Making Money Too Fast Destroys You And Everything Around You

Weekly California Unemployment BenefitsEddie from Finance Fox writes an intriguing post entitled, “Money Will Change You“.  I salivate at the picture he uses because it is my dream to one day never have to fly commercial again!  Having a matching Aston Martin waiting for me with Kate Upton in Monaco wouldn't hurt either!

When Eddie was in serious debt, he writes, “My mood sucked. I was edgy, worrisome, desperate and a nut case. Our moods are strongly tied to our earnings. I know this first hand.”  Who can blame him, given not being able to do what you want due to a lack of money, or worse yet, doing things you don't want to do because you need the money is a horrible way to live.

Thankfully, Eddie now has three income streams: 1) A commercial cleaning business, 2) A full-time job, and 3) Blogging income.  Rock on!  No longer does he suffer from money anxiety.  Instead, he describes money as a “high“, a type of “laughing gas” if you will that lets him breathe easier and not be in constant worry.  In a large way, I agree with him.  Sometimes I pinch myself when I realize that I no longer have to work at McDonald's for $3.25 an hour, or work at all for that matter!


The speed of wealth accumulation is what makes people go bonkers.  Nobody is really jealous of Warren Buffet because 1) He is a humble guy, 2) He's in his 70's, and 3) It's taken Warren decades to make his wealth!  Warren is an extreme example of course.  You can use a 60 year old doctor who went to school until 35 and makes $700,000 a year as another example.  Most people would say the doctor deserves everything if not more given all the dues he's paid.

But, let's say you're a couple years out of college making $35,000 a year.  You're a good looking, affable young adult who gets poached by a competitor who offers you triple your salary to work for them.  You're now 25 years old and making $100,000 a year.    Suddenly, your old colleagues and probably your friends will start becoming jealous of your success.  Who makes $100,000 a year at 25 years old?  Not many!

Finance Fox asks a very important question,

“If money engenders admiration, why does having an enormous amount of money also cause a tremendous amount of envy?”

Great question that I'd like to tackle.


Money envy is not only due to our inherent jealous tendencies.  Those who are suddenly rich play an ENORMOUS part in shooting themselves in the face.  Making money too soon destroys you because you end up destroying yourself.  Let me explain.

If you're that recent college graduate who makes $35,000 and suddenly start making $100,000 at 25 years old, you are going to be hard pressed to contain your excitement.  As a guy, you will undoubtedly buy some fancy car that's way outside your budget because that's what guys do, buy cars!  You think the good times will last forever, so you end up purchasing or leasing a $50,000 BMW 335i coupe.  You'll probably get some new threads and a nice respectable watch as well.

As a gal, you will undoubtedly buy some multi-thousand dollar Louis Vuitton or Hermes handbag.  As accessories, you'll go to Tiffany's and get yourself a matching bracelet.  Of course, no fine lady is without a pair of Christian Louboutins or Manolo's for $500 a pair!  You'll start posting on Facebook how fabu it was to go to the spa, as well as pictures of you and your girlfriends renting a limo up in wine country.  One girl I know loves panties.  When she got a nice $20,000 bonus she went out and spent $1,000 just on undergarments!  Nice!

Remember, these are 20-something year old recent graduates who can't help but spend their newfound money until they blow themselves up.  I see this all the time, and I know you do too.


Eddie uses The Real Housewives Of Vancouver as an example.  Every time he sees them on TV or in a magazine he admits to thinking to himself, “Gold diggers“!  Ouch, but perhaps very true!

Let's say one of the Real Housewives was very unnattractive, served in Iraq for three years away from her family, has an autistic child, and is now in charge of a homeless shelter for veterans.  Do you think Eddie and others would despise this Real Housewife of Vancouver?  Of course not!  This housewife would probably be the most favorite housewife of all!

Instead, the Real Housewives are all talking about their mansions, boob jobs, charity events, and fine clothing.  It's way more fun  to hype up their riches for reality TV, and the ratings prove it!  There is a massive love/hate relationship with the Real Housewives in America and in Canada, just like there's a real hot cold relationship with Keeping Up With The Kardashians.  People hate 'em, but they just can't stop watching them!

