Dear Aunt Bingo,
have enjoyed reading your column as well as the rest of
the Bingo Bugle newspaper for many years. The columns
and puzzles are enjoyable and the game listings are
invaluable—especially since I retired last year and have
increased my Bingo playing.
Which brings me to my
problem. When I was working at my job as an office
manager, I mostly limited my Bingo playing to one
evening a week. Now that I am retired and have more free
time, I play Bingo at least twice a week and sometimes
three times…and occasionally as much as four times a
I rotate to different games and have many Bingo
friends I see when I am out who make Bingo even more
fun. I keep a record so I know how much I am spending on
Bingo. If my spending gets too high, I cut back. When I
win a jackpot, I include that in my budgeting and may
play a little more. The bottom line is that Bingo is
great fun for me and I am certainly not squandering my
retirement income in order to play.
husband sees it differently. He is convinced that Bingo
is a big waste of time and money and that I am throwing
money away. I’ve tried more than once to show him my
Bingo account book to prove to him that I keep track of
every penny, but he brushes it aside. I also reminded
him that part of my former job was tracking office
inventories and expenditures and that I was quite good
at it. He said that didn’t matter and that all my Bingo
playing is going to take us to the poor house.
this point I am at a loss as to how to reason with him.
Do you have any ideas? —Budget Conscious in
I suspect that there is a little
more going on here than just your spending at Bingo.
Assuming your husband is retired as well, I can’t help
but wonder if part of his issue is that you are off
enjoying an activity for hours at a time, multiple times
a week—without him.
I remember when my parents first
retired. Mom immediately got more involved with her
church, joined a community chorus, and began making and
selling baked goods through a local farmers market. Dad
mostly just puttered, determined not to do anything that
even remotely resembled work.
Needless to say, for a
while they really got on each other’s nerves. Whenever
Mom was home, Dad was always underfoot, hovering and
sticking his nose into whatever she was doing, and
talking her ear off. This made her spend more time
outside the house, which made him resentful. It took
years before Dad finally developed his own interests and
activities—to my Mom’s great relief.
Does any of this
sound like your situation? While you are off playing
Bingo, is your husband home alone, roaming through an
empty house and blaming your interest in Bingo for his
boredom? If so, it seems to me that the only remedy is
to help your husband find constructive ways to occupy
himself and stop resenting your personal interests.
Now, about that Bingo spending…
It sounds like you
are doing a good job of keeping a written record of your
gaming expenses—but be sure you are tracking it ALL.
Wear and tear on your vehicle as well as the cost of
gas, gaming supplies, beverages, meals, and more, all
add to the real cost of playing Bingo. If you are
playing three or four days a week, depending on how many
packs you play, this could easily come to $100 or more a
week, which comes to $5,000-plus a year. (Of course,
this is based on zero wins; a couple of good jackpots
will slash that total considerably.)
I, for one, see
nothing wrong with spending $100 a week on something I
enjoy—as long as I have the means to pay for it without
creating financial hardship in other areas. If this is
true for you, then your husband really has no right to
be criticizing your Bingo play, especially since he has
refused to even look at your accounting.
All I can
suggest is that the next time he starts in, stand your
ground and tell him you have budgeted for it, you can
afford it, you have the paperwork to prove it, and it’s
time for him to get off your back. Good luck!
Share your views! Write to Aunt Bingo c/o the Bingo Bugle, P.O. Box 527, Vashon, Washington 98070, or email her at STENGL456@aol.com. Be sure to include your name and address (you can request that your name not be published), as typically she will not include anonymous letters in her columns.