No doubt about it, gambling is fun and exciting. Whether you’re gaming online, betting on a sporting event or playing poker, it’s a special buzz.
But losing more than you can afford is just the opposite kind of experience. And in the heat of the moment it can be all too easy to overstretch yourself, which is why every gambler should set a budget.
The following pointers will help you decide on yours and stick to it.
Work out how much you can afford
The first step is to get an accurate picture of your income after tax. Work this out for a whole year, and deduct your outgoings for a whole year, too. Don’t forget to factor in an amount for regular savings, and keep a buffer for unexpected expenses. Next, divide what’s left by either 12 or 52 to get a good idea of what you can afford to spend on gambling each month or week.
It can be just as helpful to spend some time working out your mental attitude. If you think of gambling as a potential source of income, you’ll be at risk of overspending and disappointment. But if you can view your stake money as the price paid for in-the-moment thrills and enjoyment, anything you win is a bonus.
What’s your idea of fun?
You might get maximum enjoyment from gambling when the stakes are high. Or perhaps you get your kicks from watching a race or a game in which you’ve made any financial investment, however small. It could even be the thrill of using your skills.
Whichever best describes you, you’ll be more likely to set a realistic budget if you get to know your gambling personality.
Once you know what kind of gambler you are, you can tailor your budget for maximum value. Low-stakes gaming or betting is a good choice if your budget is small, but stay aware that even small stakes can add up to big totals.
It also helps to keep the right company: sit down for a few hands of poker with players whose budgets are bigger than yours and you’re likely to break the bank.
Protect your essentials
If you gamble outside your home it can make sense to wager in cash. Definitely leave your credit card at home.
You may even find it helpful to hold separate bank accounts: leave the card linked to your household account at home and you won’t be able to raid it on impulse. Separate bank accounts are a sensible solution if you gamble online on sites like Euro Palace online casinos. Arrange to transfer funds from your gambling account only and you’ll protect your essential expenses.
Gambling is a popular leisure activity, which can be exhilarating and fun. To make sure your experience of gambling stays positive, set a realistic budget and keep to it.
Calculate how much is left over from your income after essential expenses and savings, then move it to a separate bank account. Next, decide which kinds of gambling give you most satisfaction for your stake money. Finally, learn to see any winnings as a bonus rather than an extra source of income.
Gamble with what you can afford and you’ll always be a winner.
Written by Gareth Monet.