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June 2022 1st Financial Bank USA Financial Goals Scholarship Winner: Melissa C.

July 12, 2022

June 2022 1FBUSA Scholarship Winner- Melissa C.

We are excited to announce the June 2022 Financial Goals Scholarship winner is Melissa! Congratulations!

"I am honored and delighted to be chosen as this month's scholarship recipient. It means the world to me that 1st Financial Bank USA is not only supporting me in my goal of remaining debt-free while pursuing a college degree, but also giving me an opportunity to share my thoughts on financial planning with a wider audience. Thank you for investing in students, and thank you for investing in me!" - Melissa C.


Money influences many decisions. Which college to attend, where to live, and even what to eat for dinner are all questions that may be impacted by your account balance. If you were gifted one million dollars, you would likely reach your financial goals much more quickly. Melissa shares what she would do first with a large sum of money and how it would help her achieve her goals.

"Windfall. It’s a pleasant word, isn’t it? It makes me think of autumn, of leaves falling in a gentle breeze, but in the world of finance it means none of those things. In finances, a windfall is a large amount of money that is unexpectedly received.

I read once that, statistically, most people will receive a windfall at least once in their lives. Whether it’s an inheritance, a settlement, a bonus, or even a lottery prize, at some point, most likely you and I will find money in our hands that we did not expect to be there. It will be a delightful thing. But, the problem with delight is that it produces joy, and the problem with joy is that sometimes we can get a little carried away with it.

If I was gifted one million dollars I would at first feel the urge to get carried away with it. I would want to travel to every country, to buy a house with huge windows, to take everyone I love out to fancy dinners all of the time. But if I spent it that way I know that I would look back and wonder where it all had gone, and after the joy wore away what would remain was regret. So, if I received one million dollars, I would take a few deep breaths, and I would try to be wise.

I would separate my windfall into parts. The first part would go towards paying for college. I would pay off expenses that I have already incurred, and I would also set aside funds to cover the expenses that are coming. I would do this with the goal of achieving one of my most earnest dreams: to obtain a college degree without also obtaining student loans.

I would set aside the second part, enough to cover six months of emergency expenses, and I would not touch it unless I needed it. I would do this because emergencies, like windfalls, do happen, and they are stressful things—but they are slightly less stressful if we prepare for them.

I would invest the third part, both in retirement and in high yield savings accounts, because I know that money is like a seed—it grows when it is wisely planted.

The next part would go to people I love. To my parents for their retirement, to my grandfather so he can move to an apartment with a view of a garden instead of a parking lot. Beyond helping those I know, I would also give a part of my windfall to people I do not, because at certain times in my life I myself have been helped by people who did not know me. In their honor, if I was gifted one million dollars, I would give part of it to charities.

I would try not only to be wise, but also to be worthy. Windfall. It’s a beautiful word, and in our hands it can be a beautiful opportunity.


Established in the year 1910, 1st Financial Bank USA (1FBUSA) provides quality community banking services in South Dakota, credit card and other financial services to college students and college graduates, and construction lending to builders, developers, and investors from coast to coast. 1FBUSA will award a $2,000 scholarship to a new winner each month. View full rules and eligibility at


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