Yesterday we got a check in the mail for over $2,000. I was expecting it, so I had budgeted for it, but we also received a $30 check and $150 for selling a bedroom set we no longer need.
In the past I would have jumped up and down, and then immediately squandered the $150 in cash, the $30 check would have been eaten by the checking account, and the $2000+ would have caught us up on bills or paid off some debt (so I could go out and spend it again!).
I still jumped up and down, but then I immediately planned where it would go.
Learn more: 10 Ways To Save Our Spend Your Tax Refund
Here’s what we did with our mini-windfall.
$30 check: cashed for allowances
$150 in cash: being used for our expenses for the next 10 days (this is also a way for us to try a cash only diet, the debit cards have been put away)
- $750 to swingset for the kids
- $1000 to debt repayment
- $500 to Emergency Savings (I padded this so we would have a nice round number)
I had originally planned to use the whole check to put towards debt, but I feel like this was a good balance. The swingset was much cheaper than we originally thought it would be (which is why it was purchased now), and will provide the kids with hours of play which means more quiet and time for the hubby and I to get stuff done. Of course we have to a lot of work to do to get the yard ready, and put it together, but it’s good exercise.
More and more I find that seeking balance with how we use our money leads to feeling positive about where we are headed. Cutting out EVERYTHING doesn’t work, though it does provide a good starting point to see how much we are truly overspending (a No Spend Month helped us tremendously with this).
Learn more: Balance Spending and Paying Off Debt
We are seeking a lifestyle change right now, not just a diet that will help us lose the weight of the debt we carry. By seeking balance with our money, we will be able to enjoy some of what we have while cutting the really stupid expenses (SBUX anyone?), and aggressively paying off debt.
I spent some time today setting up some savings goals, including important stuff like paying off debt, building an emergency fund, and other goals like home improvements.
What do you do with a windfall? If you have had one in the past what did you do with it?