It’s a financial fantasy that almost everyone has had: a large amount of money falls unexpectedly into your lap. While many people think of how such a surprise could benefit their wallets, they often forget the potential difficulties that could arise from not handling it responsibly.

A recent post at Bargaineering takes a serious look at this hypothetical situation and offers a solid suggestion right off the bat: figure out a way to make this money work for you. Some suggest putting this money toward retirement, while others suggest making sure you have a solid emergency fund in place. Whatever you decide to do, it’s probably a good idea to take advantage of the situation by following the personal finance rule of paying yourself first.

Exactly what you do with this money is up to you, but nearly all financial experts say there’s no need to rush or make any rash decisions. In fact, many suggest taking some time to consider your options. While doing this, you can park that money in an easily accessible online savings account where it can safely collect interest at a competitive rate. If you’ve got a bit of time to decide what you’d like to do, you may want to consider putting that money in a CD. If you save with Ally, we’ll send you Sleeping Money alerts to let you know when your money could be working harder for you.

Have you had a financial windfall in the form of an inheritance or unexpected bonus? What do you think is the best thing to do with this money?