Fall football season means something different for everyone. Whether you’re traveling across the country to visit your beloved alma mater to cheer on your team, or trying to impress your coworkers in Fantasy Football, this sports season is a prime time to come together with family and friends, eat delicious food, and bond over the classic American past time.
With all of the fun that comes with football games, it can be easy to forget about your finances when you’re wrapped up in the hype. Whether you’re hosting a viewing party with snacks and drinks or pulling together a tailgate outside of your team’s stadium, the money you spend on celebrating the games can quickly add up.
With this in mind, we asked a few people to recall the craziest money they ever spent on a football game. It just goes to show that even the unlikeliest of activities really can take a hit on your spending habits.
Crushing on a Football Buff
“I had a crush on a co-worker that was obsessed with football and watching NFL games. When I finally asked him out, I decided to go all out and buy us $200 tickets for a Broncos game. I knew that he was a huge football buff, so I wanted to look the part. I bought a $60 jersey just to seem like a huge fan and even studied the roster so that I would have some conversation topics. On top of that, I bought us both some $10 beers to calm my first date nerves. Six beers and $335 later, he never even called me back. The worst money I ever spent!” — Sarah L.
Super Bowl Anniversary Gone Wrong
“My husband and I are from Philadelphia, so we absolutely love the Eagles. When they made the Super Bowl last year, which happened only days before our anniversary, I knew that two tickets would be the most special gift I could give him. As you know, Super Bowl tickets are not cheap. I scraped together about $5,000 to put towards the tickets, and with some help from my parents, I was able to pull off getting 2 tickets for the event. I found a cool jersey online that I thought he would love and planned a dinner for us beforehand, which I knew would make the night. The entire experience was worth his appreciation for the event, and we had an absolute ball… Until it was time to pay our monthly rent! We ended up coming out about $500 short, which was unsurprising due to the unanticipated costs that came with both celebrating our anniversary and planning it around the Super Bowl. Keep that in mind next time you want to attend a super elite sporting event!” –Hannah R.
“I bought tickets to my college’s homecoming game to relive some of my best years. The tickets cost about $300 round trip, but it was worth it because all my buddies were meeting up and planning on attending a huge tailgate. By the time I got there, my friends had already started drinking. I spent $50 on alcohol just trying to play catch-up, and even got cornered into buying a case of $30 beer for my friend who left his wallet back at the hotel. The tailgate was a bit of a blur, but the game itself was nuts. I paid $45 to switch my ticket to the student section to be in the middle of the action. By the time the game was over, I was coaxed into after-game drinks at a bar 45 minutes away. The Uber charge was over $50! Altogether, what was supposed to be a weekend of casual football turned into one of the most expensive experiences of my life!” –Tyler E.
NFL Viewing Party Disaster
“My wife decided she thought it would be fun to host her girlfriends for a viewing party to watch the first NFL game of the season. Since I have the most football knowledge in the family and am a pretty big NFL fan, I told her I would help her plan it. She told me she wanted me to go “all out.” With my previous viewing party experience, I ordered an enormous amount of food, from family-sized guacamole to 150 buffalo wings. I bought a few cases of beer, about 5 family-sized bags of Tostitos, and some other snacks to have available. I also decided to go the extra mile and buy all the ladies Patriots baseball caps to support our favorite team. All in all, I spent about $500 to make the viewing party a true Super Bowl experience. But, when my wife arrived, she noted that none of her girlfriends would be likely to eat any of the “carb-heavy” food or beer that I had bought and that some of them were cheering for the opposing team. I guess I should’ve kept in mind that I wasn’t planning a viewing party for me and my friends. Oops!!” –Ben D.
Do any of these scenarios sound like you? There is a way to avoid the financial football overdoses — have the #RealMoneyTalk with your friends, family, and most importantly, with yourself. Keeping a watch party casual, or just watching it with a few friends at home, are both ways to keep your spending, and debt in check. It’s ok to tell yourself that being able to afford rent next month is more important than the perfect tailgate. So just remember to be your own financial referee! Once you are able, to be honest with yourself, you can get your head in the game.
What’s your worst football spending confession?! Tell us on social using #RealMoneyTalk!