Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Gambling Money Away

This is an guest post from the Personal Finance Blog Debt Discipline:

As I was recovering from the fact that football season is now over, having to wait almost 6 months until the next NFL football game, and cleaning up the carnage from our little Super Bowl party I got to thinking about money I seem to just throw away. I think it had something to do with the fact that I had just tossed my losing Super Bowl pool boxes in the garbage. I made a $35 investment that could have won me as much as $1050, not bad considering all I had to do was hand over my hard-earned cash. Well like many years past the $35 investment yielded me no return. It did however leave a bad taste in my month for coughing up my dough. I don’t want to be a sore loser because there have been years when I have won, but the losses have been far greater than the wins. As I trying to move forward without football and $35 for now, I wondered about other gambling money habits that I have taken part in over the years.


Bad Habits


Super Bowl Box – As mention above, I usually get in at least one pool a year.  

Powerball – Anytime the jackpot reached over $100 million my office takes up a collects and we play. For a $2 donation you get to split the jackpot with 40 other co-workers. Odds of winning Powerball 1 in: 175,223,510. For the record my wife works with someone who hit Powerball. She took home a little over 5 million.  

Lottery Scratchers – They are sometimes call instant games, these are the tickets that range in price from $1-$20. We used to buy these often for Birthday and Christmas. Since we have been paying our debt we have basically stopped.  

Gambling – I have been in a Casino or two in my life. I haven’t been in probably 15 years. When I did go I would play blackjack. The first time I ever gambled I won, probably not a good way to start.

 I do try to limit these activities now. I really want my money to be spent wisely and be used for paying off debt currently. Once in a while I can get caught up in the day-dream of winning the millions and quitting the day job. I think that's why so many people participate in these activities, the fantasy or the dream of dropping down a dollar and winning big. My mom in her mid 70's still plays Bingo twice a week. It's part social event for her and she has the money to lose. That is key, if you don't have the money to lose you should be participating in these activities. You can't expect to participate in any of the examples expecting to win. Using the rent money to try to win big is going to put you in a bad spot 99.9% of the time. I will control my daydreaming and continue to work hard on paying off our debt. I do think I’ll continue to make the office Powerball donation. I wouldn’t want to be the only guy left in the office after everyone else won the millions.

Have you ever participated in any of these? Do you have any other bad money habits that you know are bad but continue to do anyway?

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