I don't know if the sum must be a large amount of money to be considered a windfall or not, but......My employer recently granted our employee raises--retroactive since October 2009. As a result, I received what amounted to nearly a full paycheck, free and clear. To me, any free money is considered a windfall! Needless to say, I am very thankful and grateful.
I have always been pretty financially responsible thanks to my grandmother. If I learned nothing else from her, I learned "If you have a dollar, save a quarter." That was probably the phrase I heard most from her. So, I have always saved a portion of all money I have ever received. When I worked a job that paid 26 pay periods, other co-workers considered this money "free money", but I would always bank at least half of it. Which is what I did with this free paycheck.
I saved what amounted to roughly 66% of the check and used the remainder to get a few things done that I had been putting off. I paid my car registration, got a few clothes altered at the tailor, brought a few clothes to the cleaners and I'm looking to purchase a quality scanner.
All in all, I think I made wise financial decisions with this "found money". What would you do if you received a free paycheck, free and clear?