Thoughts To Remember When You Receive Unexpected Money

A higher paycheck than you were expecting; a sudden repayment of a debt you’d long forgotten you were owed; a compensation payout; an inheritance– whatever the cause for an unexpected influx of money, your finances will likely look a lot healthier because of it.

The one problem with windfalls is that they tend to be difficult to deal with correctly. While on some level you know you should do something constructive with your unexpected wealth, on another you’re thinking “shopping spree” or “move into a new apartment”. After all, this is money you didn’t expect and never had to budget with, so why not treat yourself?

 

While there’s nothing wrong with a little “treat yo’self” action, it’s also worth keeping the below thoughts in mind…

How much of a difference could that windfall make to your debts?

If you have manageable debts that you’re paying off and that are under control, it can seem pointless to try and repay them with your windfall. The debts aren’t problematic, debt is fairly normal in this day and age, and you want to feel that you enjoy that unexpected money.

However, paying down debt with your windfall — or at least some debt — can be seen as treating yourself in the future. Without having to budget for monthly repayments to credits, you’re going to be able to treat yourself for many months to come thanks to the budget surplus you’ll be able to enjoy. Use some of your windfall to offer partial settlements on tax debt or pay off your largest credit card, and you’ll continue to reap the benefits of doing so for months to come.

How much money could your unexpected money earn you?

One of the best ways to use an unexpected amount of money is to use it to earn more money, which you can then rely on for a boost to your monthly income.

There are a few ways you might want to consider achieving this goal. The most obvious is savings and the stock market, both of which can generate decent (though not great) returns. Additionally, you could consider peer-to-peer lending, which offers a higher degree of return on investment, or even starting a side business that can continue to earn you money for years.

Would you buy the items you want to buy if you didn’t have an influx of money?

Finally, the above question is well worth asking if you’re intending to buy items with some, if not all, of your unexpected windfall. If you’re going to use the money sensibly, then you should only buy items that you genuinely wanted anyway, rather than buying items just because you can.

It’s very tempting to just indulge yourself when you have cash burning a hole in your pocket, but sticking to items you already knew you wanted — and already had a purpose in mind for — is the best way of ensuring that you use your funds responsibly, while still allowing a little room for indulgence.

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To conclude

Unexpected money is always a bonus and, by thinking through the above questions, you can be sure that you make the most of it.

3 Ways To Afford Renovation On A Budget

No matter how old you are, owning your own home is an achievement. The fact you get to call a house your own is exciting, and because it’s your own you can do whatever you want to it to make it look good and feel more like a home that you always dreamed of. The amount of money that you spent on a deposit, legal fees and moving into your new home is often eye-watering, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be able to upgrade where you see fit. Making stylish upgrades to the rooms in the home isn’t just about the fact that you can add profit to the cost of your house if you choose to sell it on one day, it’s about your own comfort while you live in it.

The trouble is that you’ve probably spent your cash when you moved on the things we listed earlier, so trying to renovate a house when your bank balance says no is a little harder. The good thing is that you aren’t backed into a corner, there are ways to renovate on a budget. It’s just about figuring out how creative you are and how much you can put into your home. Saving money on your renovation should be what you are aiming for, and even if you initially pay for it by checking out the reverse mortgage calculator online, you still should be looking at where you can cut corners on costs. You should always work out whether the renovations that you are planning are likely to bring you value to your property before you get started. If you’re renovating for yourself and aren’t too worried about selling your home, then you should still make a list of how you can improve and tweak here and there. Low cost doesn’t have to mean low quality, and below you’ll see three ways that you can renovate on a budget:

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DIY. As much a possible, do it yourself. If there are walls to be stripped and repainted, then you need to do that yourself instead of bringing in someone to do it for you. It may take you longer to complete your project, but it’ll still be completed properly and when you decide that it should be.

Buy Reclaimed. Where you can, buy your materials and furniture and fittings second hand from places like thrift hardware stores, eBay and auction sites. It’s not always easy to restore period features, but by looking for reclaimed items, you can get the right image at a low cost.

Buy Wisely. When you choose to buy cheap paint or paper, you will end up having to buy twice and redo the entire job. Spend your cash wisely and only spend it once – this way, your renovation will cost you a lot less.

Your home is your castle, it makes sense to add a turret or two every now and then. Don’t be afraid to hunt around for bargains where you should: a home renovation should be an adventure!