Winning the lottery would be a dream come true for many people. Suddenly having millions of dollars may seem like it will solve everything, and it could seem like it will last forever but it won’t.
With careful planning you might be set for life financially, but making stupid mistakes with your money will leave you poorer than when you started.
Check out these tips for what NOT to do if you win the lottery.
Don’t Shout About It from the Rooftops
Winning millions isn’t likely, but imagine how thrilling it would be? Obviously in your excitement you’d want to share the happy news with anyone and everyone. It probably isn’t the best idea to call attention to yourself and your good fortune, as tempting as it may be.
Nobody likes a bragger, and it only serves to make you a target for blackmail, kidnap, and everyone in your life coming out of the woodwork to ask for favors and help. It’s probably impossible to remain completely anonymous after winning, but at least try to be low key about it.
Don’t Go Crazy on Spending
There is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy the sudden windfall of good fortune, but don’t’ go crazy treating yourself to every expensive investment—luxury cars, jewelry, houses—at every turn. These whims might be instant gratification, but they will sabotage your long-term financial stability. Before you know it, all the money is gone.
Don’t Feel Pressured to Invest in Friends and Family
Similar to avoiding major spending on yourself, it’s important not to feel pressured to spend lavishly on friends and family, or to feel pressured to invest in their business ventures if you don’t wish to. If you started handing out money to everyone who asked, you’ll blow through your winnings in no time.
Don’t Stop Using a Budget
Just because you’re now flush with cash doesn’t mean you should throw away the budget. Make sure you’re still budgeting your expenses and spending habits, and stick to it! This way you can continue to enjoy your winnings not just now, but in the future as well.
Don’t Ignore Your Debts
Your debts won’t magically disappear unless you set up a plan to pay them off. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is to blow through your money before taking care of your debts, which can often lands people in even deeper debt than when they started.
Don’t Let the Money Go to Your Head
You’re not above the law, no matter how much money you now have to bail yourself out of legal troubles.
The same goes for how you deal with your personal relationships. Having money doesn’t give you an excuse to suddenly become and arrogant dick to everyone around you, or act entitled. You’ll find yourself losing friends, and eventually be completely isolated and alone.
Don’t Expect All Your Problems to Go Away
Money doesn’t buy happiness, and it won’t make all the problems in your life go away. Certainly it will help with some things, but stay realistic about just how far money will get you.
Don’t Quit Your Job
Winning the lottery doesn’t mean you never have to work another day in your life. Be smart with your money and financial planning, but it’s probably a good idea to maintain your regular income.