Annoying Things Newly Rich People Do:

* Constantly updating their Facebook status with pictures of themselves in exotic places.

* Highlighting pictures of themselves with other rich people or celebrities.  Once in a while is fun, but not all the time.

* Repeatedly telling everybody how much money they make with immature adjectives to describe their excitement.

* Driving to work in a car worth more than their colleagues and managers.

* Talking about how wealthy their parents are, providing double insult to the observer who now thinks they are only wealthy due to connections.

* Wearing inappropriate clothing at work, accompanied by ostentatious jewelry.

* Keep on reminding your colleagues that your uncle is the CEO.  Screw you!


In the wrong hands, money changes people for the worse.  Those who suddenly go from little wealth to lots of wealth end up doing things they regret later on.  How many times have you seen athletes make millions only to end up broke?  How many times do you see people win the lottery or inherit loads of money only to admit spending it all in a short period of time and having to go back to work when they never had to again?

When it comes to money, it's better to make it slowly and with all your effort.  Everybody's maturity and definition of “slowly” is different.  But I tell you more harm will come out of fast new wealth than slow steady wealth.  You'll learn to appreciate money more and it will therefore go a much longer way.

If the newly wealthy can learn to stay humble and be more adept at hiding their wealth, there wouldn't be such such a conflict between classes and between emotions.

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73 thoughts on “Making Money Too Fast Destroys You And Everything Around You”

  1. I actually just entered this situation personally. 26 y/o going from a 30k grad school stipend (and spending most of that on my startup) to dropping out for a year with no income to focus on the startup, to a 250k day job and mornings+nights at the startup. It hasn’t been very long yet but hopefully I don’t screw up and price my lifestyle too high for re-entry to pure startup or alienate my fellow founders and friends! Trying to figure out where to put the money to do what and my risk tolerance for different aspects is difficult, especially while planning a wedding. So far all I’ve managed to do is (fruitlessly) spend time searching zillow and buy some better business clothes and a grocery subscription to decrease takeout!

  2. From experience I agree making money too fast is dangerous. My partner of 10 years went from making nothing to over $10g plus a month. With it came a lifestyle change. He basically became too good for the people who helped him while he struggled. His excuse for not calling his best friend on his daughters 1st birthday was because he was busy playing Madden. He cheated on me with a married woman. Broke it off callously and coldly. When he was struggling with no food in the fridge, my family made him dinner. He’s living the life as the top salesperson. Brags about how his sales are too friends when he has the time to call them. Surrounding himself with fake people because they only know the superstar salesperson not the person who has struggled. Cut ties to the people who were there for him when he was struggling. Money really changes a person. I was with guy for 10 years and it’s disappointing how he just shut the people who really care out.

    1. You are super nice ,wen I say nice… you ar the rare whoa factor. Kip it up
      But just do as the bible says
      Ask and it shall be given unto you
      Knock…. seek… etc
      Brand yourself
      And make ASK and make them pay for your SERVICES
      Honestly, the new him doesn’t recognize HIMSELF, as a MAN cant pay for things ? Damn..
      So hence, his Ego,
      Wish him well…
      Forgive whole heartedly (am serious)
      Then u see Karma was a Mitch 4 long….lol

      NOTE… Only Scorpio as I
      Give kindness for no Reason
      But I think I give kindness
      Cos of the Smile it Put on Ones Face.

  3. Eric Levanworth

    This is stereotyping young people with high income. Not every young guy out there fancy expensive cars, nor every young gal buying into luxury bags/fashion trends.

    Friends that hate you for being rich probably aren’t people that love you as you are; stay away from negative people and keep on achieving your financial dream.

    Stay positive. You will eventually find real friends that love you unconditionally, and they are actually happy helping you to be successful and resourceful.

    In short, just stay positive and polite if you are young and rich; and get real friends.

    1. Pls read maddy story…
      Here was my reply…
      You are super nice ,wen I say nice… you ar the rare whoa factor. Kip it up
      But just do as the bible says
      Ask and it shall be given unto you
      Knock…. seek… etc
      Brand yourself
      And make ASK and make them pay for your SERVICES
      Honestly, the new him doesn’t recognize HIMSELF, as a MAN cant pay for things ? Damn..
      So hence, his Ego,
      Wish him well…
      Forgive whole heartedly (am serious)
      Then u see Karma was a Mitch 4 long….lol

      NOTE… Only Scorpio as I
      Give kindness for no Reason
      But I think I give kindness
      Cos of the Smile it puts on Ones Face…

      Thank you

  4. It is nice to think suddenly coming into large amounts of money will not change you. Even if it doesn’t change you, it certainly changes the people around you.

