Regaining Control

Balancing the budget

Wondering where your money goes? Find out how much you can really afford to spend on gambling.

Making a budget

Developing a budget is a great way to take control of your finances. Not only does it demonstrate a commitment to change but it can also be a real eye-opener if you are not sure exactly where your money is going.

Sometimes people are reluctant to re-organise their money so that they don't have direct access because it feels as though they are losing control.  This way of thinking however, can just be a way of tricking yourself into still having money to gamble.

Others may be facing a situation in which they need to repay a substantial gambling debt. While this may be a very daunting prospect, it is a crucial part of changing behaviour.

The benefits of budgeting

Budgeting can help to:

  • Understand patterns of spending
  • Determine what you want and how to achieve it
  • Support your decision to cut down your gambling spend by setting an amount that is affordable and equivalent to normal entertainment expenses
  • Ensure bills are paid before gambling
  • Work out how much money can go to a savings account, gift or holiday

How to do a budget

Get a quick snapshot of your finances by drawing a line down the page.  On one side list income, on the other list expenses such as food, rent/mortgage, bills, gambling, entertainment etc.

  • If total expenses exceed total income, try adjusting amounts of money within different expense categories.
  • You may be able to cut back on non-essential items until your budget can accommodate the amount you would like to spend.
  • If income exceeds expenses, it is important to manage this money and not spend more on gambling than budgeted. If you are spending more than you would like, check out our tools for cutting down.

Be realistic about debt management

  • Don't set yourself a budget that is too difficult to stick to.
  • Review your budget regularly to assess if any changes are required.

The anxiety that large debt can produce may have an impact on your motivation to work on long-term change. If you think you may be facing this situation, we highly recommend meeting with a financial counsellor to discuss specific strategies to cope with debt. Dealing with debt and arranging manageable repayments can eliminate a major stress from your life.

Next steps

If you want to improve your money management to help stay in control, you can: