Anyone who is familiar with LiftOff Your Finances™ knows about my proprietary Windfall™ principle. As a quick recap, Windfalls™ describe any unexpected money that you receive. And with many people giving financial gifts this season, it's quite possible that you'll come across a few Windfalls. ™
I've included a photo of a fresh, new Benjamin I received unexpectedly in a Christmas Card while visiting my family in Dallas, TX. In that moment, I had to pause and follow my own Windfall™ guidelines because I was tempted to use that $100 to pay for the airport parking fees that I knew would be waiting from me when I returned to the Denver International Airport after Christmas. But instead, I followed my own two-step advice for managing Windfalls™:
First, I took a few hours to literally "pause" before deciding to do anything with the money. I normally recommend waiting at least 24 hours, but I couldn't wait the full 24 hours because I received this money Christmas morning and was flying back to Denver at 10 pm that same evening.
Second, I decided what to do with the money. Since I already had money set aside for parking before I took the trip, I decided to stick to that original plan and save the $100 Windfall™. Specifically, I added it to my liquid "petty cash" savings that I like to keep at home for small incidentals. I literally keep my petty cash fund in a white banking envelope, so this is as low tech as it gets, lol. (Sidenote - you can have more than one savings fund. My liquid "petty cash" fund at home is for those unexpected small cash needs that come up, like paying the landscaper to winterize my sprinkler system or quickly adding a cash gift to a last minute birthday card, where you just need a quick $5, $10 or $20 bill without pulling out a debit or credit card. I started keeping my own "petty cash" fund during the pandemic, where it wasn't always possible for me to access the bank during normal business hours.)
So there you have it; this is exactly how I saved a great Windfall™ this holiday season. I may have the $100 broken down into smaller increments later this week when I have time to go to the bank. But overall, I feel good about my decision to save the $100 Windfall because I'm sure it will come in handy someday in the future.
I'd love to hear how you're managing Windfalls™ this holiday season; email me at Tamara@myliftoff.net to tell me how.
Blessings to you this holiday season,