Since posting about my continued poker success — particularly following my recent $13,800 poker tournament win — I’ve received varied feedback, mostly from non-poker players, concerning my frugal lifestyle. I explain why I maintain to stay true to my frugal nature.
I keep a modest monthly budget and lack desires to make extravagant purchases or otherwise radically change my spending habits. I’m rather content with my current quality of life and modest budget.
I own a 2013 car with low mileage that is in great working condition. I pay monthly installments on my smartphone which I do not feel compelled to upgrade until the payment plan allows for a no-cost upgrade following the contract agreement. My laptop works quite well. I’m content with the clothes I own. I’m happy living in a nice area of Allentown with the owner of a modest home.
I don’t eat out much. I prefer to save money by cooking at home. I buy food at the casino in which I play, but only use comps — free money only usable for casino purchases — I accumulate through poker play when eating at the casino. I restock groceries on a weekly basis and don’t spend too much on food. I spend some money on entertainment, but have no plans to fly anywhere or spend extended amounts of time on lavish vacations. I typically set aside one day of the week to take a break from poker and occasionally take an additional two to three days off per month to attend special events.
Additionally, a large portion of my poker winnings/overall wealth is tied up, set aside as a poker bankroll — – the lump sum of money I need to play poker so that I can persevere through and recover from the occasional short-term financial downswings inherent to poker — kept secure at the casino in which I play.
I’m also saving money to account for dental expenses (sadly, the work isn’t cheap even with insurance and is not all covered by insurance) and hefty six-figure student loan debt which will, in months to come, increase my monthly expenses. I’m also hoping to move up from my now standard $1000 initial buyin in the $2/$5 cash games I regularly play to a higher stakes $5/$10 cash game with a higher maximum buyin which will allow for greater hourly earnings.
Just because I make large bets while playing poker does not mean that I am a heavy or reckless spender. Just because I play poker does not mean that I have or want a ‘baller lifestyle.’ Just because I play poker does not mean that I have little concern about my money. Just because I play poker does not mean that I have money to give away. Just because I play poker does not mean that my personality has radically changed.
It typically takes money to make money, at least in poker, and by maintaining a frugal lifestyle I can accumulate money to make even more money. Making wise financial decisions is essential for long-term success in poker.