Monday, December 21, 2009

What do you do with found money?

How you budget found money is, of course, up to you -- and it depends somewhat on how much it is. Ten dollars in your Christmas card from grandma can probably be put into Miscellaneous or Entertainment. It would seem silly to divvy up such a small amount; you'd have only tiny amounts in each category. A larger amount, however, might be divided into your various categories -- or put into savings.

If the money is something you'll have to report for taxes, don't forget to take out about a third of it to pay them. Put it in an interest-bearing account to make more money while you're waiting to pay the IRS.

The exception to splitting a large amount of found money into your various categories would be a need to make a major purchase, such as a car. In such a case, use the found money to buy the needed item, and if a large amount is left over, spread it over your budget or save the rest.

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