The Get Set Before You Bet campaign is dedicated to growing awareness of how to keep gambling fun for those who gamble and how to get help for those who need it. As part of the campaign, one of the most important responsible gambling tips is setting financial goals and having a clear budget. Here are some financial tips to consider when working to live a financially responsible life.
Set Financial Goals
Start by writing down what your financial goals are. Examples may include getting out of debt, planning for a child’s college tuition, preparing for retirement, or growing emergency savings. As you begin to develop your goals, consider the following:
- Identify What Matters Most. Identify what areas are most important to you and how your financial goals can support these needs.
- Be Specific. When developing financial goals, be sure to put them in writing. For example, if you are saving for your child’s college tuition, you could write: “Save $20,000 by 2038 by putting $166 monthly into my tuition savings account over the next 20 years.”
- Prioritize. Upon identifying your financial goals, make sure to list each one in order of importance. This will help guide your budget.
Create A Budget
Once you have established your goals, it is time to set a manageable budget. Here are some tips for creating an effective budget:
- Track it. If you want to have an effective budget, it is important to know where your money is going, so you can effectively manage it. Start by tracking your spending for a week. As you track your expenses, you will notice overspending in key areas.
- Charge It. Paying with a card is an easy way to monitor spending and stick to a budget. If you need to know how much you spent on something during the month, you’ll have the information at your fingertips. If you don’t want to use a credit card, use a bank debit card or a prepaid card instead, preferably one that charges very little in fees.
- Save it. The goal of budgeting is to spend less than we make, so rather than saving what is left over at the end of the month, save first and then spend the rest. For more information on how to develop an effective budget, visit the Resources page at BeforeYouBet.org.
If you feel that gambling may be coming between you and your financial goals, take the Responsible Gambling Quiz to assess your risk for problem gambling.