Managing money

Making changes to how money is managed can be helpful for anyone who is concerned about their gambling.

Some of the money management actions people who have changed their gambling used include:

  • Keeping a record and knowing how much money they spend on gambling

  • Keeping track of money by setting up a budget and tracking spending

  • Planning ahead and leaving credit cards and non-essential cash at home

  • Limiting the amount of money carried and limiting the cash amount available on debit and credit cards

  • Pre-purchasing goods and paying bills first to reduce the risk of spending bill and household money on gambling.

People who have changed their gambling said family and friends were very important in the success of this strategy.

Cash control strategies

Taking control of cash flow through some of the following cash control strategies can make the choice easier. You may be able to think of other ways which better suit your circumstances.

  • Have wages paid directly into your savings or bank account.

  • Avoid a job where you handle cash.

  • Have wages collected by your spouse or someone else you can trust.

  • Arrange for two signatures on accounts to be able to take out cash.

  • Give any ATM and credit cards to someone trusted to handle finances.

  • Cut up any credit cards that can be done without.

  • Use wage deductions for payment of regular accounts.

  • Consider disclosure of gambling to banking institution and/or credit providers.

  • Reduce available credit on credit cards.

  • Reduce available daily withdrawal limit on bank funds.

  • Do not keep large sums of cash in the house or on your person.

  • Set up direct debit systems for payment of regular accounts.

  • Use Centrepay if you are on a benefit.

  • Use pre-payment systems for utilities and vehicle registration.

  • Tell family and friends what you’re doing and not to lend you money.

  • Take a trusted friend or spouse with you to pay bills.

  • Keep all cash flow “visible” on account print-outs.

  • Take only the cash needed for the day’s expenses.

  • When there is a change of routine, (e.g. holiday or new job) make new plans to control cash flow.

  • Consider a self-exclusion from gambling activities.

  • Consider closing all internet and sports betting accounts.

This may seem like a lot of work, but if you have been experiencing gambling harm for a while you will know what an expert you can be at getting hold of cash. Once you have established a system that suits you, you will be able to relax, knowing that you have made the choice to gamble more difficult.

Some of these strategies may make it seem as if you are handing over all of your responsibility to someone else. In fact, the opposite is true. You are taking responsibility by putting in place processes, which help keep you and others safe at times when the decision to not gamble is difficult.

Another thing that helped maintain motivation to keep managing money was seeing improvement in their financial situation. Keeping records of spends, debts and budgets helped them to see the difference they were making to their money by managing gambling differently. Moneysmart has some great record keeping tools, including a budget planner.

Contact us

If gambling is impacting your life or a loved one's life, it's okay to reach out for help. It’s free and confidential.

Call the 24/7 Gambling Helpline on 1800 858 858

Face-to-face counselling locations