Wednesday, November 11, 2015

More on Fantasy Sports - What Else You Could Be Doing With that Money

If you saw my previous post, you know I am not a fan of Daily Fantasy Sports Sites.   I just see too many families already in debt and these sites only make it worse.   They make it seem so easy.   They have contests beginning at $1 and you could win a million.   Except those $1 contests don't have the $1 million prize.    I have seen a distinct uptick in cases involving gambling, where the track, casinos or DFS.   But the place of gambling may be different, but the outcome is the same.   Money lost that can be put to better use.

Let's see what else you can do with that money.   Here are some actual entry fees from one of the major DFS sites.     I did it for the basic entry fee then figured out if you entered that same contest for each week of the NFL season.   I chose NFL because I prefer football to any other sport.   Plus the season is pretty compact.    Just imagine these numbers over the baseball or basketball season.

Entry Fee
17 Weeks
To be fair, they also have some contests for $.25.   You want to enter a couple of those, have fun.   It's spare change (although even that adds up).    But no one enters ONE $.25 contest once.   You enter multiple contests to increase your chances of winning.   And you do it all season long.

Just at $5, you spent over the cost of the season, your monthly cell phone bill.

The $10 over 17 weeks is your electric bill for one month.

$12 is an extra car payment after 17 weeks.   You make that instead and you are reducing your principle which reduces the total cost of your financed vehicle in the long run.   

Let's get into the serious money here.   $100 is already your water bill or cell phone bill.   Just one contest instead of paying that bill.   Over the course of the season that is your mortgage payment.  

For $200 each week, you could pay off your credit card bill.   

If you saved that $300 over 17 weeks, you have a downpayment on a nice condo.

The sites do their best to make sure you don't realize how much you are spending.   Eh, what's 5 contests at $5 a contest?   Well, that's $25.  Which is a tank of gas.    Over the course of the season that is your car payment twice over.  You could pay your car insurance at once instead of each month.  

Interest rates might not be exciting, but if you can afford to put that much money into DFS each and every week, you have that much to put into savings for a real emergency.   You spend the equivalent of a tank of gas every week and then the day after the Super Bowl your car dies.   But you have no savings.  Now you have to get a new car with no money down.   It can be done, but you are financing the whole thing.   

$200 a week and you put that into your IRA tax free, by the end of the season you have maxed out on what you can put in in a year.   

The point is, you can put that money to better use for you than giving the money to the site owners for their benefit.   Like more ads every five seconds during the games.   

If you are married to someone who is just won't quit with these sites because he/she is convinced that the next contest will earn all their money back and then enough to pay off the debts, you need to realistically look at your situation.    It's not getting better.   Instead of paying off debt, you are adding to it.   You don't have to put up with it.   You can get out.   There might not be an easy out of the debt.   Maryland does not have "marital debt."   But at least you can put a line under what you can be held responsible for.   Talk to an attorney about your rights and ways to protect yourself.   

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