When you hear the word windfall what comes to mind? In the past, this word made me think of the Monopoly board game where players could come into an inheritance or investment gains - something that doesn’t normally happen to everyone. But as I began to grow in my knowledge about finances, I realized that every single one of us receives unexpected money all the time. This inspired me to coin the term Windfall™ as a key LiftOff Your Finances™ principle that you can easily incorporate into your everyday life.
Windfall is a term that I use to describe any “unexpected” money that comes your way. This basically includes any money that you obtain outside of your scheduled paychecks. Your personal goal should be to maximize these windfalls through three simple steps:
Identify all unexpected money as a “windfall” - This is super important because if you don’t, it’s very easy to overlook these spontaneous financial blessings. Consider applying the windfall principle to any dollar amount that you receive, even if it’s an unexpected $20 bill. From now on, think of that random $20 as a "windfall."
Hold on to the windfall - This means as much as you possibly can, avoid immediately spending this unexpected money when it comes into your life. If you can, I suggest putting the money aside for at least 24 hours before you spend it.
Assign a purpose to the windfall before you spend it - This is where your financial empowerment comes in. As the steward of your personal finances, you have the God-given right to determine where your money will go, even if you’re not where you ultimately want to be financially. Windfalls are a great way for you to practice this very empowering stewardship principle because you can decide if you want to save the money, put it towards groceries for the week, etc. I highly recommend that you always keep a current list of upcoming financial obligations and goals on hand, so you can quickly glance at it while you’re deciding how to use your windfalls. I keep a list like this on my computer, but you can simply jot down any obligations and/or goals on your cell phone or a sheet of paper and keep this list in a visible place like the front of your phone's home screen or the refrigerator.
Following the Windfall™ principle is very easy, and it can become an automatic habit that you don’t even have to think about. I promise it will be more than EXCITING when you begin to recognize, “capture” and maximize the windfalls that come your way each day.
Always in your corner,