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Thursday, April 23, 2009

How will you build wealth?

I was standing in line to pay for gas at my local Speedway when I overheard the lady at the counter requesting her lottery ticket numbers. She walked away, and I stepped up to pay for my gas. While I was completing my transaction, the same lady approached the next register. She told the clerk that she "was feeling it today" and requested that he give her more lottery tickets with the same numbers.

How sad......

I actually felt sorry for this woman. I don't know anything about her life story, but I can see that she's trying to become wealthy the wrong way. I'm a huge Dave Ramsey fan, and Dave is big on teaching our kids that work equals money. I had just gotten paid before I came across the woman at the gas station. I had earned extra money in my paycheck by taking on some additional responsibilities. This money will go toward paying off debt and getting our house ready to sell. Doing wise things with our money will cause us to become more wealthy. Buying lottery tickets gives me a one-in-something chance to possibly win some money. There are certainly no guarantees. I can guarantee you that working more/harder will earn me more money. I can guarantee that paying off debt will keep more money in my pocket down the road.

I suppose there's nothing inherently wrong with playing the lottery -- if you're just playing and you're playing with money that you can afford to lose. This woman was doing more than playing. You could see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice. This was crucial to her.

I'm sticking with the sure thing. I'll keep clipping coupons, shopping smart, and working for my money.