Gambling addiction goes hand in hand with debt.
I got myself in money troubles due to this addiction.
If you have debt that you can’t control or have multiple creditors I would suggest you get in touch with Stepchange.
I’ve spoken about Stepchange in previous blog posts in the How To Stop Gambling Series and I’ve provided information about them on my help links section on my blog.
Even if you have debt you can control Stepchange may still be able to help you.
They are a charity and are funded by many of the high street banks so they may have more clout in coming to an agreement with lenders to help you.
While trying to control my gambling addiction I found it a great help to have Stepchange deal with my money worries.
It allowed me to really focus on myself.
Work out your budget.
Take time to work out your outgoings monthly or weekly whatever suits you.
It’s important to include absolutely everything from your weekly food shop to fortnightly visit to the hairdressers.
Stepchange’s debt remedy tool (link below) is a good tool to helo you work out your budget.
It showed me how much money I have once I’d paid my bills and what they think I can pay towards my debt each month.
Don’t bury yourself trying to pay off debt.
Yes you have a gambling addiction and you have debt but that doesn’t mean you’re not entitled to live.
When I first worked out how much I actually owed, I thought I’d have to spend every single penny outside of my bills paying off debt but I was wrong.
Believe it or not as much as the lenders would like their money paid back as per the agreement you’ve taken out they don’t want us killing ourselves to do so.
This doesn’t mean pay the bare minimum because they’ll ask for a detailed list of your income and outgoings each month.
But it does mean that you can still enjoy evenings out with loved ones or take up new hobbies.
Date nights was great for my relationship with my girlfriend.
Not only was it a treat but it was important to spend time together away from everything.
Do you really need it.
I’ve got myself into the habit of asking myself the questions do i really need this? Is it worth the price tag? Is this the cheapest place I can buy it?
Asking some of the above questions have helped me not spend money I things I don’t need to.
Would I have liked the latest Iphone? YES i would have loved it for the first 3 weeks then it would have become just another smart phone again.
Knowing that I didn’t need an upgrade on my phone saved me £25 per month by opting for a sim only deal.
I’ve learned to be smarter about my buying and knowing my budget helps.
I do still treat myself occasionally to things I don’t need.
I do this mainly on a reward basis for instance setting goals like getting to 2 years gambling free I will probably treat myself to like a pair of shoes or a nice shirt.
Not only does this align with my gambling recovery but also gives me something to focus on without becoming complacent.
The 2 year milestone is a goal within a larger goal, the larger goal is remaining gamble free.
I beleive we should celebrate or reward ourselves when we reach goals.
Can you cut back on spending.
Little things like buying lunch opposed to making lunch to take into work. Before I started this I would spend £25-30 a week buying lunch now I can spend an extra £10-£15 in my weekly food shopping to make my own lunch.
That’s a £10 saving a week that goes towards my date nights.
Cans of pop from vending machines when you could buy them cheaper in a 6 pack from the supermarket.
You don’t have to watch every penny but we can be smarter about how we spend our money.
Check you’re getting the best deal on your household bills
I never used to shop around for electricity, gas, life insurance and house insurance bills purely because I found the task daunting and time-consuming.
But I found I was paying more than I needed to and it didn’t take as long as I’d thought.
Join the MSE’s Cheap Energy Club
This one is very straight forward you fill in the forms and it gives you the details of providers and prices.
If you find another provider cheaper MSE with complete the switch for you.
There can also be cashback involved sometimes.
The best thing about MSE’s Cheap Energy Club is they keep your details and email you towards the end of your agreement to say whether you’re still on the best deal or if there are cheaper options available.
Use comparison sites.
I found that both of my providers for home and life insurance were no longer the most competitive after using comparison websites.
Tip: If you get a cheaper price from a new provider on anything from your broadband, phone bill or insurance give your current provider a call tell them you don’t want to leave but you’ve found a better offer.
Often they’ll beat the new offer you’ve found.
This happened with me with my broadband I told Sky I wanted to move to Virgin because their broadband package was cheaper.
I ended up staying with Sky and got my line rental free for a year and my broadband bill reduced to £5 per month from £12.99.
1 phone call saved me £22.99 per month for the next year.
Have you got any tips on how to save money? Share them in the comments box below.
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