  5. Financial Conflict Coach

    The envy, jealousy and other interpersonal relationship issues resulting from a rapid increase in wealth or income (or any big life change) is usually caused by Financial Boundaries & Norms imposed and enforced by your current social groups.

  6. I think you make a good point about how people perceive wealth. If they see you worked your butt off and struggled for years to accumulate your wealth they figure you deserve it. But if you got lucky and stumbled onto a quick fortune (winning the lottery for example) then people will be jealous and think “Why not me?”

  7. Great post!!!

    I have to admit, I went through a time in my younger years where I was not responsible with money. Growing up we had what we wanted and therefore I didn’t have good sense of budgeting or anything. I thought I would just be able to afford things. It didn’t take too long for me to rack up a bunch of credit card debt. I paid for that later.

    It also didn’t help that my Dad seems to need material possessions to feel like he has been successful in his life. I know that this is because of the way he grew up but I wish there was a way to just turn on a different switch in his head. I swear he would be happier. He has always tried to look after us kids though and he has done an amazing job. My brother and I are very fortunate.

  8. I’ve never made a boatload of cash quickly, I’m a plodder, so it’s hard to relate. I’m totally into leading a life focused on spending in accord with my personal values.

  9. “You didn’t share the above as an example, you gave examples of showing off
    your vacation and fancy dinners.”

    You’re assuming my dinners and vacations are fancy. All I said I did was post pictures. Perception strikes again! I actually post pictures of everything! I have my camera on me at all times.

    Sam, I don’t tweet or post status updates saying “Hey I’m at xyz” I simply post pictures of our evening out, whether it be denny’s, ihop or a 5 star restaurant. I’m very consistent in what I do.

    JT, it was very weird seeing how many of my friends flip their shit when we bought a big home and had money to furnish it. I call it planning they called it rich. Hell, we scrimped and saved for 3 years to be able to buy our home and furnish it appropriately. Nobody see’s that peace. They seem to assume like Eddie did that we are showing off or being ostentatious. :-)

    Sam, you’re right moderation is the key. I also believe in consistency. People, especially young people talk a good game but never back their shit up. Big hat no cattle. People in my inner circle know the exact dealings and way I make money, hell I even coached people on how to interview to make an additional 20k or to start them off in real estate. They either follow through or say… “that’s too much work” well F you, you grind hard you shine hard.

    last but not least.. how about we stop assuming, or taking a snippet of information and forming an opinion.

    1. Cool
      Hence my reply to Maddy

      You are super nice ,wen I say nice… you ar the rare whoa factor. Kip it up
      But just do as the bible says
      Ask and it shall be given unto you
      Knock…. seek… etc
      Brand yourself
      And make ASK and make them pay for your SERVICES
      Honestly, the new him doesn’t recognize HIMSELF, as a MAN cant pay for things ? Damn..
      So hence, his Ego,
      Wish him well…
      Forgive whole heartedly (am serious)
      Then u see Karma was a Mitch 4 long….lol

      NOTE… Only Scorpio as I
      Give kindness for no Reason
      But I think I give kindness
      Cos of the Smile it put on Ones Face.

  10. Perhaps that’s why my blog is named one cent at a time. Build wealth slowly and steadily keeping within budget. Exercise good PF techniques and never splurge.

    I always plan to open some kind of business if I get a sudden fortune. Yes $50000 BMW is another preference but that can only come once my start up cost for business is secured.

  11. My wife always talks about the problem with “new money”. One example we always think of (because I’m from the hood) is a rapper or athlete making it big and then trying to adopt a wealthy lifestyle, while still holding on to his ghetto mentality.

    They end up bringing down the property value in their neighborhood, they are obnoxious in how they integrate their former lifestyle into “high society”, and they alienate their old friends because they do nothing but show off with their newly found riches.

