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Lynda Moore says a huge sudden 'win' can challenge your money ceiling, and then things really start to unravel. Best to check what your money ceiling really is. She tells you how

Personal Finance / opinion
Lynda Moore says a huge sudden 'win' can challenge your money ceiling, and then things really start to unravel. Best to check what your money ceiling really is. She tells you how
money ceiling

For one family the $50 million dream is over, but for seven others the $7.1 million dream is about to begin.

Now, I’m not typically a lotto player.  Given the choice between investing $20 in a Lotto ticket or a bottle of Chardonnay, the Chardonnay will usually win!  But not on Saturday.  Yes, I got caught up in the “$50 million must be won” hype.  I didn’t go out just to purchase a lotto ticket, I was doing my usual Saturday grocery run, and of course the Lotto counter was right there, and as there wasn’t a long queue, I sacrificed my Chardonnay for $50 mill. I could buy a whole vineyard with that much money. 

There was only one person in the queue in front of me.  An elderly gentleman, probably well into his 70’s, and he had a stack of tickets from previous weeks that the lovely lady behind the counter was checking for him, none of them were winners.  Not even a bonus line! Did that deter him?  No, he invested in a ticket, like the rest of us waiting patiently in line, in the hope of the ‘big win’. I wonder what he was planning to do with it?

To pass the time, (I was getting a little bored by now and seriously considering ditching the chance of buying the vineyard and taking my $20 elsewhere), I decided to ask the man behind me what $50 million would do for his family.  He had his two daughters with him, and between the three of them, they didn’t come up with anything.  If I’d had more time, I would have happily shared some of my ideas.

I woke up on Sunday morning like most of us who had invested, to find out I was not going shopping for a vineyard! I was quite pleased however, when I heard that rather than one family winning the whole pot, it had been split seven ways.

I am sure you have all heard the stories about the lotto winners who after the big win, lose it all and end up in a worse position than they were in before.  Just google Lotto winners and you can read so many tragic stories of families and lives ruined by the big win. Why does this happen?

In each case there will be multiple reasons; bad advice, greedy families, bad business deals, the partner who spends it all, dodgy investments, the list goes on and on.  But one of the common threads that doesn’t get talked about as much is what I like to call the Money Ceiling.  Your money ceiling is the level of income and assets that your beliefs will allow you to have. Once you hit your money ceiling you will subconsciously start to push it away, and self-sabotage.  The scary thing is that you may not realise that it is you that is pushing it away, as it gets masked by all the other stuff that starts to take the money away.

So, for the seven families who won, and for the rest of us who didn’t (so we can start to prepare for the next time), here is a bit of a fun exercise to do to identify where our money ceiling is.

Grab a pen and some paper, find a quiet space, and start writing down everything you can think of that you want. It might be things, experiences, getting rid of debt, giving it away, whatever crosses your mind, write it down. Once you have written it down, put a $ value next to it. Don’t just say, I’d like a holiday, there’s a big difference between a camping trip to the local DOC campsite to a holiday at the Ritz! What kind of holiday and how much are you going to spend on it?

Pay off the mortgage, great, how much is that? Buy a new car?  What type, used or new? Vineyard, Central Otago or Napa Valley? Donate to charity, which ones, how much? Start your own charity?

Buying a house, a second home, a boat, a new pair of shoes.  Whatever it is define it and put a $ value on it.

Once you have thought of everything you possibly can, put it away for a couple of days and come back to it, do this as many times as you want to until you are over the exercise, and can’t think of another thing to add.  That is when you total the list.  That number is your current money ceiling.

Now you know your ceiling and your comfort zone is when it comes to money. This is where your money thermostat is set to, and this is what you will come back to if you try to exceed it before you are ready.

By the way, yes, you can raise your money ceiling, but that’s a whole different story for another day.

Lynda Moore is a Money Mentalist coach and New Zealand’s only certified New Money Story® mentor. Lynda helps you understand why you do the things you do with your money, when we all know we should spend less than we earn. You can contact her here.

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Silly to get a jackpot that big and so I was very pleased that it got distributed amongst 7 winners in a lower division (it's still life changing).  I know that big jackpots attract more punters but it's much better for society that we don't hype lottery wins and keep the jackpots more modest and the other division prizes (higher probability) worth more.  


Thank you for your input. 


What would you do if you won 7.1mil today?


That's the million dollar question. :)