You know how you feel when you find that extra $20 crumpled in a coat pocket? It’s a delightful surprise even if you’re already flush, and a pleasant relief if you’re scraping by at month’s end.

We taxpayers were both surprised and relieved when a few weeks back the folks on Beacon Hill revealed a surplus in tax monies. Turns out the collected taxes came in higher than predicted, so Massachusetts now has more than a few crumpled dollars. By April’s end, an estimated $510 million more.

State Treasurer Steven Grossman is sounding cautious, but we will have extra. What to do? Grossman wants to put some of the money in the rainy day fund. Makes sense.

And what about returning local aid to cities and towns already bracing for layoffs and cutbacks?

And how about keeping a lid on rising tuition at UMass?

Lawmakers have already signed off on a tax hike to pay for our aging transportation system even though it’s far less than what Gov. Deval Patrick wanted for both repair and future investment. For my money and it is my money and yours, too this is a just a patch.

There are so many worthy projects that deserve another look in light of this found money, but I want to champion one: a youth summer jobs program.

Lawmakers are merging the House and Senate budget proposals, and word is that YouthWorks’ funding will be cut by half from $9 million to $5 million. That means hundreds of low-income teens won’t have jobs at a time teen unemployment is triple that of overall U.S. unemployment.

For these Boston teens employment is more than a job — it’s vital work experience, and more often than not, income for a family where adults are unemployed. What’s more, teens with jobs don’t have time to be drawn into tense situations that often spark violence. Northeastern professor Gia Barboza’s study of at-risk teens confirmed that a comprehensive job experience not only reduces crime but also helps teens long term, helping them overcome barriers in life, long after the summer is over.

Sad to say, I frittered away those unexpected dollars stuffed down in my various coat pockets. That can’t happen to our state windfall. We taxpayers must get our money’s worth and we will if YouthWorks is fully funded. 9 million dollars is a small investment for a big payoff in human capital.