    They end up being hated by everyone who isn’t directly benefiting from their wealth.

    I think one is able to see the perfect combination of jealousy and admiration in these cases. They are admired because everyone wants [what they perceive to be] easy money and fast wealth; and they are hated because of the jealousy in the hearts of others, combined with their flashy lifestyle.

    There are certain people who do not allow their new riches to change them that much, and these are usually the ones who receive the least amount of jealousy and hatred. If we don’t allow our character to be changed by wealth, then we probably will have a much easier time…especially if we can keep that fact to ourselves.

    1. Khaleef, I think that would be a FASCINATING post. It could be a blockbuster if you tell that story! The only thing I can recommend that rapper or athlete to do is set up a foundation to donate back to the community.

      I remember reading Allen Iverson say that he owed it to his community to take care of them as a reason why he’s hurting financially now. Actually, I think that is VERY admirable, b/c without the community’s support, often folks just disappear and never get a chance.

  12. Another good analogy of this is lottery winners – or people who come into huge windfalls only to find themselves over spending and not accounting for where it went. It can go from, “Hey look at all my stuff!” to “Oh, crap, I’m in debt!” Making more money is great, but only if you have a good over all view of where it’s going. :)

    1. Amen Brother!

      Sad but true the number of people that hit the lottery only to become bankrupt!

  13. Steve White

    Having seen people at every income dot along the spectrum, it’s easy to see how money can change a person. We’re all shaped by our experiences and once money problems (whether it’s not having enough or having “too much” at once) enter the picture, it shapes the laws on our lenses. We begin to see things only through the lens of our income. It’s hard to avoid, but sometimes it’s important to step back and re-evaluate where we are and whether or not how we’re choosing to live our lives at the moment is in line with our overall life mission. Money can change your course fast – and not always for the best.

  14. Hmm.. as a person who made 105k at 23 and married a person making over 6 figures at 24, I definitely see where you’re coming from. But, honestly people didn’t hate us until we bought our home. We used to live in a 900 sqft apartment, when every one of our friends were buying homes during the boom. I patiently waited, because I knew it was a bubble. No one, and I say, none of our friends respected my views financially even though we had/made a lot of money (they didn’t know it based on our cars/home). Hell.. we drove old used cars and at one point in time, I didn’t have a car, I took the bus. But, as soon as we bought our home, which was a 2005 McMansion bought at a 50% discount, all our friends suddenly thought we were filthy rich. Since, we also own a few rentals our friends assume we have money.

    Secondly, I am totally one of those people who posts tons of pictures on facebook of our vacations and eating out. I mainly do this, because I purchased a new camera and I be damned if I don’t use it. I don’t do fancy cars, we mainly run our non-profit, eat out, travel and talk real estate and finances. That’s what I’m know for, so I share that with my friends on facebook. I wouldn’t call it annoying though Sam!

    1. When you post pictures of eating and vacationing, you’re showing off. Sorry to say so, but it’s true. If you really want to use your camera, you can take all the pictures you want, you can save them on your hard-drive and print some for your home.

      When you post any picture of you doing anything, eating anything, driving anything, you’re saying; “Hey, look at me”.

      1. Why are you apologizing for you opinion? I guess perception is everything. Essentially you’re saying anything you post / do on a social network is showing off.

        For example:

        Post a picture of my kid playing the piano.. showing off
        Saying, I’m happy I’m graduating college.. showing off
        Post pictures from an event (food,music,arts etc etc… showing off
        Saying, Woohoo my son is going to Harvard.. showing off

        I find what you’re saying ridiculous, I respect your opinion, I just don’t agree with you. It all depends on the viewers vantage point and perception.

      2. Part of the reason why I wrote the FAcebook annoyance one-liner is because I know I do this myself… well, not so much on facebook, but on Twitter. Tweeting out what I’m eating, where I’m going, etc. I want to remind myself that if I do too much, it’s showing off and ANNOYING, b/c I would be annoyed.

        Then again, people can simply unfollow me at @FinancialSamura.

    2. It’s all about moderation. Do too much, and people will start to resent you. It’s like anything actually. If someone is going to retweet the same post 5X+ a day for days on end, that gets annoying as hell. If it’s once a day or two for several days, then that’s fine, especially if you can add some color commentary in the tweet.

