This blog originally appeared in Counsellor Sam and has been republished with permission.
People who are trying to change their gambling habits can find that managing their money is especially difficult. Getting money on payday can lead to gambling, especially if money has been tight or you have recently received a large bill which triggers the urge to gamble to make money.
Choosing someone to help you manage your money, even temporarily, can ease the burden. But who to ask?
It’s important to choose someone you trust. Someone who makes sensible decisions with their money, who will listen to what you are trying to achieve, who will respect your privacy but also will not bow to any pressure you put on them to change the plan you have made together. It’s important to feel secure in your decision.
After choosing a person, you should sit and work out a plan. Strategies for managing your money could include:
- Contribute honestly to the plan to make sure it works for your everyday life. Discuss your day-to-day living expenses and how you’ll handle unexpected emergency expenses.
- Decide how you want to be given money to cover everyday expenses. For example, will it be a fortnightly allowance, or money transferred to your account on a smaller time scale? What will you both be able to manage during this time?
- Decide if your support person should hold your cards or change the pin numbers for your bank accounts.
- Decide how long the arrangement will last initially before you have a review meeting. It is important that managing your money does not make the relationship difficult so make sure your support person knows how much you appreciate their help!
- Arrange follow-up meetings to review your spending habits and take on new strategies if the current ones aren’t working.
Having someone help you manage the way you spend your money is a simple but effective barrier to gambling: if you don’t have access to money, you can’t gamble. That gives you space to think about other things and can provide space to work on other goals you may have, especially around how you spend the money you work hard to earn.
A recent caller to the Gambling Helpline told us what happened when they asked a loved one to manage their money: “It’s the first time in ages I wasn’t focused on my pay hitting the bank account. Instead of gambling it all, I can sleep at night knowing my bills are being paid… I have stopped lying to my partner, it’s been good for our relationship”.
If you’re considering asking a trusted loved one for help to break the cycle of gambling, give us a call on 1800 858 858. A free and confidential trained counsellor can help you decide how to choose and approach a support person and work out a plan that works for you. You can also join our forums and ask our members what worked for them.