What did you do with an unexpected windfall?

I didn’t get one and I’m not expecting to…just curious. Whether you got a modest inheritance, a significant bonus at work or, yes, won the lottery, what did you do with it?

I’m not talking millions or even thousands of dollars here: Just a significant chunk of change you weren’t expecting.

Did you blow it on a nice dinner for a bunch of friends, pay off some debt, buy a new TV?

I saved it. Then, a series of unfortunate events caused me to lose it. I’m glad I saved it, because I’d be royally screwed otherwise. phew

uhm, well, I just got an unexpected scholarship…I bought two songs off itunes. Does that count?

I’m so far in debt, that any money I get pretty much goes into savings. Eventually I’ll have to pay back the loans afterall. Also, extra money now means I can borrow less in the spring. One day my 17 year old car will die. Stuff like that.

Boring, I know.

If it were a say $500 dollars of unexpected money, I would probably spend it on something nice for my husband and I that we normally wouldn’t spend money on- a nice dinner at a swanky restaurant or a weekend night in a nice hotel on the Strip. Or maybe just buy an expensive pair of shoes for myself :smiley:

If it were a few thousand dollars, it would pay for some small remodeling on the house or go to what is left of my credit card balance.

It it were the lottery, in the millions of dollars. I would pay off all of our debt- cars, house, credit. I would invest a large portion of it and then open a Mexican restaurant or a bakery!!

A couple of years ago my employer handed out some rather unexpected, but very appreciated, bonuses to all of its staff. I put mine straight into my mortgage.

I just got a little windfall from my grandmother as congatulations for getting a house and I’m sticking it my savings account to add to my emergency cushion.

Less guilt when I shop.

I actually have plenty of spending money, more than I currently need, so anything over and above that is sort of lost in the pile. I’m not much of a shopper.

We received money when my grandmother died. I completely did not expect anything. So we discussed what to do with it. I said it would pay for a trip to the UK, as my wife had not been back in 23 years and still had family she hadn’t seen. She complained that we could not see everything that we wanted to in 6-8 weeks.

So we looked at each other, and there and then decided to emigrate.

That was six years ago, and we are still in the UK.


I bought a new truck,which I wrecked an ATV which I sold and blew the rest. I was 18 which was 19yrs ago.Id be a lot wiser today with a similar windfall. Sometimes I look back and wish I could travel back in time and slap my younger-self…

I got a little windfall from my renter’s insurance company a month or so ago after my apartment was robbed. I replaced the camera, but I had already bought a new laptop before the old one got stolen. The check went into my savings account and I’ve done my best to forget it’s there.

A couple of years ago I won $1000 on a scratch off lottery ticket. I bought new tires for my Jeep and paid some bills with $900 of it. $100 of it went to buy my first replica hockey jersey.

At the age of 23, for my wedding, my husband and I received a large check that was completely unexpected. By ‘‘large,’’ I mean over $10k. At the time we were drowning in credit card debt. So we each paid off all of our debt, we went on a nice honeymoon to Florida and we split the remainder evenly. I used my portion to buy a new laptop computer, which I’m using presently to send you this message.

You were wise to do this. My windfall was one of those things that changed the way I look at money. I understand now how rare and precious it is and I’m pretty determined to utilize it effectively from now on.

Nan died and it turned out she still had some money, totally unexpected.

Paid off the mortgage.

Yes I am boring.

I paid off debts and put the rest in the bank. Three years later, I still have about 20% of it left.

The first company I worked for professionally got sold after I was there for 3 1/2 years. I was selected for instant employee stock options in which they told me about them and they were automatically sold the next day. I was also given a retention bonus to help with the transition to the new company. Both of them together amounted to a little over 30K and was a very nice surprise. I paid off some debts but saved most of it for a future house downpayment. I kept the rest in liquid investments for emergencies. It is all gone now but it made that period of my life and marriage a whole lot easier.

We inherited some money when my mother died–we added a room onto the house –Mrs. R’s private quiet place-- and the rest went into a certificate of deposit.

Typo Knig once got a nice bonus from his employer (to the tune of 3 months’ salary). It went to pay off the credit card balance which had accrued since Moon Unit’s birth and 3 months unpaid maternity leave.

A week later, one of our cars was totalled and we had to buy a new one. The car loan was almost exactly equal to the credit card balance we’d just paid off. Without the bonus, we’d have been hurting.

A smaller amount would most likely go towards some small extras. A couple of inheritances have gone to a combination of funding our 401(k)s and some vacations / household items. The one time I won anything from the lottery (on the order of 50 bucks) just got put into my wallet for walking-around money.

I got my first bonus last year. I banked part of it for my then-newborn’s expenses and kept about a third for a new console table for the living room to replace the card table we had set up and splurged on some new books. It was absolutely delightful.

I’ve gotten three significant windfalls in my adult life - and I’m hoping I don’t get another one. See, every time my hubby and I end with an unexpected chunk of change, something happens, and it’s all gone…

Windfall #1 - Won $7,500 in a supermarket grand opening thing. Wohoo! Then, a few days later, the $5,000 plumbing problem arose… And my daughter’s broken glasses. We bought some Steely Dan tickets, and put the rest (maybe $700-ish after some minor shopping) in savings…

Windfall #2 - I left my job to take care of my newborn son. Got maybe $3000 as my last paycheck, which included some vacation time and reimbursments for furniture I’d purchased for my office. The next day - got the letter from the mortgage company - due to the property tax hike, I needed an extra $2700 or so in escrow. Bye-Bye windfall…

Windfall #3 - We paid off our credit cards in August, had some brief hot water heater issues (don’t buy a tankless!!!) and got a check for $4400 for some outside IT work hubby did in September. We finally had enough to start remodeling our home with a modest bathroom job, needed to check in the attic. Did some poking around, found the…

$14,850.00 asbestos removal issue.

Everyone always says “Well, imagine if you didn’t have the money…” I want to punch them in the face. Curse the Ogs - why can’t I just get ahead a teeny bit??? :rolleyes:

I bought a house and paid off my car with my inheritance from my mom. Just six months later, my brother died. I had a good job that I thought I’d be at forever and didn’t need the money from his estate, so I gave it to my kids. About a year later, things became unbearable at work (new management) and I quit my job. Things have been tight since then, but I don’t regret what I did.