      There will undoubtedly be someone who is going to hate you for it. Moderation is key.

    3. Weird.. we bought a home way under our net or gross combined income. Manly, because I’m a fan of living off one income and investing the other. I was shocked at how much the bank was willing to loan us, if we used both incomes on the loan.

  15. Darwin's Money

    Just out of college, I happened to land a job with a nice combination of decent white-collar salary and virtually unlimited OT. Since my then-fiance was in another state and I had recently moved, I didn’t have much of a social life to speak of, so I worked a ton, and made a ton. This is now like 13-14 years back, so six figures for a young 20-something was a pretty big deal (and no, the trajectory has NOT continued and I don’t make a ton compared to my current cohort of friends anymore; this was a 5-6 year gig that took a long time to catch up again when I got out of biotech mfg and the OT went away). It was weird, I almost had this “guilt” about being like 23-24 and making more than my Dad or any of my old highschool or college buddies. But I didn’t really change at all from a spending standpoint. After all, I was saving for a wedding, vacations and I bought a house at 23. I grew up with frugal parents and never got into the fancy car, fancy clothes, material things lifestyle. I drove a shit car, took on a roomate to help pay my mortgage and exhibited a bunch of other money-saving techniques that wouldn’t work for us know. I’d say now that I’m married and we have kids, I spend more money than I’d like to on things, but when I was on my own, I was still very conservative with my money. Not sure if people that do the things you cite in your article are celebrating, rebelling, exhibiting some sort of self-hatred, immaturity, or what, but many people end up regretting their spending later when they’re all the wiser.

    1. It’s not about celebrating, rebelling or showing off, the article talks more about how the quality of your needs/wants goes up. Someone who’s virtually consumer debt free, and someone who increased their income 23% in one year, I’m living proof of how the quality of things I want changes. For example, I needed to change/upgrade my car. Sure I could have gone for a Honda, but no, I wanted a BMW…and I went out and got it. I was smart with it though, I purchased a used (virtually new) model, that looks like a 2012, and at the fraction of the price.

    2. I was making over $100k for several years in my early 20’s in a relatively low cost of living area and managed to sock away the great majority of it. – Rented cheap rooms, walked to work, and overtime and night school were my “hobbies”. – Always saw being able to sleep in in the future as more attractive than any car.

  16. Thomas,
    I agree with you on what you said, and you’re absolutely right when you say that people will find something to talk about you no matter what.
    One thing that bothers me about people (friends or family) who envy the people who are well off. There should be no envy, as long as the person who’s well off is not a show-off.

  17. I was in possession of $100k of inherited wealth at age 18. Freshly graduated with no life plan, I blew through it all in a little over 2 years. I’m not sure if money “changed me”, per se, but I definitely became lazy and had NO APPRECIATION for what I had.

    Looking back, I wish I had locked than money away until I figured out where I was going. I have started to bring in more money (now age 26) and I DEFINITELY have an apreciation for what I have now. One thing I have noticed about people who fall into wealth quickly is a true lack of appreciation for it. I had a few rich friends, and one of them literally told me “it doesn’t matter what I do, I’ll be rich anyways, so I don’t care.” If he did not have access to extreme wealth, he probably wouldn’t have been such an entitled brat.

    1. Man, I can’t imagine what it would have been like to inherit $100,000 at age 18! May I ask what the parents thought? Did they inherit even more, which is why they let you spend the $100K freely?

      I think my parents would warn me to save and not spend, or just make me give them $20,000 for college tuition at least!

  18. I agree that relatively slow wealth accumulation is a good thing. I think if you have a big windfall (lottery for example) then cash it out and leave it untouched for 1 year and then start to take tranches out at a time. Yes, there is a lost opportunity cost but it also is compensated by not blowing the money frivolously.


  19. I guess it’s hard to see the value of money if you come into it too fast, or had it handed to you and thus didn’t feel the blood, sweat, and tears that goes along with building it. This is especially a problem for athletes since they retire earlier on but may not be thinking that far, and don’t realize that they need to start saving now instead of living it up, though that’s the first temptation.

