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Old 02-10-2009, 06:32 PM   #21
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You can conquer anything if you have a good enough reason to do so. Please go look in a mirror and see the best reason - YOU.

Set your mind to your best path and then put one foot in front of the other. Repeat. You'll get the groove as you go.

Every time you decide not to gamble, you are reclaiming your present and securing your future. Every time you choose to save or invest your moolah, you claim a victory for yourself.

I am really glad you posted and asked for advice and our collective honesty. There's plenty of that to spare around here!

"All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them." - Walt Disney
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Old 02-10-2009, 06:41 PM   #22
Confused about dryer sheets
Join Date: Feb 2009
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Originally Posted by plex View Post
Your best shot is going to be to invest in some help transitioning through cutting out gambling cold-turkey. It will likely be very difficult to do on your own otherwise. You may need checkups to keep you on track as well.

Do not go into day-trading, for the most part, it is gambling, and for the small part of it that is not, it requires you to not have a gamblers mind set in any fashion, as it is very analytical. There are no billionaires who were day traders, and there are likely extremely few millionaires either, it is not a road to wealth. Investigate some other form of side-income,there are plenty of other choices, I can only think that day-trading would be disastrous for you.

You likely will need to find something else to engross yourself with that you will enjoy (preferably not one of the other destructive addictions, like alcohol). Has there been anything else you enjoyed in the past other than gambling, perhaps even enjoyed a lot?

Essentially, you are going to be looking for balance. Addictions are hard to break, you will likely think about gambling a lot even after you stop, at least for awhile. I know I did when I quit gaming for a long period when it would have gotten in the way of important goals, and I am very sure I was, and still am (even though I very rarely play), addicted to gaming. Gaming was a huge time-sink for me. It will take constant effort to keep yourself from relapsing, because it only takes a small relapse, especially in your case, to do damage.

Once you find that balance though, you will be golden, you should be able to meet your goals of early retirement, it sounds like your future depends solely on finding this balance.
What was your balance?
I have to think about this balance more. I am also checking out Life and Fire for some really good ideas.
The reason I say this is because I have always been a all or nothing type of guy. Co workers tell me to find a balance between things, this may have been the reason for my happy medium question that I originally posted. I never understood the balance between life and work concept. Doing something half effort doesn't sit well with me.

Thank you for reading.

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Old 02-10-2009, 06:51 PM   #23
Confused about dryer sheets
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Originally Posted by armor99 View Post
Just curious..... what exactly is your profession that you can make 150k / year at 30? From what you had posted... this is not your own business and you are working for someone else. To pull a line from the movie "the pursuit of happiness".... "What do you do.... and how do you do it?"
Director of Sales and Marketing for a Financial equipment company. Promoted to this job about 2 years ago so I wasn't always making this much. Also after taxes, it's a lot less than you would think. But you gotta love taxes.

I was hoping to save my first million by 32, since I was 18 but now that dream has come and gone for me. Everything has been reset, I will now be lucky if i hit it by 2020.
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Old 02-11-2009, 07:09 PM   #24
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There is help to be had.

I don't think you can do this by yourself (without counseling and a support group / accountability group). If all it took was willpower, you would have quit before now.

Find another GA group. Go to a different one every couple of days if necessary. Add AA (similar 12 steps).

The counseling will be to figure out: What is the hole in your heart you are trying to fill...? ~and~ How can you find healing for this woundedness...?

Spend some of that money to get treatment and stay in recovery. Now there's a good investment.

Kindest regards,
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:47 PM   #25
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I also urge you to spend some money and go to a treatment program AND then find a compatible GA group. The groups are not all alike depending on the personalities, just like AA or Alanon groups. I have been involved with Alanon in the past and to learn more about alcoholism have gone to AA and met people in recovery. They do not always feel like they are broken people. Many times recovery allows people to feel empowered, to take wonderful steps in a positive direction and to feel fabulous about their lives.

Good luck to you.
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Old 02-13-2009, 06:49 PM   #26
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Conflicted, allow me to diverge from the masses.

