This question caused a bit of a stir on Nigerian Twitter. Almost everyone dreams of winning Big Brother Naija or the lottery, but most people don’t think about what exactly they will do if that ever happens. As Mike Tyson says, “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” In this case, everyone dreams of becoming a millionaire overnight till they actually make it.
Suddenly coming into a lot of money can be great, but it takes a lot of discipline to maintain, which many people do not have. . There are so many stories of lottery winners going from being broke to rich, and back to being broke in a few years. This is because suddenly having a large sum of money like $100,000 is a unique situation most of us are unfamiliar with, so handling it may not be easy.
What are the first five steps you should take if you suddenly make $100,000?
First step, do NOTHING
Yes, you read that right. Do nothing. We tend to make more mistakes when we rush to do things. There is no timer on the money. You don’t need to spend the money immediately. Delaying your reaction will save you from making rash decisions that you may regret. Take a deep breath, and take time to get your mind used to the fact that you just made a lot of money.
Resist the urge to significantly change your life. Making life-changing money doesn’t mean you have to rapidly change your life or lifestyle. Don’t dramatically quit your job or buy your dream car or upgrade to an expensive luxury apartment or house. Do nothing; keep your lifestyle the same until you mentally get used to having a lot of money.
To help you with this, find the safest fixed deposit account where you can earn decent interest on your savings and deposit the cash there for a few months, say 90 days. It might be best to go with the most reputable traditional bank with low risk of failure because you don’t want to lose your money as fast as you made it.. This is not the time to try out new schemes. Go traditional; go very safe.
While your money sits in the account for three months, spend time learning about your investment options. Read about the investment opportunities you can explore; there are loads of free personal finance materials online. Listen to top finance podcasts, watch top finance YouTube channels, and read or listen to finance books and audiobooks. Do this to know what investment options you have.
Don’t tell the world
In the sharing world we now live in, there is often the urge to go sharing everything on social media to get the huge dopamine hit that comes in the form of likes, retweets, and congratulatory comments. Don’t fall for it. Only share this news with people closest to you whom you really trust, like your spouse.
When you overshare, you increase the likelihood of suddenly having lots of long-lost family and friends popping up, hoping you can share your wealth with them or invest in their new life-changing business ideas. Also, sharing can expose you to a greater risk of theft. It also opens you up to advice from different people, which leaves you confused on the right decision to make.
Next, take stock of your life and make a plan
Do you currently owe any money? How much debt do you have? Does the debt cost you a lot of money in the form of high interest? Consider paying off some or all of your high-interest debt if being debt-free is a high priority for you. If the money you owe is only a small fraction of $100,000 (e.g., $5,000 or less), pay it off, even if it’s a low-interest loan.
What were your financial goals? Did you plan to go to school, own a house, car, etc.? You now have the capital to get started on your goals. But don’t just go spending all the money on fulfilling your financial goals. Do it the smart way.
How can you use the money you have as capital to help you eventually meet all your financial goals? Consider speaking to a financial advisor that can help you create a unique plan tailored to help you meet your goals.
Fund your savings and an emergency fund
An emergency fund is 3-6 months of your monthly expenses. E.g., if you spend $500 every month between food, rent, entertainment, etc., your emergency fund would be $1500 to $3000.
You can also have up to 1 year of expenses in your emergency fund to give you more breathing room and a larger pot to rely on if you need money in an emergency. Put this money in a low-risk account that can give you some interest but is highly liquid, so if you need the money urgently, you can easily access the money anytime, any day.
Also, have savings separate from your emergency fund. Your savings can be used for non-urgent needs or wants. You can put about 10% of your money in savings. In this case, $10,000.
Coming into a lot of money can make you rich for a bit, but investing in the right places can make you and your future generations wealthy.
After paying off your debts and funding your savings and emergency fund accounts, you should have about $80,000 to invest. You don’t have to invest all that money at once. You can slowly deploy the money over a year or more. Build a portfolio of low-risk, medium-risk, and high-risk assets.
You can invest some of it in bonds, mutual funds, real estate, stocks, and crypto, depending on what you understand and believe are valuable and have the potential to grow. You can manage some of those assets on your own and start a plan with Risevest’s low, medium, and high-risk investment plans.
You just hit it big, so it’s okay if you want to splurge. Everyone splurges from time to time. Whether it’s a new piece of clothing, a night out at a fancy restaurant, or a weekend getaway, we all have our own little indulgences that make us feel good. And while there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself every once in a while, it’s important to splurge wisely. The key is to find a balance that works for you and your budget. So go ahead and splurge on that new outfit, but be sure you do it responsibly!
With these five steps, you are almost guaranteed to make the best of your money. Congratulations, you’ve blown, don’t blow it!