The Apple Orchard!
Walk through an apple orchard, or your grandmother’s garden, perhaps, and, if it’s sometime around the end of August, you’ll probably stumble across an apple, fallen from the tree. It’s probably been gently eased from its branch by the wind, or it has simply dropped, its weight defying the tenuous joint between apple stork and branch. You look at it lying there, debating what to do with it. Should you pick it up and eat it? Or, take it inside and give it to your mum? You could take it home with you and certainly save it for another time.
Landing in Your Lap...
Windfalls are also what we call things which, purely by chance, land in our laps: we haven’t done anything to get them; they simply happen. A windfall can be money left to you by a distant aunt in her will. Or large, or small, unexpected amounts of cash or things of value, like jewellery or bonds or shares. A windfall can be money paid out by companies or building societies when they pay bonuses, or a big (or small) win on the premium bonds, the lottery or even a TV quiz show!
Making Smart Decisions!
Like the decision we face when finding the apple fallen from the tree, we need to make best use of a windfall when we get one!
Windfall can be a burden as well as a blessing! It’s very difficult to generalise because each of us lives under different circumstances. Money is clearly the easiest windfall to manage, and what we do with it will depend on our priorities. Saving is always good, and blowing a bit of cash on oneself or one’s friends is fun. Giving some of your windfall away to charity, is a nice thing to do and becomes a windfall for those who benefit from your gift.
Windfall or ‘A Can of Worms’
Windfalls other than money are a different matter altogether, and again will depend on our circumstances. If we can’t keep the windfall or it costs us money to keep it – that vintage car for instance – then it’s probably better to sell it… fast. Put it up for auction and offer it on EBAY - even if that means you’ll have to pay a commission on the sale. Remember, it was a windfall and did not cost you anything.
Don’t forget one thing about windfalls: there may be some tax to pay depending upon how you deal with them. So it’s always good to take some advice from an accountant so you know exactly what you’re dealing with.