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How To Survive The Windfall: What To Do With Found Money

At the Mogo Stop The Pain of Overspending Blog, we like to help you with your cash problems – and for the first time, this is a problem that we hope you run into all the time.

def: Windfalla piece of unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves a sum of money


Like anything around here, a little bit of planning goes a long way. For me, the toughest part of being financially sound is the unexpected hits. But in some ways, the unexpected credits can be just as important to being savvy with your cash.

While you can’t expect to routinely get unexpected money, being conscious of the possibility will leave you prepared.

Types of Windfalls

I know we’ve all dreamed of swan diving into our Scrooge McDuck money pits, but here are some more plausible ways of coming into cash:

•       work bonus

•       inheritance

•       lottery winnings

•       forgotten bank accounts (believe it – forgetting $100 or more in an old bank account is more common that you’d think – check it out!)

What to Do With the Cash:

There are many variations/plans to use found cash, but here are the two basic schools of thought.

The 50/50 Philosophy

Simply take half of the money and put it into your savings/debt payment and take half of it for something fun. Go out for dinner, get some new clothes, treat the family to a weekend away – and still feel good about it because you’re being financially responsible.


Spend it all or save it all. This method works, but we recommend the 50/50. If you blow the hole wad of cash on one thing, you could regret it later. Conversely, if you save all of it, you might be more willing to take it out later.


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