Invest your spare change - MoneySense

Invest your spare change

Investing $2 a week, why bother? Play the lottery instead.


lotto_CC_LisaBrewster_322If you’re banking on the lottery to fix your financial problems (and a full one-third of us are, according to a recent survey) you’re in trouble because well, the odds are stacked against you. Playing the lottery and imaging how you’d spend the winning is fun, but it’s not a sound strategy to achieve financial independence.

Still, some suggest investing $2 or even $5 a week for life isn’t going to put dent in your nest egg, even with respectable returns. A winning lottery ticket on the other hand, could be the best “investment” you’ve ever made.

Let’s crunch the numbers:

$2 a week in a high-interest tax-free savings account paying 2.25% with interest calculated monthly would grow to $3,227 after 25 years and $8,885 after 50 years.

$5 a week would earn you just $8,068 after 25 years and $22,211 after 50 years.

As you can see, play money adds up. On the flip side, erosion of purchasing power is worth considering. No one knows for sure what $22,000 will buy in 50 years time, but chances are it’s not much. When it comes down to it, playing the lottery—within reason—is a personal choice. Just don’t bet the house. For more safe play tips visit