Way Better Things to Spend Money On Than Powerball Tickets

Dumb advice: Buy Powerball tickets. Follow my advice instead.
Dumb advice: Buy Powerball tickets. Follow my advice instead.

Yes, I know it’s fun to dream about winning the outrageously big Powerball lottery ($1.3 Billion as of this writing), but, let’s face facts, you’re not going to win. I’ve heard reports that perfectly sane people who never play the lottery are buying upwards of $50 on powerball tickets, and Fox News even had a talking head giving the advice to “buy as many powerball tickets as you can afford.” SMH.

Dear fellow working dads- this is crazy. There are so many better ways to spend $50 of your hard-earned money than on powerball tickets. Many involve buying yourself some much-needed family time. Here are the first 23 that come to mind:

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The Key to Work-Life Success: Intentional Choices

“When we consciously think about our actions and how we spend our time, we tend to be more consistent with our priorities. When we are on auto-pilot, we drift from our priorities and towards whatever happens to be most urgent at the moment “

Sometimes I allow 24/7 connectivity to work get in the way of family time
Sometimes I allow 24/7 connectivity to work get in the way of family time

A few months ago, a financial planner gave a guest lecture to students at my university about the importance of smart financial management right out of college. He talked about his own spending habits when he got his first job. As he drove to work for his first day, he stopped along the way for a Starbucks – after all, he had money now, and he deserved a treat. Later that day, his new colleagues took him out to lunch at a local café. What started as one-off decisions quickly became habits.

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My New Year’s Resolution: Better Work-Family Balance Through Goal-Setting (and a Handy-Dandy Fitness App)

Setting specific, measureable goals could be the key to better work and family balance. Here’s how

We are more likely to spend quality time with family if we set goals and plan ahead
We are more likely to spend quality time with family if we set goals and plan ahead

New Year’s Resolutions Stink

For the past few years, my New Year’s Resolution has been “To get in better shape.” Which, like most New Year’s resolutions, is a lousy, vague “do your best” style goal- these are largely ineffective. In fact, research shows that we are more likely to stick to and reach our goals when they are specific and measurable, when they are difficult enough to require sustained effort but are still realistically attainable, and when they have a deadline.

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Catch These Moments While We Can (on the end of “Nicky, the Skunk and the Dinosaur”)

…but then it occurred to me that never again would he be seven years, one month, and six days old, so we had better catch these moments while we can. -Bill Bryson

I'll miss fun times like these while Nick is little...
I’ll miss fun times like these while Nick is little…

My wife Amy was recently in a play in which her character’s family was, after many years, selling their family farm. In one scene, she’s reflecting with her teenaged son about the memories they shared in the house, and she dreamily reminisces about the bedtime stories she had made up for him when he was a young boy. She ends this scene with the line, “I don’t remember the last time I told you one of those stories.”

On this day, as Nick enters fourth grade, I found this line particularly profound. My son is growing up, and there are lots of things I “used to do” with him that he’s now grown out of. But, just like Amy’s character, I don’t remember the last time I did those particular things with him.

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School’s Out For Summer! (on the mixed blessing of school vacation for working parents)

School summer vacation can be a great time for downtime. But this extra time can also be too much of a good thing, leading to too much screen time for both dads and kids. I need your help!

This summer, I want to spend time doing this...
This summer, I want to spend more time doing this…

I’m technically not employed by FDU for the summer (although I always have class prep and, of course, writing to do). So, I am so incredibly lucky to be home to share the summer with Nick. Nick just ended third grade (where does the time go!), and Amy’s both rehearsing a show and directing a youth theater program. Nick will be going to a local camp from 9-3 on Tuesdays through Thursdays and has gymnastics on Monday and Friday afternoons. This means lots more me-and-Nick time, which is 95% awesome, with a small downside.

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What I Did Last Sunday Instead of Watching Football. A Photo Essay

I like watching sports as much as the next guy. But living life should always come first.

Nick and Jesse hamming it up on our visit to the awesome Storm King Arts Center
Nick and Jesse hamming it up on our visit to the awesome Storm King Arts Center

Being a New York sports fan, I have two football teams to follow. I’m a rabid Jets fan, but also follow the Giants. Last weekend, they both faced big early-season games.

So, when my wife said she wanted to take a family trip to the Storm King Arts Center (you should really go there if you are in the NY metro area), I was tempted to beg off to stay home and watch the games. I’m so glad I didn’t. Here’s why, in pictures.

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