She’s an heiress …

Madam X (provocative name) over at My Open Wallet says that she is an heiress:

Remember Great Aunt Minnie? She died peacefully a few weeks ago. I had a chance to see her one last time in May, and spoke to her on the phone a few days before her death … it was even more weird to find a thick envelope in my mail the other night, which turned out to be from Minnie’s lawyer, because I’ll inherit a share of her estate. So now I just have to see what happens once the estate is settled and divided up. I have no idea how much money it will be. I certainly don’t expect much, given I’ll only get one twelfth of her estate.

Receiving money ‘suddenly’, be it from a sad occasion such as this, or from some fortuitous circumstance such as winning a substantial prize in the lottery, can be difficult, because you probably have no plan.

And, because you have no plan, the money can go as quickly as it comes (remember poor-then-rich-then-poor Lou Eisenberg?).

I call this Found Money, and here’s how to deal with it:

If you’re lucky enough to receive such a windfall, you should spend enough to fully celebrate your good fortune (even more so if it was a result of hard work – e.g. selling your business – rather than luck).

Here’s a table that will help you decide how much to save and how much to spend, depending on how much Found Money you happen to come across:

The idea is that money is for SPENDING and ONLY FOR SPENDING … but, you need to PLAN to spend some now and PLAN to spend some later (a.k.a. saving). That’s exactly what this table is designed to do.

So, if you find $10 in the street, buy yourself a fun magazine, then stick the rest in a jar.

If you happen to inherit $100,000 go ahead and upgrade your car (and/or take a vacation) – totally guilt free – then plan to invest the other $90k very wisely 😉

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