What To Do When You Receive A Windfall
Windfall is a term used for an unexpected sudden fortune, or stroke of good luck. Essentially it means that you suddenly came into a large amount of money. This an extremely good thing! Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to manage their money once they suddenly strike it rich and within a few days time they are back at the Soup Kitchen begging for seconds.
Before we get into how you should go about handling a windfall, let's look at the various ways you could suddenly come into riches.
Scratchcards are a major gamble, most people only win a few thousand at a time. However, there are some scratchcards where you are capable of winning a jackpot upwards of 10 million neopoints. You don't even need to scratch the scratchcard to win big though, if you are able to get one of the rare scratchcards that can win the jackpot, they'll sell for over 2 million neopoints very often.
Fruit Machine & Other Wheels
The Fruit Machine and a couple of other wheels (looking at you, Wheel Of Extravagance) have the capability of handing out paint brushes or R100 items worth a LOT of money. These are typical dailies for most people and a select few strike it big on these. You have the potential of making over 50 million neopoints if you get an item rare enough from one of the wheels.
Games like Test Your Strength, Coconut Shy, and other games around the Deserted Fairgrounds have the odds tilted way against you, but can offer you a prize of a couple million. That's how they trick so many Neopians into spending neopoints at their booths!!
The Neopian Lottery is an amazing shot to win a quick million. While it isn't as big of a windfall as some other things out there, it is straight cash in your pocket if you win! Plus, there is an avatar and trophy involved, which gets a lot of people playing and keeps the jackpot high.
There are many other windfalls out there, things can come from random events, gifts from friends, restocking, and lucky Shop Wizard snipes. Anything can happen and every new page view carries the shot at a major rise in neopoints. Now we have to tackle the question: what do you do when you suddenly come into a lot of money?
Take a minute. Let the excitement wash over you, feel happy, feel relieved, but just breathe. Don't rush out to the Trading Post or Hidden Tower and spend it all. Don't make any decisions while you are riding out the adrenaline rush from receiving so many neopoints in one go. The best thing you can do is just sit on the money for a few days or a week without spending any of it. Go about your normal activities on the site, feeding your pets, doing your dailies, playing your favorite game. Let the excitement settle so you can think clearly about what to do with your money.
You need money to make money, and now you have a lot of money to use to make a lot MORE money. Don't think of this money as a quick way to grab the item at the top of your wanted list, think of it as a way to stretch long term to get every item on your wanted list. Diversify your investments and really study what you are investing in so you make smart choices.
When I say diversify I mean: invest your money in different things. Put a bit into the stock market, buy a couple rare stamps that are retired and will get more rare over time (stamps like the Altador Cup stamps, or event specific stamps, or things like coins or shells that could eventually have an avatar reward released), and invest it in bank interest. If you make smart choices in Food Club, invest there. Just make sure your investments are well thought out, because a bad investment will just make you lose that money almost as fast as you made it.
Forget About Half
This is more for the people who have received a windfall of many millions, but is still applicable if you come into one or two million. Take half of it and put it in the bank and just pretend you don't have it. Out of sight, out of mind. This way it will grow with bank interest. This money was a gift, whether from a friend or the random number generator that runs the behind the scenes at Neopets, and should be treated as such. Continue your normal routines, don't splurge it all, and just save it for a rainy day or when an item comes along that you absolutely must have.
Think Before Big Purchases
Have you always wanted that Darigan Paint Brush, or did that desire just crop up when you got a lot of neopoints? Before you make a big purchase, think about it. It's one thing to have spent your whole Neopets career dreaming about that super cute plushie and then to buy it, it's another thing to suddenly start buying random things because now you can afford it. Ask yourself: Do I really want this? Do I really need this? Is this a priority over other things I want in my Neo-career?
At the end of the day, there is no point in having a lot of NP if you aren't ever going to spend it! You deserve to treat yourself. Yes, you can use this money to get even greater profits, and you should, but don't get so caught up that you forget to treat yourself. Look at the list of items that you REALLY want and see what you can afford right now that won't completely deplete all the money you just came into.
A windfall should be a sense of relief, a sense of safety, and the start of a newer, more prosperous future. It shouldn't cause you MORE stress because you are over-analyzing what to do with it. Trust yourself and trust your gut and treat yourself to things now and then, just don't do it in so much excess that you run your bank account into the ground again. Always keep a safety net there for a rainy day.