If I were to guess what my father has spent on lottery tickets over the years, the numbers get interesting. The psychology behind lottery and gambling is interesting, too.
On average, I would assume approximately $20 per week was spent, over about 30 years, say. $20 x 52 is about $1000/yr. We’re being conservative. I’m sure there were big jackpots when more was spent, and the occasional winnings to offset a little along the way.
If one were to invest $1000, compounding at 10% return, contributing of course an additional $1000 yearly, over 30 years, you’d have around $182,000. What if you’d also added in all the little winnings over the years? What about half of anything spent on booze, smoking, or other wasteful shit? It’s very likely one could be nearing a $500,000 pot before long.
The basic plan/calculator: http://bit.ly/lottopot30
Granted, at any time, a lottery jackpot could have been won, making all of this moot. But, not really. Statistically, 70% of people who win a lottery or get a big windfall actually end up broke/bankrupt within a few years, according to the NEFE (http://bit.ly/nefestory). This is no secret.
This, obviously, relates to the scarcity and lack consciousness I’m always writing about, and actively growing out of myself. Regarding the job/career you have, why are you buying lottery tickets? As an escape? Would you be doing what you’re doing if you weren’t getting paid? Is there something else you’re wanting to escape?
Regarding financial wealth, if you come from and primarily exist in a persistent state of scarcity and lack, you have no concept of handling real money. Additionally, you’re very likely surrounded primarily by those also living within this level of understanding, when it comes to money and wealth — but this mindset spills over into all areas of life.
What did you do the last time you came into a bonus $100, $1000, $10,000? How quickly did you burn through it? Did you buy a car, pay off a credit card, or go on vacation?
Our consumerist culture is not conditioned to think of the long game. We’re trained into instant gratification; my house, my car, my lawnmower, my fifty pairs of shoes… Now!
One way to look at it, then, would be that if you can afford to spend X dollars on Y every week — that’s simply going into the void of no returns — you can afford to also invest the same amount into your future self.
As a society, we have to rethink money in general. In the meantime, educate and discipline yourself. Small changes over the long game will very likely change everything.