  20. That show would never work because it would be boring! Just like when UFC shows 22 mins of training when in fact the fighter probably had about 40 hours of training that week

      1. Very true. I can’t stand watching poker, but looooovee playing the game.
        Daniel was on the local sports talk, and its amazing how different the
        game is from some things we don’t see.

        For example, he broke his own record for the amount of buy-ins in one
        tourney. He bought back in 57 times. He spent $50K in buy-ins, and made
        $150K at the end. He said “I don’t care about the buy-ins, because I
        doubled my money in the end, and that’s what matters”

  21. I think instant wealth destroys you. College athlethes who go from scholarship to $10MM a year for example. If you work for it is less likely to affect you. Of course, your level of maturity is an important part of that equation. My daughter changed jobs 10 years ago and her salary doubled, I saw no change.

    Old money feel that money earned in less than a generation as new wealth. They feel all new money is not handled very well.

    1. Yes and No.
      How you treat wealth has a lot to do with your psychology makeup. MJ was drafted out of college and into millions the Bulls paid him, Nike endorsements, commercials etc…and look at him today, living large and enjoying retirement.

      1. There are exceptions such as Michael Jordon, Magic Johnson and others, but the vast majority are not doing that well. The main reason is they spend way too much versus saving it. Most athletes and entertainers are illequiped to handle the new found riches and squander it away. They are taken care of in college and they are taken care of as an athlete or entertainer. I thnk if you work for it, you appreciate it more and protect it. If it comes too easy, it becomes monopoly money.

  22. What? There’s a Real Housewives Of Vancouver?! I need to find this online ASAP.

    I’m not bothered by conspicuous displays of wealth. It’s only annoying when material items or expensive services are all people talk about. Your non-rich friends don’t want to here you wax on about something they can’t afford. If you behave like a boring, self absorbed tool, I’m going to treat you like one by defriending you on Facebook and in real life. Of course, if I were to come into a lot of money suddenly, I don’t think I’d change all that much.

    1. I don’t even use FB…it’s a lost cause. Too many updates about random things that don’t matter, such as people showing off their new $120 Guess shoes…now if they purchased a pair of Louie’s at $800+, now you’re a balla……but even then, I’ll probably suspect they bought it on credit :)

  23. So maybe JD’s blog title “GetRichSlowly” is the key, huh? I have to admit that I spent a ridiculous amount of time staring at the money picture at the top trying to figure if they were arranged into some sort of image or not. Haha!

    1. The picture at the top is actually how much one gets a week in unemployment insurance here in California!

      Yes, get rich slowly, but not too slowly, otherwise you’ll be dead. JD became a multi-millionaire in just 5-6 years after he sold his blog.

      1. Who bought JDs blog?
        So, he’s now only a writer….interesting..did not know that…something new I
        learned today. :)

        1. Quinstreet. If I were to guess, $5 million.

          Hard to relate to his readers now, which is why GRS is all staff writers for the most part.

          Pretty good win for JD no doubt!

  24. Sam,

    Thanks for the love and a great followup to my post. You definitely beat me to the punch. :)
    There are many people in today’s society that misuse money. You touched on athletes above, and they’re a prime example.

    Here are 3 of my favorite:

    Dennis Rodman (BROKE) – 6 NBA Championships / Shoe Endorsement / Playing alongside Jordan

    Daryl Strawberry (BROKE) – Solid Baseball Player who returned a few times to the Yankees, who offered him a contract after no one else would…twice, in hopes of him curbing his coke addiction.

    Mike Tyson (BROKE) – One of the greatest boxers of all time, blew over $300 million in earnings. They asked him once, “Mike where did all your money go, and he said, white women, coke, gambling and booze”

      1. Don’t knock MC Hammer! I got him on speed dial…. no, I really do! He’s from the Bay Area and he’s a charitable man, and now very wealth due to his private ventures!

        1. What are some his private ventures now?
          Anyway you can arrange him to DJ for a charitable event, we can figure
          out the event together Sam, preferably NYC, bring you back to your
          roots a bit! :)

  25. Dead on, Sam. It’s amazing how the rules change about attitudes toward someone when they accumulate wealth slowly vs. quickly. This gets to the point of not hating as much.. which is very important. I think what gets to me sometimes is no so much the jealousy of not having as much money, but regret that not everyone has the same opportunity in life and the ones who do well (regardless of whether it’s by their own actions or not) often end up spending it on pointless things (like boob jobs) in light of the huge needs in the world (like hunger, lack of access to clean water, etc.).

