I just got word from a fellowship program, and I'll be getting an extra infusion of cash this summer. I'd forgotten about the program entirely since I thought the possibility of receiving it was remote. Somehow, I always manage to look good on paper even though my accomplishments aren't particularly significant.
Based on my projections, I should be able to handle transitional expenses, fully fund a Roth for the first year immediately, keep a $10,000 liquid reserve, and still have grocery money until I get my first paycheck using only my current savings. I don't have any debt to put this toward paying off. (Yep, a full scholarship with stipend, generous parents, summer jobs, and frugal habits add up. I know I'm lucky and have had it very, very easy.) All the obvious bases are covered so this is genuinely extra money.
It's a nice problem to have, but I really don't know what I should do with this money. My first impulse is to give part of it to charity, but I don't think I'll donate with the entire sum. I could use it to increase my first year of contributions to a 403b, invest in index funds or ETF's in taxable account, put it in savings toward a down payment on a house, or buy a several year supply of really good dark chocolate. The most appealing option at the moment is to set up a 529 plan for future children or hypothetical nieces or nephews and pass this good fortune along to another generation, but I haven't thought eveything through yet and am open to any suggestions.