Enjoy your lottery winnings today, but prepare for the future too!
A big lottery win seems to be unspendable. The vast amount in a jackpot seems limitless, like the big wins over the years... Mega Millions: $640 million, Powerball: $587.5 million, Euromillions: $260 million, SuperEnalotto: $205 million.
You could buy everything you wanted in life and still have hundreds of millions left.
Well, prepare yourself for a shock. Many winners blow all their money - for the smaller jackpots at least - in less than 2 years. It's well documented.
And it's because their expectations grow along with the stuff they buy.
A luxury mansion is fine, but it is usually 10 times larger than the normal property and needs a lot of furniture. That can add 20% and more to the spend. And the taxes are bigger too.
Going to do your own lawns and windows of a place this size? Doubt it. So there's more expenses when you hire the services needed to maintain a nice home.
New cars don't need maintenance for a while, but their value drops rapidly once they leave the showroom - as much as half with some brands. And when you come to trade up a year or two later, 40-50% of the value is gone forever.
Same with boats and second properties, gifts to family and paying back debt. It all adds up.
Just as you can save a fortune over time with small but regular deposits, so too do many small outgoings quickly reduce your winnings nest egg.
The answer is to stop spending.
Not many winners can do that though. After a life of not having stuff it's hard to resist buying what you need.
The secret is to spend wisely. Here's how:
1- After your win, keep 10% of your winnings to spend now. Put the rest in the bank on a 6 month fixed term deposit. That will give you interest as well as keeping your money safe from prying eyes, begging letters and temptation.
2- With a large win its often best to shift home to avoid the publicity and attention you'll get. So take the opportunity to rent or lease a home of the type you want to buy. After 6 months you'll get a good idea of what it's like to live at that level... how much it costs to run, how you'll get on with the neighbors.
3- Don't buy a luxury car. Rent it from an exotic car dealer - there are usually one of these in many large cities. Always wanted a Lamborghini? Lease one first and try it out for a while. You may find that the looks attract the wrong people, and the ride is bumpy. It's not the best car for getting to the local mall either. You'll always be wondering if something will happen to it while you're away shopping.
All it needs is a jealous person to scrape it with a key to ruin your beauty's expensive paintwork.
I never use my luxury cars for the mall, or park them in town. I have a run-about for that and use my exotics for straight out-and-back travel. You may need to do the same.
4- Always wanted to travel? With that retained 10% you'll have enough to find out how expensive travel is at the front of the plane. Because you won't be using economy seats when you fly.
You'll be wanting to try business or first class, and they are 5 to 10 times the cost of a standard seat.
There's some advantage, but it's not a massive one. Apart from the extra space around your seat, the food is a little better.
Hotel rooms are different though. You pay for big changes in comfort and service. It's worth getting the best.
There are many ways you can test-spend your good fortune before getting your term deposit back. Many times you'll wonder why you need to buy at the top end. It costs a LOT and after a while the novelty wears off - but the expenses keep growing.
The reason that the truly wealthy can continue to live at these levels is because they have a continuing flow of money to feed their needs.