Most of us are usually dealing with the ‘regular’ paycheck or, in the case of the small business owners/freelancers, we’re talking the money our business gives us each month (irregular income, but still income). From time to time there’s still something nice happening to us, money-wise, a windfall: maybe an inheritance (wished we were this lucky :)), a bonus at work, some tax return etc.
If we’re keeping already a budget and have made sure we account for each cent we earn/spend, the extra money will surely make a difference (usually for the better): some people save the money directly, others use it to pay off some of their debt, others use it to invest in their business or just ‘get something nice’.
In the past we used to just buy some stuff we ‘needed’ and couldn’t yet afford it. In other cases it helped us pay for some home improvements, which we couldn’t yet afford at the moment, or even pay off debt faster.
We’re looking at something similar in few months, after my girl is born. The State is giving each woman around 200 Euro/month for 2 years, after the child is born. It’s not a lot of money (for someone in the US or other countries, but in mine there are people who actually earn this much going to work). For our budget the money will not make a huge difference, since our income is bigger than this and I really thought about not taking the money at first (don’t know if I can refuse it, but I was thinking about it).
Then I took a moment to think about all I have paid in taxes and NEVER gotten to use the State’s help for anything: was never on unemployment/welfare, even when we were ‘qualified’, I am paying the bills myself for any health issues at private hospitals, where my state ‘insurance’ is worthless, even giving birth will actually cost me around 1700 Euro etc. So we’ve decided to not say ‘no’ the first moment in my adult life when the State will actually ‘do something’ for me. This will mean some extra money each month for 24 months.
What are we planning to do with the money? We’re already covered pretty well with our incomes to pay all the bills and the company taxes (plus save some money each month). We also have started buying most of the baby stuff we’ll need till the baby is born, so whatever comes after February (the month she’s supposed to enter our family) should be easily handled with our monthly budget. This is the reason why we decided to SAVE this money in her behalf. It’s not a huge deal (many parents in other countries are able to save even more money for their child), but it will still help her in the future (and us, since we need to make sure she’s well taken care of and you never know what can happen).
So, what do you usually do when it comes to a windfall? Do you save the money? Pay off debt? Just spend it and have fun? Were you in this position yet?