Alright, so the chances of you willing the lottery pretty much suck. And according this article, you need to buy at least 145 lottery tickets if you want a 99% chance of having a winning lottery.
If you do the math, a lottery ticket typically costs 2 dollars each. So buying 145 lottery tickets is $290 dollars a week. Yikes!
If you want to get really morbid, your chances of being killed by a vending machine is higher than winning the lottery.
Despite that, I’m giving you permission and telling you it’s OK to buy lottery tickets, and you can still get financially ahead.
Yes. You heard me right. Go ahead and buy that lottery ticket.
Now before you go all crazy on me, I’m not advocating spending $290 a week on lottery tickets. If you do that, yeah, buying lottery tickets is a waste of time (and money). If you’re looking at buying lottery tickets as investment, maybe you might want to look at other ways to do so.
What I want you to do is take a step back from the numbers behind purchasing lottery tickets and think about the behavior behind buying the lottery ticket.
Why do people buy lottery tickets? It gives that person the permission to dream about a world of freedom. Where money is no longer an issue.
What Do You Mean, Permission?
Too often, many of us are afraid of thinking about our hopes and dreams because we already told ourselves we cannot do them. Go on, do that right now. Take a piece of paper and write down what you would do if money weren’t an issue. Now bring money back into the equation. Are you stopping yourself from doing any of those things?
For me, buying a lottery ticket gives me an opportunity to chat with my husband about the things we things we would do if we ever win the lottery. We’ve talked about buying property for family, taking them on luxury cruises, and even fun things that I know are pretty ridiculous.
Do I go and buy $290 a week on lottery tickets? No. I only purchase one when the jackpot is pretty high. And once I buy one, that’s it. My husband and I have a conversation about it for weeks afterward. And not once do we get mad we don’t win, nor do we think we will.
But the value I get from the lottery ticket far exceeds the $2 I spent on it. I get to have quality time with my husband. I have pretty funny stories that happen as a result from buying lottery tickets. And I’ve shared these stories with friends, and I get quality time with them too. It also lets me see what my priorities with money would be, such as giving back to my family. And after realizing that, I’ve done things for my family (not the ones I would do with my lottery winnings) and it’s worked out really well for everyone involved.
So yeah, I could go ahead and send $2 on a cup of coffee, but the value for me is just a quick jolt of caffeine and that’s it.
So What Should I do?
The point is, spending money on something like a lottery might seem like a waste of money, but you need to think about the value you get from that purchase. If you’re not harming anybody, going in to debt because of it, or spending copious amounts of dollars, then by all means go ahead.
Only you know what value you get from a purchase, and what seems like a waste of money to one person, is a sensible purchase to another. I personally think it’s a waste of money to go to Starbucks daily, but all the power to you if you get a lot of value from it.
So, go ahead, buy that lottery ticket. Or whatever people think is a waste of money, but is valuable to you.
I’m going to go and dream about my next luxury vacation.
Being a badass with your money is as easy as asking yourself what you want.
Download our values-based spending guide and figure out how to revolutionize your financial decisions ASAP.
(psst...we also send you occasional emails on how else to live beyond the dollar. You in?)
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