I was there in 2011, and witnessed a colleague of mine evicted from his home, lost custody of his children and had to deal with the pain of divorce. It was not ill luck, it was the result of bad choices and wrong association. I still see many who think they know how to change the tides and make a big catch over night. I have not said, taking planned risks occasionally is bad, but unplanned and unconstructed investment is as bad as addictive gambling. It might be online, at a casino, a national lottery campaign or just a sports stake.
I have watched a relative, play lotto since 2011 and till date has not won more than R300 , so i sat him down and we did some maths, here is the maths : He plays with R20 , twice a week,
[Year 2011] There were 52 wednesdays / 53 Saturdays – R2100 Total spent[Year 2012] There were 52 wednesdays / 52 Saturdays – R2080 Total spent[Year 2013] There were 52 wednesdays / 52 Saturdays – R2080 Total spent[Year 2012] There were 53 wednesdays / 52 Saturdays – R2100 Total spent
Total spent on lotto from 2011 – 2014 – R8360 [ equivalent investment and interest bearing accounts could have yielded some profit or accrual interest]
In order to curb this habit, I have touched on some points, However, you need to Recognize the signs of your addiction and learn to modify your behavior – few addictions are as destructive, over the long term as gambling. The financial chaos that you create now, can and will follow you for many years unless you get a handle on it.
1. Recognize your behavior as what it is. An Addiction.
Do you lose time from work to gamble? Do you extend yourself beyond your means by gambling away money that you have set aside to pay your rent, mortgage, or other bills? Do you use credit cards to gamble? Are you secretive about where the money’s gone to after you’ve gambled? Can a loss trigger a period of depression that leads to another gambling session, thinking that you can recoup the money you’ve lost and, therefore, get happy again? Admitting the problem is the first major step in dealing with it.
2. Don’t put yourself in a position to gamble, even if it’s only “for the fun of it”.
If friends suggest a trip to the casino, be honest with yourself and with others about the fact that, for you, gambling has gone beyond being recreational. Suggest another activity or opt out of this particular one. A gambling addict can not gamble sensibly because the addict is hooked on the adrenaline rush associated with “the chase”. You cannot be in control if you’re more concerned with the feeling you get from an activity than the activity itself.
3. Don’t be secretive about your finances. Pay bills immediately, when you have funds set aside to pay them.
You may see using this money as less destructive than charging your gambling debts but if you then have to borrow money to pay your bills, isn’t it the same in the long run? Be honest with yourself about money spent gambling. Add up losses and keep a running tally. When you’ve added up losses from a gambling session, list the things that you might have purchased with that money, or other debts you could have paid down.