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If we are lucky, many of us will be handed a financial windfall during our lifetime; a financial windfall is a relatively large influx of surprise cash. It could be the result of achieving an unexpected bonus at work, particularly if you work in the financial services sector. Alternatively, it could be because you have received an inheritance after the death of a loved one. In addition, you could have won a competition, the lottery or sold a business. Windfalls are potentially life changing for recipients, if you take the right steps you can set up your family and yourself for life. What should you do if you receive a financial windfall?
What to do With a Financial Windfall
Take Your Time
The money should not be burning a hole in your pocket, take some time to review your current financial situation, net worth and future plans before you do anything. You should probably consult with an independent financial adviser and listen to their recommendations. Also, consider the tax implications of your windfall, if there are any. Be discreet about your good fortune, not everyone will have your best interests at heart, some will want to exploit the situation for their own financial gain.
Pay Down Debt
A great first step after reviewing your overall financial situation and net worth is to pay down debt, start with the most expensive debts first. This is likely to be credit card debt. For details of a very effective debt reduction strategy read this post, What’s the Best Strategy for Clearing Debts?
Make Additional Mortgage Payments
As the great Jim Rohn* remarked, it’s not possible to actually buy time; one of the occasions in life when it feels like you can almost buy time is when you pay off your mortgage early. If possible, arrange to make additional payments against your mortgage, in doing so you will save yourself tens of thousands in interest that you will not have to pay. Depending on the size of your windfall, you may be able to pay off your mortgage completely and take a big step towards becoming financially free.
If you have not had the opportunity or funds to create an emergency fund, now would be a great time to do so. Put away 3-6 months of monthly expenses that can cover you in the event that unforeseen circumstances prevent you from earning your regular salary.
Add to Savings
Take the opportunity provided by the financial windfall to add to your savings, ensure that you take advantage of the best savings accounts interest rates available to you. This article will help you decide what to do, What are the Different Types of Savings Accounts?
If your financial windfall allows you to help others financially or support your favourite charities or organisations, please do so; your good fortune can have a much wider impact and make a significant difference to the lives of others.
Have you received a financial windfall? What are you planning to do with it? Let me know in the comments section below. Note, I would suggest that use an email address that does not make your identity obvious.
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My aim with each blog post is to help you move to a better financial future. I believe that there is not enough financial education in the national curriculum and I intend to share anything helpful that I have learned along the way. I am by no means a financial expert. None of the information on this website constitutes financial advice and is provided as general information only. This is my personal finance blog; my marketing blog is over here and I have been blogging there since 2010. I hope you have found this information useful. Thank you for reading.
* ‘Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.’ – Jim Rohn