We all dream of a day when Ed McMann knocks on our door and says…
“You have won ten million dollars!”
Oh, the things we would do if we had that much money at once. But the reality is, we rarely do those things we put off, when we do have unexpected income.
We read over and over of lottery winners who are desolate and homeless. They spent, or loaned it, until it was gone.
The problem is, when we receive a lump sum, we think of the biggest, most expensive things first. We don’t think of saving or paying down debt. Many times, we purchase something and find we cannot afford the upkeep on it.
King Solomon was the wisest man who ever lived. In a book called Proverbs he said,
“Wealth [not earned but] won in haste…will dwindle away, but he who gathers little by little will increase [his riches]. Proverbs 13:11. Amp
It is income tax time and many will be receiving a refund. We need to plan now, before we get it, how it will be used.
I have a file on my computer called, “Windfall” I list the goals I want to accomplish there:
- Emergency Fund – $10,000.00
- Pay off Credit Cards
- Pay off Vehicles
- Pay off Medical Bills
- Pay off House
- Money for children’s college
- Money for children’s weddings
- Money to replace furnace/air conditioner
- Money to take a vacation
- Money for home improvements
(It is important to prioritize your list.)
Each time I received a tax refund, or other windfall, I would refer to this list. I would put at least 10% in the emergency fund and 20% would be placed on debts. I would put some in the accounts for future expenses and spend some.
At the same time, I was putting a little from our regular income into the emergency fund and a little extra on our debt.
The beautiful thing is when you reach one of these goals you no longer need to put money toward it.
Riches are gained in the little steps we take each payday.