At one point while in a half asleep haze I swore my cell phone was vibrating on my bedside table. The next morning I slept in late but still awoke feeling groggy. I was thankful it was Saturday and I did not have to go to work.
When I looked at my telephone I realized there were three missed calls from the night before. One at 1:00 a.m., one at 4:00 a.m., and another at 9:00 a.m.
My heart raced and I was certain something terrible must have happened. Instead when I retrieved the voice mail messages they were simply drunk dial calls from one of my best friends, who had spent the night before at a bachelor party in Atlantic City.
The following is an as accurate as I can remember transcript of each telephone communication from that night. As an FYI, my friend is a bit much, particularly when he has consumed way too much alcohol.
Call #1: 1:00 A.M.
Dude. Why didn’t you come to this thing….oh wait, nevermind you don’t know this guy whose getting married. Look, I just wanted to say I’m drinking a lot and I’m feeling great and maybe you should just come up here or down… or whatever and party. It’s still pretty early, don’t be a little wuss. Just because your married doesn’t mean you can’t have any fun. Tell her that. Call me back or whatever. (click).
Call #2: 4:00 A.M.
Oh my God! Dude I just went up $3,000.00 in craps. You dude oh my god. I can’t believe this. This is the craziest night ever. I just ordered a shot for everyone on the floor and I tipped the dealer a $100 chip because he is magic. Why aren’t you here, you could have won like $3,000 dollars but whatever bad luck is probably what you would bring anyway. Uhahahd! (?) Look we you should whatever. Sorry I’m calling kind of late, I’m just so psyched about this. You are a tool! Dude, this is the greatest night of my life! hahaha!!!! Who wants to–(click).
Call #3: 9:00 A.M.
Yo man. I just wanted to apologize for calling you all late last night. Dude, last night was the worst night ever. I went up like $3,000 and then I lost it all plus another $2,000 grand. I don’t know how I’m going to repay it. That was my mortgage money, dude. What an idiot. I got all drunk and just crapped it all away. hahaha. Get it, crapped it all away because I was playing craps. You think that’s how the term crap was invented? Whatever, my heads pounding and I think I’m going to be sick, but I just wanted to say sorry if I disturbed you last night or called you some names in my messages or whatever.
Anatomy of a Big Financial Mistake
I can think of at least five big, personal finance mistakes my friend made that night, besides calling me up during a hot streak to brag about it. (Guaranteed bad luck from both a Karmic and a personal stand point).
I am going to list the five mistakes I caught as I explain the anatomy of a personal finance mistake. Please add what other mistakes or lessons there are to be learned from my friends night of debauchery in Atlantic City.
1) The House Always Wins – The law of averages in just about every casino game (With the exception of Texas Hold’ Em) is that the house will always have the odds, long-term. This can apply not just to poker but to any situation where the odds are not in your favor.
An expensive annual fee on a mutual fund, taking on high-interest loans, buying more house then you can afford. These are all situations where the odds may not be in your favor, long-term.
2) Quit While You’re Ahead – Similar to the above rule, with one caveat: if you have somehow beaten the odds or if you think a situation has peaked, then do not be afraid to walk away a winner.
Although I personally do not believe you can time the market, right now if you know you will need to touch the invested money a year from now or so, it may not be a bad time to cut out now while the markets appear to be perhaps overly saturated and overpriced.
3) Don’t Mix Alcohol and Money – There is a reason why every casino pumps out free drinks to anyone with money left in their wallet. For obvious reasons alcohol can affect your decision making, not to mention the fact that in many instances alcohol itself can be a waste of money.
4) Don’t Spend More then you Can Afford – Gambling is, for most people a waste of money as it is. But my friend compounded the problem by going on tilt to the point that he lost money he could not afford to lose.
Whether you are gambling, investing, or making a large purchase, you must budget and know never to spend more than you can afford. I am sure my friend had to go into credit card debt to pay his mortgage that month. Not a great place to be if you can help it.
5) Have Some Humility – It always seems like karma will come and knock you down a peg. Never take your success for granted or brag about it. Having humility in good times will help ensure that the bad times do not last as long, because people will want to help you get back to the top.
Nobody likes a friend who is only a decent person when they are at rock bottom.
What are some other personal finance mistakes made by my friend in his fateful Atlantic City trip? I look forward to reading your comments.
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