5 Financial Windfalls That Often Go To Waste

The most obvious type of windfall disasters we often read about in the news concerns those who won the sweepstakes. The stories revolves around how people go broke a few years after winning the lottery. But don’t forget that for every one of these depressing stories, there are probably more about how people have made good use of their winnings. It’s just that disasters sell more papers than success stories. Here are 5 other windfalls that we often do not fully take advantages of.


At the end of each financial year, we do our best to remind out bosses about the achievements we have made during the year. This is so that we might just obtain a record breaking bonus package double your previous high. And sometimes, these things do happen. There are many reasons why these things can happen. Usually a big component is a record breaking performance by the company as well. But more often than not, we tend to splurge the extra cash on more expensive vacation holidays, luxury watches, and expensive electronics. At the end of the day, there is little left for anything else.


At some point in your life, you will probably inherit something from someone. It could be in the form of some cash or valuables. The instinct is to use it for the new 42 inch LED smart television set that you have been eyeing for the last few months. There is little psychological barrier preventing you to spend it this way when the money was not earned by you through extra hours at the office.

Tax refunds

Tax refunds are not really extra money for you. It is your money in the first place. It came out from your own pockets. But no one can doubt that it feels like getting a bonus especially when we did not expect it to come back. Because we have mentally let it go in the first place when we wrote the check, it feels like a gift when it comes back. The result? More time required at the shopping malls to find a retailer to allocate the funds to.

Damages and settlements

If for some reason, you have taken someone to court over damages or to recover money, the court might award damages to you or the defendant could offer a settlement to drop the case altogether. These sums can sometimes be significant especially when dealing with huge corporations. Remember that these monies are meant to cover your expenses and costs. If you are to spend them like a millionaire, you could run into debt in future because the funds are no longer available for the things they are meant for.

Retrenchment benefits and severance

If you have been on an employee for a company for sometime, you would be offered a severance package if ever a time comes where they have to let you go due to a retrenchment exercise. Depending on how long you have been with the employer, the package could consist of months or years worth of salaries. Instead of making good use of that money on safe investments or repaying your debts, the tendency again is to reward yourself for the year of loyalty and hard work with expensive retail therapy and luxurious vacations.

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