Do you love playing bingo? If you do, you have probably thought about what you would do if you won a huge sum of money playing your favourite game.
Of course, most people have different ideas about this. A lot would depend on the amount you won. Scooping £5,000 would be very different to receiving £5 million. You’d need a very different plan for each of these, don’t you think?
So, with that in mind, we are presenting you with some suggestions on what you might do if you did manage to snag that huge win that we all dream of. If you are fortunate, you may get to seriously consider all these options…
Stop! Take time for it to sink in
Some winners have gone out and splashed the cash straight after they’ve won. However, others take their time and don’t do anything for a while.
We think it’s best to take the latter route. Here are some reasons why:
- If you won a six- or seven-figure sum, it would be life changing
- Few people would act rationally in that scenario
- It’s better to give yourself time to adjust
- This provides you with time to consider all your options too
We’re not suggesting you shouldn’t spend anything. However, it is usually best to refrain from spending lots of money on major purchases until you have adjusted to your good fortune.
Pay off your debts first
Lots of people say they would pay off their mortgage if they scooped a windfall. This is a great idea as the interest on this debt amounts to a lot over the years.
However, do consider how much is left on your mortgage and how much you’ve won if you find yourself in this situation. Sometimes, it’s best to pay some off and set some cash aside to have fun with as well. It all depends how much the bingo win would be worth.
Other debts you might need to think about include:
- Store cards
- Credit card balances
- A car loan
- Other loans
These tend to incur higher interest rates than other debts. Paying these off with part or all of the bingo win would be a great idea. But again, consider whether you would like to splurge a little as well.
What could you spend the money on?
Bigger wins that reach into millions make this an easier decision for some. Many of us would have a shopping list that looks something like this:
- A new home
- A new car
- A nice holiday to somewhere we’ve never been
- Splurging some cash on friends and family
- Buying the items that we’ve always wanted but never been able to afford
That final category could include anything from clothing to gaming equipment. It all depends on what you love to do and which hobbies you have.
Should you put some away for the future?
Definitely. It’s tempting to spend the lot or at least to spend some of the money you’ve won. But some people have discovered it can be very easy indeed to spend and to carry on spending. In this situation, you can end up frittering everything away, as we have seen in some cases in the past.
If you win a huge sum of money, chances are it is never going to happen again. Most of us go through life without winning a life-changing sum. So, if you do become one of the few fortunate people to do this, make sure you think carefully.
This sum could set you up for the future if you invest it correctly. Don’t be afraid to take independent financial advice to help you figure out how best to manage the money. Remember that you are in control though – don’t invest in anything you are unsure of or do not understand.
Some practical steps to think about taking following a big win
Here are some ideas of what you can do from a practical standpoint:
- Put six months’ worth of earnings into an emergency fund – call this the ‘just in case’ fund
- Consider which investments to put some cash in – always make sure you understand the risk though and settle for something you are happy with
- Don’t automatically quit your job – most people will want to do this, but have you won enough cash to make it a serious possibility?
Reacting to a big win is easy. Coming to terms with it can be harder, even though it is usually a good thing to happen to you. Make sure you think through all the potential consequences and advantages of having the amount of money you have won if this happens to you.
Putting in some time now to let it sink in will help you make all the right decisions. These will enable you to enjoy the money now and in the future.