Your Money

Money is important to gamblers, not least because it represents winning, success, good times.

But gambling sucks money from you. If you bury your head in the sand and ignore your worries about money, you will be more likely to fail. It is hard but you need to be able to have a financial plan to enable you to live the life you want to live. 

First, you need to restrict your access to money to gamble with, in the short term. Here are some ideas:

  • Ask someone you trust to help you with managing your money, and to monitor your bank statements regularly with you
  • Tell family and friends not to lend you money
  • Don't carry cash with you
  • Consider short term measures such as someone holding your debit and credit cards for a while
  • Arrange with your bank for a lower withdrawal limit from ATMs 
  • Arrange for important bills to be paid on the day your wages go in, to reduce temptation
  • It might be worth taking on overtime or extra work. This might help you get more money, and also occupy your time more so you don't have time for gambling.
  • Save up the money you would have spent gambling into a jar or account for you to use on something you really want to buy or do
  • Draw up a budget for your household spending

You may have gone into serious debt that you are worried about. Good sources of advice and help with this are: 

  • StepChange - who have an online 20 minute free debt advice, and a national helpline - 0800 138 1111 .
  • CAP - an award-winning debt charity which has 200 centres nationwide. 

These guys are experts at what they do. They won't be shocked at the size of your problem - they've seen it all before. They also won't judge you. People generally have sympathy for someone who faces up to their problems, even if they are self-inflicted. It is when the debtor ignores the problem that people get angry.


Your TIME

Gambling doesn't just suck away your money, it also uses up your time. You will find that you will have a lot more time on your hands than you might have been used to. 

You may have been neglecting things - your appearance, your home, your work, your friends and family? Now is the time to put this right.

Here are some ideas:

  • Prioritise time with your children
  • Make a weekly date to have fun with your partner and/or friends, and keep it
  • You could call a good friend and commit to seeing them more regularly. Set a time and/or an event to go to together, so you have something to look forward to.
  • Take on overtime or extra work - this will not only occupy your time but it will also help start to recoup the money you've lost. If you don't have a job, try to get one.
  • Keep a to-do list and tick things off - this will also give you a sense of achievement
  • Get involved in your community - volunteer with a project you know about, or search for one 
  • Get a hobby - something that you enjoy, that is social in some way, that requires commitment, and is beneficial in some way to yourself and others.
  • Make mealtimes a family event at least once or twice a week.

Good habits are really important. Your routine may have been out of sync and you need to get up and go to bed at consistent times. Go to bed when everyone else does in your home. If you're on your own, go to bed when a normal person would. Write out what you will do - create a full diary on paper or in your electronic calendar


Your health

Getting healthy will increase your chances of beating this addiction. 

PHYSICAL HEALTH

  • Set yourself a goal for exercising each day, e.g. each day I will row 2km on my rowing machine
  • Even a gentle walk or doing some gardening gets you fresh air
  • Find a special, peaceful place to go to which relaxes you, eg a Cathedral, a park, etc. Walk there, and maybe keep a photo of it on your desktop
  • Eat a healthy food like fruit as a snack, rather than biscuits or cake
  • Eat vegetables (even baked beans) as half the proportion of every main meal.
  • Cook your meals, rather than buy processed foods.

MENTAL HEALTH

  • Make a list of one thing you are grateful for, at the end of each day
  • Learn to recognize your moods, and to tell people what you need from them
  • If you need to, make a doctorโ€™s appointment and explain how gambling is affecting your mental and physical health. Don't medicate yourself with alcohol or drugs
  • Make mealtimes a family event at least once or twice a week.
  • Psychiatric research has shown that Amino Acid supplements called NAC can help with addiction. You can buy these supplements from Amazon here or you can get them from any health food shop. Explore the evidence for yourself here in the Journal of Psychiatry and Neuroscience

SLEEP

  • Go to bed and get up at regular times
  • Go to sleep half an hour earlier than you would normally โ€“ this should give you more energy
  • Read a book in bed to help you get relaxed
  • If you can't sleep because you are anxious, then get up and walk around or do a physical task like a chore
  • Keep a notebook by your bed. If you remember things then write them down, park them, and get back to sleep
  • Don't use your mobile phone or tablet in bed