Your money is your money, and you can spend it how you like. But gambling problems can cause serious money problems.
Here are some tips to help you stay in control of your finances:
Tip 1) Essential bills come first
If you’re gambling with your on-demand pay, then you may not have enough money for your bills and other essentials at the end of the month.
Always prioritise your rent or mortgage payments, bills, food, and other household essentials. Pay these first and then see how much you have left. This will give you an accurate picture of your finances.
Tip 2) Make a budget
Work out how much you’ve got coming in (e.g. your salary plus any other income). By creating a budget, it will help you plan exactly how much you have to spend on food, bills, travel and other necessities.
Add up how much you’re spending on gambling each month. This can be uncomfortable, but it’s also a useful reality-check to understand if it’s affecting your other financial commitments.
Not got a budget? Try this online budget planner from MoneyHelper.
Tip 3) Don’t ignore debt
Gambling websites are designed to encourage you to bet more and more, so you may end up gambling with more of your money that you intended to.
If your financial commitments are becoming unmanageable, it’s important not to ignore it. Getting your finances under control is an important step and there’s lots of support available to help you do this.
Tip 4) Get help with your gambling
If you’ve bet more than you can afford to lose, it’s a good idea to seek help. Free and confidential help is available to you:
GamCare offers free information, help, and support. It runs the National Gambling Helpline (0808 8020 133) and also offers face-to-face counselling. Visit them at www.gamcare.org.uk/
Gamblers Anonymous UK runs local support groups and offers lots of useful tools including money management guidance. Visit them at www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk/