When you receive an unexpected windfall – whether an inheritance, lottery win, or sum from the sale of a business – it can stir up all kinds of unexpected emotions.
Along with joy and gratitude you might find yourself feeling surprisingly confused, conflicted, or even resentful at the choices you now need to make.
Money is totally inanimate: it doesn’t inherently hold any judgments or opinions. But the way we’re each raised to think about finances, combined with the cultural messages we receive around what money means, results in a potent combination of conscious and unconscious patterns when it comes to spending and investing.
Analysis paralysis is common when it comes to money
For some people, receiving a large sum of money is permission to make extravagant purchases or realize long-held dreams. For others, it can be a trigger for feelings of utter overwhelm.
Some years ago I worked with a client who inherited a substantial sum – and found herself utterly paralysed with indecision. Prior to the windfall she’d never experienced that level of wealth, and it threw her into turmoil – what did it mean to be responsible for that amount of money?
The good news is, if you find yourself unable to make a decision when it comes to your money you’re not alone. And what it likely means is that you’ve come to an opportunity to examine some of your responses and habits around finances, and reach a new level of empowerment.
When you’re able to make confident choices about money, an unexpected windfall stops feeling like a burden and becomes a delicious opportunity to make a difference in your life and those of others.
But before you do anything, here are 5 things to consider:
1. Take your time
It’s important not to feel rushed or pressured into making decisions around your finances, especially if you recognise that this is an area that you’d like to have more education in.
Acting responsibly means making sure you’re fully informed, and able to feel confident about the choices you make. These are likely to be outside of your usual range of financial decisions, so it’s completely natural to want to gather extra advice and support before taking action – and that will take time.
2. Get advice
Receiving sound, specific financial advice is really important when you’re dealing with a large sum. A good financial advisor will be able to explain the various options open to you clearly and without patronising you, and help you weigh up the pros and cons of each route (spoiler alert: there’s no “right” or “wrong” answer here!)
The 5 Women’s PowerTypes are models of empowered female leadership, and when it comes to making powerful decisions The Queen is the one to turn to. A Queen trusts herself implicitly and makes confident decisions. But she always turns to her trusted advisors to make sure she’s informed, and won’t act until she has all the information she needs.
Tune into your “Queen” to ensure you remain empowered and calm whilst listening to the wise experts you have invited to help you – without relinquishing your responsibility.
3. Know your values
Any decision you make around money has the potential to change the world. So it makes sense that knowing exactly what change you want to see is an important step when it comes to making decisions you can feel good about.
Your values will include abstract concepts – like security, freedom, or family – and you’ll also have certain causes you feel drawn to supporting. This doesn’t have to mean charitable donations: investments of any kind will contribute to different activities and themes in the world.
4. Deal with the feelings
Whether you’re looking at an inheritance of millions or struggling to stay on top of your overdraft, money brings up complex emotions. It’s tied to our identity, our sense of value, our self-worth and the myriad judgements and assumptions we all make about ourselves and others, every day.
Financial empowerment means making good choices around the numbers, but it also means sorting out how you relate to money on an emotional level. Good financial support addresses both aspects, and it’s one of the foundations of the training we offer to women around finances.
If you’d like to find out more about the support we offer to empower women when it comes to handling money – at work, at home, or with an unexpected windfall, click here to book in a call with one of the team.
5. Change your habits
A sudden windfall can be an incredible opportunity to access the education, training and support you need to transform your relationship with money. It’s a chance to think about your legacy, have an impact on the world, and set new financial habits going forward.
For the next generations, watching how you handle money and approach finances provides valuable lessons in what’s important and how we choose to make a difference.
Enjoy the opportunity to model a new way of making a difference when it comes to financial good fortune!
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