3 Things That Becoming an Instant Millionaire Won’t Fix

If you make a ton of money and have no skills, you will soon have no money.

It happened so fast!

One day I worked with her, and the next, she was a $10M lottery winner. Shortly after, she left the job and began to live the “millionaire” lifestyle.

We attended the house warming party at the new house, adorned with a self-playing piano, new cars in the garage, and a big fancy pool.

She and her husband had been hard-working parents, struggling to make ends meet before the windfall. The lottery changed their world, and not necessarily for the best.

A few short years later, her marriage evaporated, the money was gone, and she was off to find another job.

Being a millionaire is not a cure for all that ails you. Money can help you reach your goals, but the problems in your life do not change when you hit millionaire status.

Here are three things that getting rich quick won’t solve.

Poor Money Skills

People who save and invest for many years are more likely to retain their wealth than someone who found riches quickly. The financial fate of a lottery winner is grim.

Life after winning the lottery may not stay glamorous forever. Whether they win $500 million or $1 million, about 70 percent of lotto winners lose or spend all that money in five years or less.

— Michelle Crouch — Readers Digest

The same troubles lurk for professional athletes. Despite receiving enormous salaries, 78% of NFL players encounter financial issues after retirement.

When you have no money skills and live life in a scarcity mindset, you will spend the money you received like there is no tomorrow.

It takes time to learn personal finance skills, especially since we get very little education on the subject in school and from our parents. People don’t talk about money, as if the subject is taboo. By the time the recently rich person learns some financial skills, often the money is gone.

Those who learn about finances slowly through failures and success have a better chance to improve their money intelligence. There is little to lose in the early days of wealth building, and mistakes are not as costly. By the time your nest egg is sizable, your financial understanding is greater, and there is less risk of life-altering money mistakes.

You may have dreams of getting rich quickly. Whether through the lottery, sports, a risky investment, or a side hustle, it’s crucial to equip yourself with money sense before you land the big bucks.

If you make a ton of money and have no skills, you will soon have no money.

Bad Relationships

Money won’t solve your relationship problems.

Like my coworker, money can fan the fire if you have relationship issues. Before they won the lottery, the couple seemed normal. Once they won, it was apparent that they didn’t want the same things in life.

If you suddenly become a millionaire, you may find that you have more time to spend on your relationships. This can be a good thing. However, a soured relationship may deteriorate further if you don’t spend the time improving the situation.

Money issues are one of the top reasons for divorce cited in the US. When we think about money problems, we usually think about a lack of money. Lots of money can be a problem also. If the parties cannot agree on money decisions, there is immediate pressure in the relationship.

It’s essential to prioritize your relationships whether you have millions or not. If you can create great relationships, they can evolve as your wealth grows.


According to a recent study, $105,000 is the ideal income to provide life satisfaction in the US. Money beyond this level does not significantly contribute to happiness.

It would help if you had a level of income that allows stress-free living, but finances don’t necessarily drive happiness. It’s hard to see that in our society. Advertising tells the opposite story, and we often fall victim to the buy more mindset.

Lottery winners buy all kinds of crap. My coworker’s husband wanted a grand piano. He couldn’t play the piano, so he needed one that could play itself. That piano was going to make him happy.

Fortunately, you don’t need millions to learn that you cannot buy happiness. Look in your closet and find an item that you had to have — sitting in there unused. Most of us have many examples all over our houses. Learn this lesson before you get rich.

Happiness is essential, and money can give you the freedom to pursue happiness. However, money will not make you happy.

Takeaways about the deficiencies of becoming an instant millionaire

You might get rich quickly. I argue that you would be better off getting rich slowly.

Financial insight is necessary to build and maintain wealth. When you receive a large windfall without a personal finance understanding, losing the money is likely.

Spend time learning about money. Talk about money. So many of us have no idea about money, and we spend, spend, spend. We are a product of our society. Break the mold. Learn how to be financially smart, and your wealth will last a lifetime — even if it’s not millions.

Work on your relationships. An influx of money will not mend your broken relationships. You need to master your relationship skills and work to remove money stress. This includes anxiety about money decisions when you have more than enough.

Without money, you can be happy, and additional wealth will not make you happier. Money’s role in happiness diminishes once you can stop the payday cycle of life. The sooner you learn that buying things doesn’t make you happier, the better.

I haven’t purchased a lottery ticket since 2006. I bought a ticket on occasion but stopped after my coworker won. Her experience was enough to show me that I didn’t want or need to get rich quickly.

Since that time, I’ve worked and saved religiously. I’ve learned many lessons about money. Now that I have a level of wealth, I’m more likely to retain my wealth, relationships, and happiness.

Take the time to focus on these lessons before you hit the lottery.