I’m not sure if current events constitute a windfall precisely. According to my dictionary a windfall is an unexpected good fortune, typically one that involves money. The payment that I received was not entirely unexpected. I’ve known it was coming for at least a year, and though I had $44,788.20 deposited on into my account Friday I’m not sure I’m I’d count myself lucky. I didn’t win the lottery if you’re wondering that payment was the I’m-so-sorry-we-broke-your-knee-have-some-cash-to-help-deal-with-the-fact-you’ll-be-in-chronic-pain-for-the-rest-of-your-life money. To be entirely honest I’d rather have a working knee back again, unfortunately that’s not an option.
The big question now is what to do with this rather large influx of cash. When my office mate found out that I’d received my payment (she’s gotten to hear many, many frustrated calls to sort the issue out so she knew it was coming, though not how much) her first reaction was “that’s great you could go shopping!” To which I replied “or I could pay off part of my mortgage.” Her second reaction was “you could take a trip!” To which I replied “or I could pay off part of my mortgage.” Guess what I did with some of the money?
So my “windfall” is at the moment broken out like this:
-$20,000 set aside to pay for my Master’s degree
-$8,800 moved to my “pay off the mortgage” account, and $15,200 used to make my yearly 10% payment right away (which is why my lovely side bar jumped from 22.5% of house owned to 30.4%)
-$788.20 set aside to have fun with.
You’ll notice that only 1.8% of the money I received will be going towards fun stuff. While I briefly considered putting a large portion of my money in investments for retirement I decided not to for a couple of reasons. Foremost is that my retirement fund will be well plumped up as soon as I see my return of value from the military. Besides that, I am using most of this money for investing, just in a less traditional sense.
Funding my Master’s degree will provide me much more job security, and allow me to progress in my career. Without it I would either be stuck at an entry-level position or I would have to change career paths, which would be difficult. Paying off my mortgage faster means I will pay significantly less interest on my mortgage and free up a good deal of my take home pay a lot sooner. Add to that I am just a little bit closer to having a home that cannot be taken away from me.
As for the fun money I haven’t decided exactly where it is going yet. While I did consider throwing it against my mortgage I though I owed myself a little break. That said there is a good chance that the fun things I decide to do with my money will also be of long-term benefit. Perhaps it’ll pay for language classes that will open more opportunities, or a canner so that I can eat my own food all year long, or maybe I’ll buy some crafting materials for projects I can eventually sell.
Either way I know that the way I’ve divided up my money is precisely right for me.