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:
How do you explain to a 5 year old boy that you can’t afford what his friends have because you’ve prioritized family time over financial rewards? Here’s one dad’s story. This is a guest post by Aaron Gouveia that originally appeared at his blog,DaddyFiles.com on July 8th, 2013.
What good is a fancy car if you only drive it to the office and back? What’s the point of buying your kids all the best toys if you’re not there to play along with them? And what good is that huge house if you’re never home to dance with your wife in the kitchen or chase the kids around that gargantuan playroom?
“Dad, are we poor?”
The question itself doesn’t bother me one bit. It’s an honest and insightful question that comes from a place of innocence and genuine curiosity often inhabited by 5-year-olds. It was the anxiety-riddled expression he wore on his face, and the hint of fear buried just below the inflection in his voice that did me in.
* as long as the kids get the time and attention they need.
Two-income families get divorced WAY LESS than single-earner households. Here’s why two incomes can lead to more fulfillment and lower stress.
(disclaimer- my philosophy on marriages/families is that couples need to discuss and choose an arrangement that works best for the family. There are many different ways to be successful, and it is not my intent to criticize or denigrate anyone’s choice or the way they structure their work in and out of the home. Your mileage may vary. Please keep this in mind as you read)
You have a job you don’t like, a boss who’s a jerk, few advancement opportunities on the horizon, and it’s a tough economy to find a comparable job somewhere else.
You have a great idea for a new business. You’d be great at it, and you’d feel so much better about yourself. You’d love to escape the hamster-wheel you are on and pursue your professional goals…
But, you have a wife and two kids. They rely 100% on your income, and on your employer’s health insurance plan. You have a mortgage, car payments, and you are desperately trying to put aside some money for college and retirement.
So, what do you do?
Well, you probably suck it up, and do what you have to for your family- after all, their needs come first.
But this comes at a cost. You are a more stressed, less happy person. You have all the pressure to provide for your family on your shoulders- and of course, even this job you don’t like doesn’t come with guarantees. Your wife is also probably frustrated about being trapped in the house and stressed about finances, too.