Regular 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….
Having 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.
Gambling 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.
Alas, 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: