What Would You Do With a Financial Windfall?

June 1, 2007

Lazy Man and Money recently asked me and several others what we would do with a $50,000 windfall. My first thought was to pay down our mortgage since it’s our biggest expense and will cost us many thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.

Startup Capital
However, I got to thinking how 50 grand would be a nice cash infusion for a new enterprise and realized what I’d really like to do is use the money to start a business. I give a little background on my business idea over at Lazy Man’s site but here are the high level details from my response:

“If I had $50K fall in my lap I’d rent a warehouse with a storefront, buy some trucks, hire some drivers, and market our services. I’d charge people and businesses money to come pick up their junk and then I’d sell it off through eBay, craigslist, the storefront, and any other appropriate sales channel I could find.

There are already companies that do similar things such as 1-800-GOT-JUNK but their franchise fees are over $50K. If I had $100K I might consider buying a GOT JUNK franchise, there just happens to be one available in my area. So if I happen upon a windfall, I’d likely use it to turn trash into cash!”

Turning Trash into Cash
Of course I didn’t put a great deal of research into the idea but I like it because it seems to be a win/win for the environment and for me. “Recycling” people’s junk for money would keep stuff out of the landfills and would provide the business with a never ending and relatively cheap supply of inventory.

After reading my answer over again several days later, it seems as though I may have blown my $50K. Some adjustments I’d need to make to come in under budget are probably buying used trucks and not having a storefront.

Since I don’t forsee any $50,000 windfalls in the near future, I’m instead working on some ventures that don’t require much up-front capital. Who knows maybe someday they’ll grow to the point where I’ll have the money to launch a business like this.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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