I'm also a 30 y/o with no debt, wife, kids, or major expenses outside of my stomach, liver, and monthly rent payment. I also like, okay almost love, to play poker in the local card rooms. Have been doing so for 3+ years. Some nights you're the king of the world, other nights you get your arse handed to you. So is luck and a game of chance. Over the long haul, only the house wins.. yeah I know you've heard all the mottos before.

It sounds like you're hooked in a major way and I've been there done that. Most recently I quit cold turkey for 10+ months to pursue more personal development. Lifting weights, getting my I/T certs, and oh yeah major night and weekend time with the new G/F. Though she costs some coin too, but that's the topic of another thread altogether.

You make almost double my salary, so I would imagine that you could hit the million or multi-million mark way before I could. But my advice would be three-fold.

1) Spend your money before you actually 'receive' it. Better said, allocate your paycheck before you let your fat fingers take the scratch to the casino. I allow myself only a few hundred dollars between bi-weekly paychecks as spending money and rolling cash cushion. The rest of it has already been allocated towards my 401K, roth IRA, savings, investments, rent, bills, etc. The more locked-up the better in our case!

So let's say you max your 401K and still net 4 large every two weeks. Well considering that you have very few bills to pay, you need to get busy spending/allocating/investing about 6 thousand per month. It ain't sexy but throwing that money into an online CD or alternative investment vehicle might be the prudent thing to do. Its somewhat out of sight and will take 7-10 days to get transferred back into your main account. Often after the 'urge' to gamble it has passed.

2) Set some goals for yourself, mainly savings and investment goals. From my personal experience, gambling types have ZERO money management skills and their motto can be summed up in 'easy come easy go'. All or nothing types. Gamblers are never happy until they achieve the 'big win' and are miserable with smaller wins. So chasing that big win is what gets so many people into trouble. Also relying too much on a 'system' to think it will work time after time. The number one skill of gambling isn't any system, but proper $$ management. For most, this is not ever stepping into a gaming establishment.

Set a goal for yourself of saving 200K over the next three years to purchase a home outright (or 50% of a home if you live in a HCOL area). To me, savings is just as addicting as gambling. I was able to put away almost 20K (excluding pre-tax 401K) over my 10 month furlow from playing cards. And I was able to travel with the G/F to a few different locales. I'm sure you could double that especially since you're paying less in living expenses than I am.

3) Spend some money on yourself. I saw it right away from your initial post. Because you're busting your tail at work, gambling is an escape and way of rewarding yourself for both the hard work and minimizing other expenses. You're living too frugally my friend. Someone making 150K shouldn't be renting a room. Get your own pad, buy some furniture, new clothes, heck pay some cash for a new BMW coupe.

Most will argue that there's little to no ROI on these types of purchases. So what. I'm not advocating to become a shopoholic, but for the income you're making I don't think you need to skrimp as much as you're already doing. Its okay to 'upgrade' your lifestyle and reward yourself for achieving a successful well paying career. You need to find a balance between saving for later years and enjoying your lifestyle today. Its too unbalance right now.

You have to realize that right now your brain chemistry, like any other addiction, is out of whack. The circuitry for dopamine and pleasure centers in your brain are completely fried. What you need to do is attempt to reprogram your brain with other fulfilling activities outside of work. Maybe burn through some money to make it happen. Pay some friends visits in other cities or do traveling. Create some hobbies, even expensive ones. Bottom line is, you're equating too much of your personal worth in $$$$ alone, that is the main problem my friend. The gambling part just feeds into that.

Quiting cold turkey will help. As does accountability via GA. As does experiences like travel, hobbies, beautiful crazy women, etc. One thing I've found to be helpful is to change my casino buddies or drop them completely. Losing gamblers always think its more fun inviting others to lose as well. Then they can all share their losing stories while eating pancake breakfasts at 2AM in the morning from the loose change in their cars. C'mon now, you're more than capable of growing out of these bad habits. Its a long process but you have to set yourself up for future success. Its not easy but it will pay off, trust me.
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Old 02-14-2009, 05:44 AM   #27
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Originally Posted by Conflicted View Post
What was your balance?
I have to think about this balance more. I am also checking out Life and Fire for some really good ideas.
The reason I say this is because I have always been a all or nothing type of guy. Co workers tell me to find a balance between things, this may have been the reason for my happy medium question that I originally posted. I never understood the balance between life and work concept. Doing something half effort doesn't sit well with me.

