Use Windfalls to Get Ahead
We all dream of winning of the lottery, and let’s face it we all know what we would do with it, pay off the house (maybe a new big mansion depending on the amount), get a new car, take a vacation, help out friends and family and give some to charity. But what do you do with those small windfalls that also come our way from time to time?
You curb your inclination to spend them on something frivolous. We all only need a few things, but want a whole bunch. It’s easy to use a windfall on a want rather than a need. If you have a large debt on your credit card, car or line of equity it is always best to pay that off first. If you don’t have those debts though, you can use this time and windfall to your advantage and really put yourself in a good place for the future. You can put a balloon payment on your mortgage if you are allowed helping you to pay it off faster, or at least help you to negotiate a better rate on a lower amount when you go in for your renewal in the next few years.
You can also open up several accounts and put the money aside for those bulk payments. Most banking is done online now and banks don’t charge you for having more than one savings account so open up a bunch. Just be sure to make sure that there are no monthly fees and a small withdrawal fee associated with each account. I have an emergency account, a vacation account, a house repair account, a car account and an insurance account. So when I get my bonus from work I put the amount I need for each area into each of the accounts. Then when the bill comes due I pay it out of the specific bank account.
I then immediately get back to replenishing the amount but instead of paying interest on a loan, credit card or line of equity I am paying myself back. And if I can get far enough ahead and want a bigger vacation the following year, or to do a major renovation to the house I switch that years savings focus to the particular account that gets the special attention for the year. This way I find I am not always borrowing from one to pay the other.
It only takes one windfall to get on to a positive cycle and ahead of the game.