05/23/2014 07:32 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

The Five Reasons People Blow Their Money


1. Family and friends. People try to "buy" love and friendship or they feel compelled to show off by buying houses, cars, clothes and items. As Will Rogers used to say, "They are spending money they don't have to impress people they don't know."


2. Bad habits, bad advisers, lack of knowledge. People who spend more than they make will not suddenly be "cured" when they get a lump sum of money. In fact, whatever problems they had will now be magnified by having more money to get in more trouble with.


3. Taking the money in a lump sum. Social Security, defined benefit pension plans and many other programs pay out money over a lifetime instead of in a lump sum. They know that people will run through a lump sum quickly and be broke. I'm in the structured settlement and annuity business and have been successful as I am not a peddler of products; I am a hardcore, true believer. The people who are happiest in my role are those who have a monthly check coming in that they can count on.


4. They don't think before they act. People make impulse decisions. They think they can pay something off "over time." Then time runs out on their money.

5. Not having a purpose for their money. My father was a professional gambler and owned bars. As a child, it would stun me to see men who had toiled all week in a steel mill or hard labor job come into a bar and gamble a week's pay in one night. The workers knew how to make money, but had no purpose for it.

Don McNay is a financial expert who has written several bestselling books on what to do when you win the lottery. You can read more about him at

29 Ways You Waste Cash