Increasing Income

And What, Then, To Do With Said Windfall?

So, you get $2000. What now?

Most of my past clients spent it. A big screen TV. A vehicle. Gifts. A new wardrobe. They said they needed these, or deserved them after such a long stretch of bad luck.

Frankly, I agree that a person who is going through, or has recently gone through, a stretch of bad luck deserves some luxury.

But does it need to cost the whole windfall? What if the luxury was a $10 bottle of the finest bubble bath you could find? Or even that $16 box of fancy chocolates you’ve been craving for two years? Or the $30 winter coat from the thrift shop vs the $8 one?

What then? You’d still have almost $2000 left! And how much more does this become? How much interest would you relieve yourself of if you put it against your debt? How much would it grow if you invested it in a low-fee index fund? How many hours of paid work could you complete if you used it to hire a babysitter?

But what if it were only $50? A cash payment from a side gig, a birthday gift from Grandma, or a school supplies supplement from your welfare program? In this day and age, fifty bucks isn’t a whole lot, right? Might as well blow that? Except… Imagine how you feel if the next time you’re in a pinch—you’re too sick to work, you’re a touch short on rent—that $50 is sitting in a savings account, ready to save your butt? How does life begin to change? You pay your full rent on time, which eliminates late fees and an eviction notice, which gives you a sense of stability and ease, which drops your anxiety, which allows you to work…

And so the positive, upward spiral begins!

When is the last time you had $10 set aside to help you out of a jam? Where can you find $10 today to put aside for your next one?

2 thoughts on “And What, Then, To Do With Said Windfall?

  1. Oh my gosh, this is perfect timing!!

    My parents find a piece of property and sent me $3000. My parents have never given me money since I moved out. It is a total shock!!!

    All night I dreamt of all the things I could buy… New winter boots…a new pair of pants….a laptop…..a bottle of that winter cider that is soooo tasty…..I could give some to my own adult kid…..I could …..and on and on.

    But I can’t do all those things or it will all be gone! So I am hoping to choose one thing. I’m nervous I’ll f**k it up!

    But if I can hold out, I would reduce my debt reduction plan from 2.7 years to 1.4 years.

    That would mean I could start saving $340/month starting in 1.4 years. That’s not far away!

    I still feel panic, that I will make the wrong choice, but this post couldn’t come on a better day, Joon.

    Thank you.


    1. Oh! Ha ha! Absolutely delightful, Madeline! This is amazing to me, too!

      I’d wondered about posting it, because I thought people might feel like, “Where the heck am I going to get $2k from??” and just feel sad and frustrated. But really, even the poorest people I’ve worked with received chunks of cash over and over again. When we regard it as “so little” or when we figure out what we can buy with it, we don’t really notice these lump sums.

      Anyway, YOU’RE noticing. That’s the first huge step! You won’t f**k it up, because you’ve already had the brain switch 🙂

      You’re so welcome, Madeline, and thank YOU so much for writing to me! You sure made my day!

      Best of success with your new, speedier debt repayment and new savings. And definitely get yourself a little treat, too 🙂


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