Wondering where your money goes? By setting out your budget you can find a way to manage your finances and get back on track.
Why make 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 exactly sure of where your money is going.
It might feel quite overwhelming to finally realise the extent of your gambling. Remember help is available to talk through these emotions and to direct you to ongoing professional help. Chat with one of our counsellors today.
Budgeting can help to:
- Understand patterns of spending
- Know your exact financial position so that you can make any necessary changes
- Determine what you want and how to achieve it
- Ensure bills are paid before gambling
- Support your decision to cut down your gambling spend by setting an amount that is affordable and equivalent to normal entertainment expenses
- Work out how much money can go to a savings account, gift or holiday.
There are loads of budgeting tools available, a really good one that’s free from the government is at MoneySmart.
Be realistic about debt management
You may be in a position where you need to repay a substantial gambling debt. While this may be a very daunting prospect, it is a crucial part of changing behaviour.
To help keep on track:
- Don't set yourself a budget that is too difficult to stick to.
- Review your budget regularly to assess if any changes are required.
- Remember trying to convince yourself that wining money to pay overwhelming bills is not the answer – read about the odds of winning.
Help is available
The anxiety associated with large debts may 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.
There are free financial counsellors available through the government just call - Financial counselling hotline 1800 007 007 Monday – Friday 9.30-4.30
Refinancing can be a good way of managing debt, however do speak to a Financial Counsellor first; they can advise you on the best options.
Try to steer clear of expensive money management companies who will charge you for their service, reducing any savings you are making. There are lots of free options available - get started at MoneySmart.
Dealing with debt and arranging manageable repayments can eliminate a major stress from your life and help you to begin the next step to changing your gambling behaviours.
When the debts are paid off
Once your debts are paid off it can feel like a huge weight is off your shoulders! However around this time be careful, as some people find the clearing of all debts triggers a relapse.
Some people convince themselves they can now go back and have a gamble, as their debts are paid off. This thinking pattern can often result in more debts and increased despair so plan for this and be ready if it happens.
If you want to improve your money management to help stay in control, you can:
- Find out about protecting your assets
- Speak to a financial counsellor
- Ensure strategies are in place to limit your access to cash.