This blog originally appeared in Counsellor Sam and has been republished with permission.
Having help in managing one’s finances is a useful temporary strategy for someone trying to change their gambling habits. But there comes a time when they need to take their money management back. How will you both know when the person you have been helping is ok to take their finances back? What will you do if they say they think it is time to take the management of their money back before you think it is time?
Hopefully you and your friend or family member will have agreed an endpoint to your management of their money when the agreement was first begun. Maybe over time more and more of the management has been transferred to them. Hopefully through seeing how you manage their money and through exploring sites such as https://www.moneysmart.gov.au/ new ways of managing money will have been learnt.
It may be the case where a loved one has stopped gambling and doing better, such that you feel they are ready to take the next step of managing their own money once again before the agreed time of ending Although you may be confident that returning control over their money is the right thing, it can be difficult to navigate these conversations. To help increase the likelihood that the conversation will be easy, here are some tips for approaching your loved one.
- Time the conversation wisely: Raise the topic at a time when they are reasonably calm.
- Define your limits clearly: Explain why you feel they have reached a place where they manage their own finances from now on. Alternatively, get them to explain why they think they have reached a space where they think they can manage. Discuss the possibility that this is a trial.
- 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.
- Frame it positively! If you don’t believe they can handle it, they won’t either. This is your chance to let them know that you have confidence that they’re ready to take what may feel like a big and scary step to them.
Having money to manage can be scary especially if managing money has been a trigger to gambling in the past. It can bring up all sorts of uncomfortable emotions.
If you want to have a conversation about whether this is the right decision for you and your loved one, or would like more support to decide how you want to approach this conversation. Ring the Gambler’s Helpline on 1800 858 858.
Have you read Counsellor Sam's other Managing Money for Friends blogs in this series? Check them out below.