This is another post in my series “spending habits draining your net worth.” I finally settled on a not-ridiculous name for this series just as I’m probably nearly done with it. These are specific items that I don’t spend money on and instead I buy VTSAX.
Yes, of course, I understand the upside of playing the lottery. If you don’t play, you can’t win. In one day, with the right guess, you could solve all your problems and all of your friend’s problems and all of your neighbor’s problems. Money solves everything. Large volumes of money solves large volumes of everything.
I will concede that there is a slight, tiny, miniscule chance that the dice rolls in your favor and you’ll win the jackpot. But if you don’t already have a healthy relationship with money, there is a better than even chance that you’ll blow it all and end up less happy than when you started. Money doesn’t solve everything and as Notorious B.I.G. eloquently pointed out, Mo Money Mo Problems. Also, I’ve heard that the state of Illinois is so broke, it might not even pay you.
But, really, you won’t win. I’m not going to tell you all the many things that have better chances of happening because it’s all so cliché, but just know that you will not win. I view buying lottery tickets as essentially paying for delayed disappointment. I bought a bunch of scratch-off Lotto tickets for a Christmas White Elephant present this past December. I spent $30 and the recipient won $21. So…not a great return on investment. The government counts on this. They wouldn’t sell tickets if they thought they were going to lose money off them. Everything is carefully calculated and the odds are not ever in your favor.
Some of these scratch-off tickets can cost up to $30 EACH! Surely, there are better ways to spend your money.
I’ve had my nails painted at a salon in the past and I absolutely understand why people like to get this done. It’s fun! You feel pampered during the process and oh-so-pretty afterwards. Most of the time my old law firm would foot the bill (as a summer associate or mentoring event), but I did quite enjoy it.
Unfortunately, the polish never seems to last for more than a few days before it’s an ugly chippy mess that I feel compelled to pick at. Plus, as my chemical engineer father always used to remind me, nail polish is a carcinogen and the UV-curing step in salons can also cause cancer. Add in the possibility of nail fungus and the probability of nail damage, the appeal greatly lessens for me. I’ve also read that some nail salons take horrible advantage of their employees.
The final bullet point for me though is the cost. Fancy nails can easily cost you $30 and perhaps even triple that for fake nails, nail art, gel, studs and accessories. Those costs quickly add up.
I can’t think of any upsides for paying late fees. You know you owe the money to a utility company, credit card company, DVD rental company, etc. Why pay more by paying late? Especially if you have the money in the bank to pay on time. It makes no sense to me. Laziness perhaps? It takes only a few minutes and I love the feeling of accomplishment when I cross off “pay such and such bill.” Put the bill on automatic payment and you’ll never be late. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.
My next article will detail the ways that I, Thriftygal, drain my net worth. If you don’t spend money on those items, you can feel superior and tell me how I’m wasting my moola. Stay tuned!
Did you miss the other articles in this series? Check out the links below.
Article 1 – cigarettes, pop, interest on depreciating assets
Article 2 – cable, coffee, meat
Article 3 – books, music, movies
Article 4 – cars
Article 5 – television set
Article 6 – expensive cell phone plan