This blog originally appeared in Counsellor Sam and has been republished with permission.
If a friend has reached out to ask you to help them manage their money, you may be confused about why and don’t quite know what to do. Asking a trusted friend or family member for help to handle money is a common strategy that many people use to stop or reduce their gambling.
It’s important for you to know that helping someone manage their finances can provide wonderful support and peace of mind for them if they are affected by problem gambling, but it can also add an extra dimension of difficulty to your relationship.
What do you need to consider before saying “yes, I will help you manage your money”?
- First: If the person has any debts, consider whether a financial counsellor be consulted.
- Next: Discuss how long you each expect you will have to manage the money. How will you both know that you are no longer needed and that your friend or relative is able to manage alone? Be as specific as possible about what signs and indicators will make it clear that it is time for them to manage their finances on their own.
- Make sure you talk about what their specific goals are in relation to gambling. Are they planning to slow their gambling or stop altogether?
- Make sure you have a talk about what they hope to achieve. Agree on what will happen if they are not taking the steps you have agreed upon to achieve these goals.
- Write down any agreements you make so the plan is completely clear to you both.
- Have times scheduled for regular reviews of the plan so that you can discuss how it is working for each of you.
Helping someone manage their money can contribute greatly to breaking the cycle of gambling. If you want help to decide what to do, you can speak to a free, confidential counsellor on 1800 858 858.