I realized I was unclear on one of my 30 Before 30 goals:
#28 complete savings vs. lottery experiment.
Like most people, I enjoy imagining what I'd do if I won the lottery. However, like a lot of people, I realize that I'm much better off putting the money I would spend playing the lottery into an interest-bearing savings account. My parents, math teachers, and countless personal finance bloggers have drilled this into my head. The logical side of my brain understands and agrees.
However, while I may understand (and embrace) logic, part of me has always been a dreamer. I *want* to imagine what would happen if I hit it big. My fanciful side insists that $1 isn't much at all to spend on a dream. My frugal side firmly disagrees.
Several years ago, I came up with a little "experiment" (albeit a totally unscientific one) that would allow both sides of my brain to feel comfortable playing the lottery. For a year, I'd buy one lottery ticket a week, and put the equivalent amount into an online savings account. At the end of the year, I'd compare the results. Whatever I had in my savings account could be spent on whatever I'd buy if I won that amount of money playing the lottery. (Although frankly, I'd probably put the money into savings. Darn you, logical brain!) However, until this year, I'd never actually put the plan into action.
So far, the experiment has been fun. That moment before I scratch off the ticket is as full of possibility and anticipation as the first day of school. Better yet, the fact that I rarely win even a dollar is softened a bit by the knowledge that I'm putting a dollar into savings. (I probably would have otherwise spent the $2 on a cherry limeade at Sonic.)
It's a silly thing to do, I guess, but it has been fun.
Semi-current totals (I forgot to buy tickets over the holidays, so I need to catch up):
Savings - $35.16
Lotto - $24