Thoughts for Friday – 13th February 2015

Virgin-Atlantic-Plane_March-16-732829Regular readers of my blog may know that in August I will be visiting with my closest friend and all-round wonderful woman Kate Loveton. What can I say, she lured me in with her promise that she will voluntarily visit Yankee Stadium with me during the New York leg of our mini tour!

With me living in the UK and Kate in the States, it means that flights across the Atlantic will not be cheap. Not only do I need to purchase flight tickets, I also need to sort out my relevant visa paperwork, travel insurance, spending money etc. All of these things cost money and I am the first to admit that, no matter how much I love the work I do, it doesn’t exactly pay the top end in wages.

Thankfully, I have been putting money aside for a while now which will help take the sting out of my traveling expenses and my mother was kind enough to also gift me a portion of the money that I will need for my trip. It might sound as if my finances seem pretty rosy as far as my impending vacation is concerned, but I also have a secret plan….

04_28_41-Pile-of-Money_webHaving counted the mountain of receipts for coffee purchased over the last 12 months, I realised that I had been spending a horrendous amount of cash on takeaway coffees from various places and at almost £2.50 a pop, it was turning into a very expensive habit.

I wouldn’t do anything so foolish as to give up coffee as a New Year resolution (I think I would rather die than not have my caffeine fix!), I made a promise to myself that I would cut down by two cups each week. What would I do with this extra £5 you may ask, would I put it toward my holiday fund?

Well, I in a word….no.

My ingenious plan is to take the £5 that I no longer spend on coffee and spend it on lottery tickets instead.

Here in the UK, we have ‘The National Lottery’, the main draws are played on Wednesdays and Saturdays and cost £2 per line to enter each draw. I have one line for each draw, costing me £4 in total, I then spend the other £1 on a National Lottery scratchcard.

lottery ticketGambling is for mugs, you may say, but I figure that I would have spent that £5 on coffee anyway, so what’s the difference? I don’t know if it’s beginners luck, but I have already won on a scratchcard (a whole £2!) and £25 on a Saturday draw in the lottery. These winnings have gone in a tin that I am keeping separate from other monies and will be exchanged for US dollars just before I head to the Sates in August.

I’ll admit that I have been tempted to spend some of my winnings on buying another ticket or scratchcard but I have been very strict with myself and have put the money won to one side. I’m not foolish enough to believe that every ticket or scratchcard I buy is going to be a winning one and so if I get a return on my investment I know to quit while I’m ahead.

I almost fainted last week when I bought my weekly scratchcard when the first two amounts revealed were £1000. You need three of the same values to win the prize and so you can imagine my excitement that, with two £1000 down and seven more amounts to reveal, I thought I had a real chance at winning some major money.

IMG_2969Alas, it was not to be. I ended up winning nothing on the scratchcard, but the momentary thrill was worth the £1 that I paid for it. I don’t think I’ve had a jolt of adrenaline like that since I heard that they were making 50 Shades of Grey into a film…

I don’t condone gambling and would never actively encourage anyone to do it, but for me it is a ‘once a week’ hobby and nothing more. I know when to stop and set myself firm boundaries to ensure that what has started as a bit of fun does not turn into something that could potentially take over my life.

With that in mind, I feel it only right to balance the comments of this post by providing the following information for anyone reading this who may have been affected by the subject matter:

Gamblers Anonymous UK

Gamblers Anonymous US

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14 Comments

Filed under Thoughts for Friday

14 responses to “Thoughts for Friday – 13th February 2015

  1. I have coffee twice a week when my friend and I go walking as the rest of the time, I make my own at home. Saves a ton of money.
    Can’t remember when I stopped buying lottery tickets because I felt my money was sourcing someone else’s win not mine. 😀 This started me thinking. What would I do if I won a couple thousand dollars? I’d go on a trip or I’d get a new kitchen floor. I wonder how long it will take to win big? Good luck, Heather. ❤

    • When I am at home I tend to make my own coffee with my fancy red machine, but I am sometimes required to work 12 hour shifts or more under quite challenging conditions and so a hot cup of fresh coffee always goes down well 🙂

      Before December last year, I don’t think I’d bought a lottery ticket for a number of years and I’m not sure what compelled me to buy one late last year either.

      I have seen friends and family win prizes and so I thought ‘why not?’ and decided to give it a go. I am happy to say that I have made a profit from my investment so far. I know my limits and I stick to my two lottery tickets and a scratchcard each week. If I win, great, but if I don’t, I won’t go out and buy more tickets/cards in an effort to win something.

      I am hoping that I can add to my winnings pot by August and have some free(ish) cash to spend when I visit with the lovely Kate Loveton 🙂

  2. If you break even, you’ll be way ahead of the game, Heather B. You’re a winner because you’re going to visit Kate this summer. 🙂

    • I know Mark, I am so excited that I will be visiting the wonderful Kate Loveton! ❤

      I am currently in profit when it comes to investment vs winnings on the lottery and I am hoping that I can win a few £'s here and there before August.

      I know my limits and I am sticking to them and so having a little flutter is going to stay a harmless bit of fun for me and not something I cannot control.

  3. I spend a whopping $1 every day on lottery. I won $116 two weeks ago, so that made me feel good. I almost never buy coffee out, and I don’t smoke cigarettes. So the $1 a day habit is about as bad as it gets for me.

    My ex-wife is a recovering gambler, however. So I’ve also experienced the lows of living with someone who is addicted (her poison was video poker). You were good to give those links to G.A. All of that said, I hope you can win a nice prize for yourself before the trip. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for commenting ❤

      Like you, I am a non-smoker and do not often drink alcohol (nights on the town are pretty few and far between for me) and so I don't begrudge myself a coffee or my lottery tickets.

      Some may say that buying a lottery ticket is like giving your money away, but I think I would rather do that and be in with a chance of recouping something, rather than spending money downing drinks and ending up with a hangover afterwards.

      There are addiction issues in my own family (not gambling) and so I thought it only right to provide links to GA sites in the US and the UK. I would never condone gambling or encourage someone who has had problems with gambling in the past. Much like drinking, gambling is only fun when you know your limits.

      I hope that I can win a few more small monetary prizes before August but I am not going to be too worried if I don't. That being said, a few thousand pounds wouldn't go amiss in my holiday pot!

      And congratulations on your win a couple of weeks ago! 🙂

  4. I keep meaning to buy a lottery ticket or a scratch off, but never seem to make it to the point of sale. Some day! I hope you win BIG. And I cannot wait until we pick you up at the airport. It’s going to be great!

  5. You’re the first person I “know” who’s ever won anything 😀 Let’s hope that’s a good sign. How exciting to be crossing the Atlantic to share an adventure with your friend – a lottery win would just be the icing on that delicious cake. Enjoy 🙂

    • Thank you! ❤

      I may have used all my luck up for this year when I won two prizes in quick succession as I have not won a bean since then.

      I would only be using the money for extra spending and so if I don't win anymore prizes I will be disappointed, but it won't take the shine off of what will be a fantastic vacation with the wonderful Kate Loveton!

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