    1. @ 20’s Finances

      You’re right, Sam hit it dead on the rules change. There will always be people on the top (high earners) and people on the bottom, no matter the time or circumstances. People who earn the big bucks should have the right to spend it on anything they want, after all they earned the money. Boob jobs included.

      1. Eddie,

        I agree – there will always be a distinction between classes. I wasn’t trying to say that those who have money don’t have the RIGHT to spend it how they want. It just doesn’t mean that I approve of it. Believing it is a right to spend money however we want is (IMHO), slightly misguided. I think it’s part of a larger problem that will believes that the wealthy got there only because they worked hard. There are a lot more reasons why this happened (and I’m not discrediting their hard work). If those who have achieved success realized that the community they grew up in played a large role, i think we would see how we should spend our money differently.

  26. I think get a boatload of money at one time would change me – thus if I won the lottery I would take the payment in installments not as a lump sum – EVEN though I know this is NOT the best FINANCIAL decision.

    I would not want to worry about investing all the money, losing it to scams, spending it to quickly, etc.

    I believe most people do not realize the hardship/difficulty that comes along with suddenly being rich.

    1. @David

      I don’t think much changes, whether you get the money in lump sum or in installments. I also think you’re talking about something different. Winning a lottery is a different mind-frame vs. landing a good gig and bringing in the big bucks.

      1. Thanks for your reply.

        Maybe it would not change for you – but for me it would. I grew up very poor and having to worry about being poor again by blowing millions would not be good for my mental health. Thus, for me, getting a lottery win in installments would allow me to be much happier than getting the payments in one lump sum.

        I’m very much a realist – the vast majority of Americans think being rich will make them happy – however, I think that this is not the case. Many people that are suddenly rich will not become more happy and many/most of these people will be less happy than they are/were prior to suddenly becoming happy.


        1. David,

          I touched upon this in my post by mentioning that money does not bring
          happiness. Just look at all the wealthy people who get divorced, and
          they have the homes, money, cars, but something is still missing.

          I cam from an equally poor family. My parents bought three different homes,
          we moved three different times on combined salaries of much less than
          what I make alone today. We never traveled, didn’t eat out, but we
          lived a modest life, had 3 crappy cars that got us around, and more
          importantly both me and my brother got our education. Both of us also
          started working part-time at the age of 14. So, I know what it’s like to
          live on a very tight budget, and now I’m also getting to know what
          it’s like to bring in cash to enjoy the things I really want.

      1. I agree with Eddie on this – I do not want to worry about finding that “reputable private wealth manager” thus – I’m absolutely willing to take the big financial hit regarding taking the money in installments.

        Most likely not something any of us is ever going to have to “Worry” about!

  27. I always used to say that if I would love to win a large amount of money. But now I’m thinking more about making a lot of money. The reason for that is that believe that if I earn it, my attitude towards it would be different. I would have a sense of achievement and I would be extremely careful. If I won money, I think that I would spend a lot more (especially on people in need), but the sense of achievement would not be there.

    1. @ Danielle.
      Most of the times it’s hard to be extremely careful with money due to circumstances. Let’s say for example you land a great gig on Wall St. in some investment firm. You’re 25, pulling in six figures. What do you think happens next?

      Your spending goes up due to a lifestyle change. You’re no longer eating McDonalds for lunch, now your lunch is costing you $25, because a senior investor heads there with other colleagues, you’re invited to tag along and you want to introduce your self, make an impression etc…

      The same colleagues are going out for dinners, drinks after work, and you’re asked to join. Will you say NO, yet you want to make an impression? I doubt it. You’ll roll with it, and one day you’ll realize that this is normal, and what people do in the job that you hold and area of the city you work in, and not far after your outlook changes and a transition begins.

      1. Ah yes, the cycle of spending more and more as one’s peers get more and more.

        I’ve encountered this problem after joining my tennis club. “Hey Sam! Want to go to this neat $500/head fund raiser?” Errr……… OK! Hard to decline, esp if the invitee feels passionate about the cause.

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