Every rand you spend is R1 less in your pocket

SHOW me how you use your money and I will tell you if you will have more money in your life or not. It goes without saying that making money, spending money and thinking about money takes up a substantial portion of people’s lives. Most people would like to have more money. Having enough money allows you to provide for your family, plan for the future and be able to enjoy your leisure time. Not having enough money narrows your choices and restricts your ability to fully share in society’s abundance.

Money dictates where and how you will live, what you buy and for how much and, to a large extent in our big cities, it dictates your position in the social order. So perhaps in more ways than we are willing to admit, money has incredible power over us. In my entire life, I have never heard anyone saying they don’t want to have more money. Equally so, I rarely hear of someone who claims to have absolutely no money issues. Most people have money i s su e s simply because things happen in life. Trouble comes, companies restructure or close down, marriages fail and relationships break down.

Some people get sick and die, others lose value on their houses and bills pile up. No one is immune – at some stage in people’s lives, they go through this. This proves how important money is in our lives. I do not understand therefore when some people claim that money is important to them, yet they take their wages or salary and gamble it away. This means no food at home, unpaid bills and maybe even some hidden credit cards used to continue gambling. Some are so addicted to gambling that they miss their bond and car payments. They might win something small once or twice, and then use the same money to try their luck again just in case they win again. Unfortunately, that “again ” never comes. Some love the idea of being seen in a casino spinning the wheel.

A gentleman I met some time ago loved to bet on horses and on other days he would buy the sweepstakes for R62 a week without fail. He told me he had been doing this for 15 years. I know small change doesn’t matter much to some people, but remember this: every R1 spent is R1 less in your pocket. So if, for five days a week you spend, for example, R5 a day on l o tt e r y tickets or other gambling, this amounts to R25 a week and R100 a month. If you invested that money (R5 a day) for 15 years without touching it, and with only 5% compounded growth per year, you would have R26 728. The gentleman who spent R62 a week on sweepstakes could have saved R248 per month for 15 years and taken home R66 287 at the end of that period.

Sadly, all that money is sitting in rich people’s bank accounts and you are struggling to provide for your family. Folks, this applies to any kind of gambling – be it betting on horses, dogs or sports. There are scratch card games, dice, cards and even a cellphone lottery. Whatever you gamble on, just know that it costs money. Money likes to go where it is taken care of. It matters on what and where you spend the R5, R3.50 or R62. The point is: the day we learn to count and appreciate the cents in our lives, we will learn how to make and save money. While we are still wasting money on pipe dreams, we will continue to be financial disasters.