Why You Should Never Spend Money You Don’t Really Have
You may say, “I’m spending all the money I don’t have” as just an expression. Meaning, you’re spending money you really shouldn’t be because it actually could be put to better use somewhere else.
One day, for me, “spending money I didn’t have” actually meant I was spending money I didn’t physically have. And what better place to be when this was happening than a casino, and a casino with a million miles of outlet stores, nonetheless.
I don’t visit casinos often. I am not a fan of spending money and having nothing to show for it. I mean, I would have something to show if I actually won anything substantial, but my gambling skills, or lack thereof, have proven that to be nearly impossible. I was at this casino for a fundraiser. Nine of the craziest women in my family joined 40 other breast cancer awareness supporters on a coach bus. We traveled about two hours to this casino and passed the traveling time with raffle prizes. $40 went to 14 tickets that would give me the chance to win any of 71 prizes. It was all for a good cause.
I was the lucky winner of a six burner gas grill (the largest in size and most random prize I could’ve won) and a wreath filled with $100 worth of scratch tickets. I was excited about the grill because that’s one less thing I have to buy when I get a house. I was also very excited about the scratch tickets because this was my chance to win big before I even stepped foot in the casino! As soon as the raffle event was over and we had no choice but to just sit, ride the bus and enjoy each other’s company, I ripped open the packaging that held the scratch tickets and scratched until my hands cramped up. I finished $1,555 richer. Or so I thought.
I waved the scratch tickets in the air, yelled out about my winnings in excitement and spent the whole day glowing at the fact that I was the biggest winner of the day. Then, I shopped as so.
I visited each and every store trying to be smart about my spending but remembering, hey, I have over $1,500 more than I did when I came here. It was like those movies when the devil and the angel are sitting on your shoulder arguing about which decision to make. In this case, my mom was the devil. “You just won $1,500! Treat yourself and live a little,” she said as I stood holding a beautiful Michael Kors purse and matching wallet, questioning whether or not I actually wanted to go through with the purchase. Well, I sided with the devil and together we bought that purse and wallet, a smaller purse just because, a pair of shoes, perfume and a dress. This is what Kim Kardashian must go through life like – spending money and not a care in the world.
The day came to an end, we hopped on the bus to go two hours back to get our cars and go home. I was still just as excited about my winnings and even more excited about the things it bought me. On the way home, I decided to take a second look at the scratch tickets, you know, maybe I missed a winning number. Well, I missed something, but it was far from a winning number.
In just two seconds, I realized the Benjamins I thought I was rolling in was a misread scratch ticket filled with embarrassment and disappointment. The scratch ticket I thought was my big $1,500 winner was a big, fat loser.
The regret built up within seconds. “But, I just bought all that stuff,” I said with so much guilt in my voice, people all the way in Australia felt the emotion and pitied me.
Truth be told, I most likely wouldn’t have bought all that stuff if I was shopping like it was a normal day, maybe one or two things, but definitely not to the extent in which I did. I tried to justify it and thought, well it was the outlets so I really didn’t spend as much as I could’ve and I did get really good deals. But, it still doesn’t take away the fact that it wasn’t a smart choice.
I hope you learn from my mistake and don’t spend money until you actually have it. This could mean other things for you, like spending money because you’re getting paid in a few days or before a check actually clears in your account. No, I am not so broke now that I can’t pay my bills, but I still wish I was smart about it and cashed my ticket in before I went on a shopping spree… or looked more closely to realize it wasn’t actually a winning ticket. I did win $60 and then $20 on a slot machine, so I guess it wasn’t a total loss, but I still spent money I wouldn’t have spent if it was any other Sunday. Another lesson learned is not to give in to peer pressure, even if it’s from your mom! If you’re questioning whether or not you want to do something with YOUR money, it probably isn’t a good idea. Whether you won it or earned, it’s still yours and your choice to make.
On the bright side, I have a few new items to walk into the winter season with. The down side, I still have a little buyer’s remorse.
Do you have any stories similar to mine? Please make me feel better and tell us about it in the comments below!