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Money Memes and Lottery Woes

money memes

Money memes were around before the pandemic but it seems that now they’re hitting a little close to home and sometimes they strike my nerves with a sharpened accuracy.

You might chuckle if you’re not in financial distress…or flat broke.  My husband and I are careful budgeters and are being fastidious about watching our income and outflow during this pandemic. If my husband leaves our home office to go to the bathroom, chances are he’ll find the light turned off when he returns.  A bar of soap might be reduced to looking like a toothpick but I suggest he can get at least two more showers out of it.

But I’ve been thinking about money memes and cold hard cash. If I could buy anything and indulge every whim and want, wouldn’t that be great…awesome…wonderful? OF COURSE! A big huge, enormous, colossal, immense, towering twelve-story high, pile of cash wouldn’t change me. I’m too smart, too grounded, and too informed to ever let that happen. Right?

But what really happens when you get exactly what you want?

Yes, you know where I’m going with this. Money is inanimate and can be used for good or bad; it can address needs and make us comfortable or it can feed our not-so-great habits that could invite harm into our lives.

Big Money Can Make Big Trouble

According to CNBC, lottery winners are more likely to go bankrupt within three to five years than the average American. Economist Jay L. Zagorsky agrees with the research. He writes for U.S. News and World Report: “Studies found that instead of getting people out of financial trouble, winning the lottery got people into more trouble, since bankruptcy rates soared for lottery winners three to five years after winning.”

Jack Whittaker, who won $315 million in a lottery in West Virginia in 2002, tells Time, “I wish that we had torn the ticket up.” Since winning, Whittaker’s daughter and granddaughter died due to drug overdoses…[also] just eight months after winning, he was robbed of $545,000.

Of course, not all lottery winners go broke, but the temptation to spend like there is no end to the resources is strong. Knowing the foundations of managing your money can make a huge difference.

Take it from Richard Lustig, a 65-year-old Florida man is a seven-time lottery game grand-prize winner.

The key to staying happy is to hire a good financial planner and a good accountant after paying off all debts. The reason why you hear those horror stories about people who win huge amounts and all of a sudden they’re filing bankruptcy is because it’s usually from people who have never had that kind of money before in their lives. They just go through it like crazy. They think there’s no tomorrow. Well, there is a tomorrow and eventually, it will run out.

Richard Lustig

Why make it a point to become financially literate now? Financial literacy helps you know how to handle your money before you have money that you don’t know how to handle. For the same reason we don’t give a starving person a banquet, but instead, give them something light that their system can tolerate initially. For the same reason you don’t give a Lamborghini to a 16-year-old beginner driver.

Financial education and budgeting skills can help your money to work for you and help you avoid the pitfalls of money memes- whether you’ve got cash woes or you’ve won it big in the lottery.

We want you to have money…not for your money to have you.


The CESI Team is committed to helping you reach your financial goals. If debt keeps you from living the life you dream of, contact us for a free debt analysis today and get started on the road to a brighter future!

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