Thank you for reading.
You have more problems than just gambling....

I knew an all or nothing guy... never could quite understand him... a few examples...

Me and a few friends back in high school played chess (and even after high school)... we were good.. This guy wanted to learn.. so he bought one of the first computer chess games where you had a board that would light up the move etc... he went off to the navy and came back a few years later.. played that game the whole time... but could not beat it... when he showed it to one of our friends who was a great chess player, he predicted almost 95% of the moves the game was going to play and beat it easily... so the guy threw it away since it was 'bad'... even though HE could not beat the game... all or nothing...

I bowled since high school also... was out of it for 10 years but started back up when I started working for a company and they had a bowling league.... at that time was averaging about 165 to 170... my friend started to bowl and was in the 150s... kept practicing to get better... I did not practice much at all... we both improved... but he kept trying to be 'better' than me.. at the end, he was bowling 45 plus games a week and finally got an average higher than mine, but by then I was about a 190 and he was 195.. so he could not win every game... again, all or nothing...

He also wanted to play racketball..... another friend was very good at it... but my all or nothing friend who could beat me easily and most people at his club finally played my other friend and got his arse handed to him... not even close... so he would never play him again because... yep, he did not want to lose... again, all or nothing...

We all stopped seeing this guy as it was just to difficult to deal with him because everything is a competition even if WE did not want it to be..

... but even then he tried to compete with us... he started to run marathons.. which the great chess player also did.... so after not seeing this guy for 10 years I get a call out of the blue telling me to look at the times of the marathons... yep, he was running a 3 hour marathon... and wanted to know what Bobby's best was... well, he qualified for Boston with a 2:50... so the guy got pissed off and hung up never to call again... someone told me he was now doing ultra marathons, up to 100 miles so nobody we know can 'beat him'....

SOOO, if this is your all or nothing lifestyle.... I am sure you are pissing off anybody who knows you and you will not (IMO) have a great life... that is what 'get balance in your life' means to me... stop doing destructive things... YMMV...
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Old 02-15-2009, 02:54 PM   #28
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Hi conflicted,

Sorry to hear about your problems. The last two posts hit it right on the head. The problem seems to be a lack of balance in your life. Due to your extreme frugalness, your day-to-day life is so drab that by the time you've gone six months, a year, whatever, you can't take it anymore, and need a release (or more an "explosion" in your case). That's what I think it is in a nutshell.

My advice would be to allow yourself some pleasures in your day to day life. Start dating, explore some hobbies. Not only will these things help you avoid the "build-up", but they are also your support system when it is difficult to resist the urge. Locking your savings up in a way that it takes at least a few days to get at the funds is also a good idea - it will at least give you a bit of time to think if you become tempted rather than being completely caught in the moment.

About frugalness in general - my wife and I had a great discussion about this about a week ago. There is a real balance you have to find here. Of course, frugalness is needed for any long-term financial plan to be successful. But if you are too frugal, you are basically trading these years now for those years later when you may retire early - not too mention by not living today, you will not have the personal growth needed for those years later to be meaningful. You have to find a way to live a happy fulfilled life in these years now, while also saving enough money that you are not working forever. Lets suppose you defeat the gambling urge, and are able to retire by the time you are 45 or so. What will you do with the time that you have when this is achieved? Make sure you have a decent idea about this. And then ask yourself, can some of those things be done now, while still working? And if so, why wait?

I just think that a happy, balanced life now, where you still save 40% of your income is infinately better than a miserable life where you save 70% and retire a few years earlier.

Best of luck defeating your problem. As long as there is such a thing as free will, you CAN do it.

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