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Side Hustles

Spending Money on Office Pools & Other Gambling Expenses

One thing I’m most excited about now that I’m self-employed and I work from home is not getting sucked into any office pools like I did at my full-time job.

My office was notorious for organizing all sorts of sports pools for all the major sporting events. In the fall we’d organize a college football pool, in the spring we’d set up a March Madness bracket like lots of offices do.  Things got quiet in the summer so instead of setting up a pool we would end going to some baseball games on the cheap and laying some money down at the ball park.

Sure it was only $5 to enter a sports pool or $40 to go a baseball game but after doing that several times a year I could have easily paid my electric bill with how much money I lost. But it was the fact that when I played in these games, I wouldn’t keep track of how often or how much I was spending on them. Over a year it can really add up. Plus there are a lot more important causes that could have used that money too.

Playing in office pools is just one of the types of gambling I took part in most often. And I don’t even like sports that much. Basically I felt that I had to participate in some of these events at work to fit in. How’s that for keeping up with the Joneses?

Probably the other popular and affordable forms of gambling where I live is by playing the lottery. My dad buys Powerball tickets fairly often, probably once a week or so. That’s about $50 a year (at $1/ticket) that he uses on lottery tickets and I don’t know when the last time was that he won anything other than enough for another ticket.

My weakness is scratch off lottery tickets. I still only buy these things once or twice a year, because I know it’s a foolish use of money when I’m still in debt. But at least they provide a few minutes of entertainment while I try to play their puzzles and games.

Casinos are not that popular of a form of gambling in my area is because they are so far away from us and end up being a pretty high price affair. Because we live in the middle of nowhere, we have to drive at least a couple of hours to get to the nearest casino.

Admittedly, I’ve always wanted to go to Vegas, but gambling is only part of the reason behind it. The nightlife and food are fantastic but can lead to spending way too much without even thinking about it. If I ever get the chance, I’ll have to save for my trip and plan accordingly.

How much money do you spend on office pools and lottery tickets?

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Erin Thompson

Erin Thompson spent years managing her own blog about budgeting and debt. Because of that, she has great insights not only about managing spending and borrowing but also about running websites profitably. When she's not writing articles for us, she's traveling and looking for new types of wines to try.
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