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Creating your own luck

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A story from my past that shows where I have came from, part of my origin story, if you will! A story about creating luck. And the night that it came together and I got lucky.

‘Could I possibly borrow some money, please?’ 

It was a question I was forced to ask my Dad one night in 2018 on our way to the football. I was embarrassed and ashamed, and I am sure he wasn’t best pleased that his 29-year-old was still struggling with his finances long after moving out. But he told me he would talk to the bank, and we left it at that for the night. 

It was a real low point for my wife and me. We lived in debt, had taken out more than we should have for holidays, were still paying off our wedding and were generally just crap with money. We had hit the point where a week into the month, we had nothing left of our wages and no way that I could see that we could get money. 

We just need to get through the next 4 months.

We tried to borrow more money from the credit union to bridge our gap, telling ourselves, ‘we just need to get through the next 4 months, then it will all be OK. I was due a salary increment increase the following year, which would have helped a little. The credit union told us no, it was too soon since our last loan, come back in 4 months and see us. 

I spoke to my Mum, and Kirstie spoke with hers; both wanted to help but were understandably unable to. I applied for a loan with a few banks, nothing but rejections and an adverse effect on my credit score. We were desperate, and the last chance we had, was my Dad. If he had shot me down in flames, I don’t know what I would have done; this was years before OnlyFans was a thing! 

The previous month

We knew that our finances were heading down the drain previously, and we had made attempts to budget and cut back our expenses. Not well enough, I might add, but we naively tried. One thing that was cut was my budget for playing fantasy football. I had previously gotten into American Football and played on a site called Draftkings; if you have watched any Sky Sports, the chances are you have seen an advert for it. It is huge! 

I put a lot of work into my fantasy football. I read courses, listened to podcasts, read articles, watched the news, studied game theory, and consumed everything I could. My weekly budget had gone from around £50 a week over the first half of the season then down to £20. But playing with £20 per week just didn’t seem worth the time investment; I was considering giving it up for the time being until our finances could support a more sizeable investment. 

My wife was fed up with hearing,

I can do this

I am learning

I am so close

If only this had happened

Look what we nearly won

I’m just not getting the luck i need

Look what we were winning, but then this happened, and we didn’t

Me – pissing my wife off.

You get the picture. But I was putting in the hard work, and I knew that it would pay off eventually. But right now, where we were in life financially, I just couldn’t afford to continue. 

You create your own luck.

I genuinely believe that we all create our own luck. No person is luckier than another person, but if someone puts themselves in a position to get lucky more often, it could appear that way. 

I think I mentioned we were terrible with money, haven’t I? Well, I think my wife had sensed that I was unhappy that I couldn’t continue with the amount I was playing. Our finances were going down the toilet, and I remember her saying one week, ‘just play your usual amount. We will work it out’. I didn’t give her a chance to change her mind! I deposited the regular £50 and resumed my studying of the NFL. 

I was night shift on Saturday night and got home early Sunday morning, but I wasn’t tired. I sat on the computer doing my research and working on teams for that night. I sat there all day, no sleep, just working away. I lost practically that full day doing something I love. I had a great feel for that week and felt good. 

Luck on my side

Sunday night continued for me as it usually did, watching touchdowns being scored, keeping an eye on my Draftkings current winnings. The highest I had ever seen in the currently winning section was $2000, but we only won $600 on that occasion. I had a few things on the next day, so I paused the TV, minimised Draftkings on my laptop and went about my business for about an hour. 

Coming back to watch and being one hour behind the live-action, I could skip through parts of the games if nothing major was happening. 

‘Oh, that’s my quarterback throwing a touchdown to another player I have’. 

‘Oh, there’s my running back scoring a touchdown’. 

‘Oh, there’s my quarterback throwing another touchdown to another player I have’. 

‘You know, I might be doing ok here if this keeps up! Maybe on for $1-$2000, come on lets have some luck!’

So I kept skipping through the down sections of games, and finally, I caught up with live-action. I opened my Draftkings tab on my laptop and nearly fainted! There were 2 minutes left in the last match of the day. 

The screen read; Currently winning $100,000.

I ran upstairs to wake Kirstie, who was asleep at the time since it was after midnight, and she did have work in the morning! 

‘What does that mean?! Have we won it?!’ 

No, not yet, I had to tell her, and we had to sit and watch the last 2 minutes of the game, which could change our lives. That was the longest 2 minutes of my life, but after hyperventilating, it was over.

We had won.

Cancel the bank!

‘Dad, have you spoken to the bank yet?’  

‘No, I have an appointment on Tuesday’. 

‘Ok, thank you for that, but cancel it’.

‘What? Why?’.

He couldn’t believe it! 

I proceeded to get messages of congratulations from friends and family over the next few days, with a few shouts of ‘lucky bastard’ thrown in. They were right; I had gotten lucky this time. But the amount of work I put in creating this luck for my family was no joke. 

Spending the money

My favourite part of this story is spending the money. Not in the traditional way, when someone wins money on something, the first thing they are asked, ‘what are you going to spend it on?!’. We were extremely bad with money up until this point in our lives and it would have been easy to waste this gift we had been given of a second chance. 

  • We cleared all debt that we had apart from our house. 
  • Cleared all of our mother in laws debt that was from our wedding
  • We upgraded our house to more of a family home
  • We went on a reasonably priced holiday
  • Put money away to start a family and cover Kirstie’s maternity pay.

We used the last of the £76,000 last summer covering Kirstie’s wages as she took the year off after having Zak in 2020. We were sensible, we didn’t blow it and it let us have our son without worrying about money.

Conclusion

This is a look behind the curtain into my life and how I got to where I am now, you can learn more about me here. I have a second chance after the mistakes that have been made over the years. The key is to learn from the past and to not repeat those same mistakes.

I have felt a few creeping in recently and now I am on the path to financial independence, this is going to be fixed. I am putting my full focus into creating a financially independent future for my family and I will attack it with the same force as I attacked that $100k win.

So the point of this story, is that things may seem dire, you may have nothing and not know where to turn. But if you keep working hard, believe in yourself and believe in where you are going, then maybe it will be your turn for the luck you deserve.

This win gave us the financial confidence to start a family.

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