8 smart ways to spend a hefty windfall
Add to your emergency fund
Sandy Shore, counseling supervisor of Novadebt, a nonprofit, credit counseling agency in Freehold, N.J., says start or supplement your emergency fund.
But how do you determine how much to save?
"You have to look at your individual situation," Shore says. "Is there another income? If one of you became unemployed, how much of a hole would that leave? How secure is your job? If you're one step away from being unemployed, I would say look at how long you think it would take you to get a job.
"Six months is a pretty good ballpark for most people," she says.
Add up your monthly bills and obligations (including taxes), and subtract any unemployment you'd receive. Then bank at least that amount. And if you already have some saved, use the windfall to take that savings to your goal amount.