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Don't gamble away your financial future

          Eddie Felson tells us in the 1986 film The Colour of Money that "money won is twice as sweet as money earned", but gambling can often be the quickest way to debt city. Gambling is an immensely popular pursuit in the UK and for many it is well controlled to the odd flutter here and there. However, for some it can quickly become an addiction with the desire for one big win to cancel out the last few losses consuming all notions of sense and rationality. What's more, the landscape has changed massively in the world of gambling over recent years with the incessant rise of the internet and, in recent times, mobile apps and in-play betting.
          Gone are the times when you would need to walk down to the high street to put on your 5 accumulator or back that inside tip for the 3.50 at Kempton because now all you need is a laptop, tablet or mobile phone and some internet access.
While this is good news for those who can handle their gambling - because it offers convenience and speed - it can pose a real risk for those who have an addiction.
          In the past, there would have been a certain degree of stigma attached to being in the bookies for long periods gambling which may have encouraged people to self-ration in an effort to maintain a good reputation.
However, now people can gamble as and when they wish from their own homes and, as such, they need to learn how to ration their gambling themselves if they wish to avoid potential financial disaster and debt management issues.


          Rationing may sound a little over-the-top and strict but it ensures you have a firm guide on how much or how often you choose to bet and, if properly adhered to, can keep you on the straight and narrow. This is generally best done in financial terms, such as giving yourself 5 a week to play with, although don't look at this as a target, see it more as a guide of how much you can afford to ensure you don't end up struggling with debt. Also, be realistic when it comes to setting targets. Giving yourself loads of cash each week to gamble doesn't work as a rationale and, at the end of the day, it's yours and your family's finances that will suffer as a result.

Don't gamble for the sake of it

          Also, it's essential that gambling doesn't simply become a compulsion that you feel you must do.
If you don't have any strong feelings towards betting on a sport or event then don't bother. You're much better off having the occasional flutter on something you know a good deal about or are reasonably interested in.
Otherwise, you'll find yourself betting on all manner of weird and not-so-wonderful things and this is what can lead to you developing a problem.

Seek help

          Finally, if you do start to feel like you may be developing a gambling problem then it's of critical importance that you don't bury your head in the sand, ignore it and feel any sort of shame. It's like any vice and can creep up on people over time but the main thing is to realise when you have a problem and seek help for it. Gamblers Anonymous is one such group that can help you get past the problem of gambling and move on with your life.It describes itself as a "fellowship of men and women who have joined together to do something about problem gambling and to help others do the same" with people from any walk of life welcome.
          There are plenty of ways that you can try and halt the problem of gambling excessively and many people do manage to keep it in check. However, there are many that don't and end up losing vast sums of money as a result, so it's imperative you tell someone when you feel you are addicted to gambling. It's never been so easy to put on a bet as it is now and, as a result, it's never been so important as to realise the consequences that come with gambling. Be sensible, honest, pragmatic and don't gamble away your finances by being blind to the dangers.

Disclaimer: This site is not , nor should it be taken to be, legal, financial or other professional advice. It merely provides a generalized guidance and generalized information only. Consult a financial advisor or an attorney to discuss any legal or financial issues involved with credit and debt decisions.
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