Having enough money is extremely important to our wellbeing. Not necessarily having unlimited amounts, but having enough for food, rent, petrol and essentials. Often being short on money can be the source of enormous stress and anxiety.
So how does money relate to my gambling?
Just like with health and home, it goes both ways. A person can develop a gambling problem as a result of not having enough money – and having the belief that gambling is a reliable way to make money.
For example, Nick won big the first time he played the pokies, and from then on, whenever he was short on rent or expenses, had the thought that he could make up the extra money by playing the pokies. Nick admitted: “Even though I knew that I’d actually lost thousands of dollars on the pokies, a part of me still believed that it was a way to make quick money. When I won the jackpot the first time it felt like free money, and I never forgot that feeling. I was triggered to gamble every time I checked my savings account and saw that it was low, or when I got my car registration renewal, or a big electricity bill. Triggers like these usually resulted in my urge to gamble escalating which then made it difficult to resist gambling.”
Similarly, gambling can have a huge impact on our finances. In fact, most people seek help for gambling because of financial pressure – whether they are in debt or have lost more money than they would like. Maja started gambling heavily when she lost her husband to lung cancer, as a way to escape from feelings of grief and loneliness. Within twelve months she had unfortunately lost most of her superannuation and needed to sell her home.
“I never imagined that I would find myself in this financial situation, at age 65 – renting my home and with barely any savings to take with me into retirement. I was in denial for a long time as the bills were piling up, and only realised when it was almost too late. Now I am starting again with the help of a financial counsellor, but at least I’m not spending any more on gambling”.
Are your finances being impacted by your gambling problem?
Gambling help services in NSW offer financial counselling for people affected by problem counselling. This can help to get a handle on debts, creditors, budgeting and bills.
Click on the link below to find out more:
If you would like to see how much you are spending on gambling, have a look at our gambling calculator.