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Pay off debt

If you’re heavily in debt, buying lottery tickets probably isn’t the best use of your spare change. But if you’re lucky enough to hit the jackpot, use it to pay off your loans first and foremost.

The Reddit thread brought attention to the woman's student loan situation. That kind of loan, like credit card debt, usually comes with a high interest rate, which can accumulate over time — and potentially result in thousands of extra dollars you’ll need to pay off. One way to manage snowballing interest charges is to combine all your debts into a single loan with a lower rate.

You can use a free service called Credible to comparison-shop for the lowest interest rates, then roll your debts into a loan of up to $100,000 with no collateral. Credible’s repayment schedules range from 24 to 84 months, so you can chip away at your debt at your own pace — and save a ton in interest while you do it.

Kiss Your Credit Card Debt Goodbye

Millions of Americans are struggling to crawl out of debt in the face of record-high interest rates. A personal loan offers lower interest rates and fixed payments, making it a smart choice to consolidate high-interest credit card debt. It helps save money, simplifies payments, and accelerates debt payoff. Credible is a free online service that shows you the best lending options to pay off your credit card debt fast — and save a ton in interest.

Explore better rates

Set some aside

Once you’ve cleared your debts, the money from your windfall is all yours. But before you start spending it, you should make sure you’re set up in case of an emergency.

Many financial experts recommend having at least enough emergency savings squirreled away to support yourself for six months. And where you decide to keep your emergency fund matters a lot — with the right high-yield savings account, that money will earn interest and grow over time.

If you’re not sure whether your current bank offers the best interest rates, you can use a free service called SaveBetter to compare rates from a nationwide network of banks and credit unions, including community-driven and minority-owned institutions.

By taking just a few minutes to look for a savings account with a better interest rate, you can ensure you’ll have even more money available in your emergency fund when the time comes to use it.

Build a diversified portfolio

One of the smartest things you can do with money from a windfall is to leverage it into more money through investing.

But in order to hedge against inflation and economic risk, it's important to invest in diverse assets from a variety of sectors — not just random stocks you read about on Reddit.

Fine art is a great example. You might not think you can afford to invest in artworks by iconic painters like Banksy and Basquiat, but thanks to a platform called Masterworks, you can buy and sell shares of fine art the same way you’d buy stocks. Masterworks users have seen impressive net annualized returns of up to 39%, depending on the specific artwork that gets sold.

Commercial real estate is another asset that has historically proven to be a hedge against inflation and market uncertainty. With First National Realty Partners, you can invest in institutional-grade commercial real estate properties that are all anchored by major grocery store chains, like Walmart and Whole Foods. That means even during a recession, you can still expect to earn quarterly income. .

Or, if you’d prefer to start a bit smaller with your investments, you can use Acorns, a super cool investing app and savings tool with a trick up its sleeve. Once you connect your credit or debit card to Acorns, it will automatically round up your purchases to the nearest dollar. The extra change then gets invested into a diversified portfolio, so you’ll be growing your wealth without even thinking about it.

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Get some expert advice on your next move

If you happen to find yourself with more money than you know what to do with, it’s in your best interest to consult someone who does know what to do with it: a certified financial adviser. .

If you want to skip the hassle of cold-calling every adviser in your area, you can use a free service called WiserAdvisor to get matched with multiple vetted financial advisors in just minutes.

You can then browse your options using the WiserAdvisor comparison tool and book a no-commitment call to see if they’re a good fit.

It can often be stressful to discuss your financial situation with friends or family — especially if you’ve just received a big windfall — but an expert can help you navigate difficult decisions and help make your money last.

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Moneywise Moneywise Editorial Team

The Moneywise Editorial Team is a group of passionate financial experts, seasoned journalists, and content creators who are deeply committed to providing unbiased, relevant, and accurate financial information. With years of combined industry experience, our team is dedicated to maintaining the highest journalistic standards and delivering informative and engaging content. From personal finance and investing to retirement planning and business finance, we cover a broad range of topics to suit the financial needs of our diverse readership. You can trust the Moneywise Editorial Team to empower you with the knowledge and tools necessary to make wise financial decisions.

Disclaimer

The content provided on Moneywise is information to help users become financially literate. It is neither tax nor legal advice, is not intended to be relied upon as a forecast, research or investment advice, and is not a recommendation, offer or solicitation to buy or sell any securities or to adopt any investment strategy. Tax, investment and all other decisions should be made, as appropriate, only with guidance from a qualified professional. We make no representation or warranty of any kind, either express or implied, with respect to the data provided, the timeliness thereof, the results to be obtained by the use thereof or any other matter.