17 Oct 19
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Many people find it useful to have someone temporarily manage their money while they are trying to change their gambling habits. When it works, this is a fantastic strategy, but there can be times when this approach harms more than it helps. Whether you’re helping out a partner, friend or relative, controlling their access to their money might be stressful for you and cause strain in your relationship — especially if they continue to gamble or repeatedly break the agreement you have with them in other ways. 

It might come to the point where you decide you can no longer help them manage their money. Be prepared for the possibility that they will react negatively. You can increase the likelihood of a positive outcome by planning how you will approach the conversation.

Here are our tips: 

  • Time it wisely: Are they a morning or evening person? Where do your best conversations with them happen? Consider past conversations you’ve had with them at different times and situations and think about how well they have each gone. It is best to raise the topic at a time when they are reasonably calm and not in the heat of an ongoing argument.
  • Define your limits clearly: Let the person know exactly why you are no longer willing to help manage their money.  Be specific and explain why you feel it would be best if they sought help with their money from someone else. Gambling Help can refer them to a Financial Counsellor. Refer to the agreement you made with them when you first agreed to help them.  
  • Remind them you are still there for them: It can also be helpful to let them know what types of continuing support you are willing to provide. Let them know you still care and want to be there for them in other ways. 

Your decision to stop managing your friend or loved one’s money can relieve your stress and ease the resulting strain on your relationship, but it can also help them take responsibility for the impact gambling is having on themselves and the people around them. 

That said, it can be a difficult decision and stir up uncomfortable emotions. If you want to have a conversation about whether this is the right decision for you and your friend or loved one, or would like more support to decide how you want to approach this conversation, trained counsellors are available 24/7 on Gambler’s Helpline at 1800 858 858. 

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