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What to Do With Unexpected Pockets of Money

We like money. OK, we might even love money just a little bit. There’s just something exciting about having pockets of unexpected money here and there that makes life feel al little easier to deal with. Yet we do have to be hones t– even if you’re ready to spend good money on that shiny new thing that you’ve been eyeing, you have to ask yourself: is that really the best way to spend my money?

It’s a question that we get a lot, so we finally decided to answer it: just what do you really do with that unexpected money that comes out of nowhere? It could be getting a student refund check when you weren’t expecting one, or getting a bonus at work when you never thought you’d get a bonus in your life. Either way, it’s like money from the sky and you really want to make sure that you take advantage of it.

Yes, there is a time and a place for getting the stuff that you want. We’re all about getting stuff that you want. We’re all about making sure that you’re going to be feeling your best at all times. We don’t just think that those things are good — we think those things are great! But it really all boils back down to the financial blueprint that you’ve set up for yourself. It’s nice to actually feel like you’re moving forward, and that’s why you should put your money towards the things in life that you need, not just the things in life that you want.

Now, we know that’s pretty hardcore, and we definitely apologize if we’ve offended you in some way. But we don’t want you to look back five years from now and feel like you missed out because there were so many opportunities that you didn’t take because you were scared, nervous, or you just didn’t feel like you could commit to that type of money.

If you want a less aggressive approach, why not just divide it out? You can put some of your money into a savings account and some of your money into a play account. We’re big fans of multiple bank accounts because then everyone knows what money belongs where, and there are no hurt feelings. You’re not taking money out of the expense account when you would really need to take it from the play account. It might take some time to get used to that concept, but it really works out well in the end.

Your savings need to be liquid as possible — even more so if you don’t have an emergency fund. We know that people talk endlessly about retirement, but the truth is that if you really haven’t even saved up an emergency fund, you really have no business messing around with retirement accounts. All this does is put your present at risk while cushioning your future. That sounds like a recipe for disaster — why save up for something that you won’t even be able to enjoy? If your present isn’t where you need it to be, then any thoughts of the future really aren’t worth talking about all that much. Sure, there are going to be people that feel different, but we really think that you should consider establishing a liquid savings account. You never really know when you’ll need that money in a hurry. If you establish a savings account in your town, you can withdraw your money within a few minutes rather than a few days. That’s the downfall of online banks for this type of thing. We really do like online banks, but there comes a point where you have to really take on the things that are actually going to make your life better.

Overall, now is the perfect time to build a plan for all of the unexpected money in your life. That way when the money comes in there’s no confusion at all — you can start moving it around for your needs right away!