunk or all of it down on their debt. This makes the windfall a good thing and something that helps them. Now, we’re talking!
And SOMETIMES…… there is that person who has been paying attention to their finances and kicking it for a few years or more already. They are doing well, not because of windfalls but because they just started paying attention, making their financial position a priority and turning things around. Luckily, I have been in that position this past year. I got a windfall last year that was equal to about 2 months worth of pay and just today that’s equal to more than 1 month of pay. Since I was out of debt and had a fully funded emergency fund, I didn’t, and don’t, need this money for anything. Also, since I had learned to live below my means and get my spending under control, I really didn’t need to buy anything with it either. In summary, I really didn’t need the money. So, I put it in savings last year and I plan on putting this one into savings too. Being able to do that and use it for the future turns a windfall like this into a major blessing as it’s going to help me toward my financial goals.
A Windfall That’s Prepared for is Truly a Blessing
What I’m most thankful for is that I was prepared for this blessing. I wasn’t stupid enough to want to spend it all as soon as I got it. I wasn’t deep in debt so that I had to use it to pay for things I’d already bought. I’m debt free and don’t owe anyone money. I’m prepared financially for emergencies so I don’t need it there. These windfalls are 100% a blessing to me from my grandma and I’ll be using them in my future for something that will be good for me and that will continue to be a blessing to me and my future family for years to come. I’m happy to say that I bet my grandma is looking down on me with gladness that I’m prepared to handle the gift she gave me. Thank you grandma. I love you.