It can be very easy to spend money online. With many websites doing one click Paypal, it doesn’t even feel like you’re spending money. With a click of a button, you can be spending hundreds of pounds.
If you’re the type of person that is impulsive, it’s important to know how much you are spending and if you’re spending too much.
Here are some tips for some safer spending habits online:
Don’t think of gambling as a way to make money.
You might see the odd story about how someone makes thousands of pounds by gambling and be tempted to try it yourself. You lose your money, so stick another tenner on, lose that and so on. See gambling as a form of entertainment rather than a way to make money, like spending money on a concert ticket or meal out.
Gamble what you can afford to lose.
Set yourself a budget. I do this when I go to the casino, I might spend £30. Then, I stop when the £30 is gone, or if I’ve made a profit. Most times I make a profit of around £20-30. Which isn’t a lot – but enough to cover drinks/taxi.
Don’t drunk Internet.
This goes for both online gambling and shopping – you’re more likely to chase your losses and lose more money or buy more when you’ve under the influence. I bought a pink ukelele once when I was drunk. I have never used it.
Take advantage of sign-up bonuses.
Many gambling sites offer a sign-up bonus, so as a one off it’s worth using this, then logging off once the money is spent. Whether it’s Deal or No Deal, Bingo or Poker, the vital part is to stick to your budget and once that’s gone, stop. Don’t be tempted with signing up to the next site to use their bonus right away.
Track your spending.
Be honest about how much you’re spending – if it’s more than you can afford, then rethink your budget. It would be easy for me to buy two lottery tickets on Saturday and Wednesday, then two Euro-millions each Tuesday and Friday – the lottery app and website make it simple to do this in a click. That would easily add up to £18 a week. Instead, give yourself £10 a month to spend on lottery tickets.
Don’t get sucked in by offers.
Many websites have sales on often. 20% off, 2 for 3, spend £60 get £20 off.. all these offers are likely to make you spend more than you intend. Remember to tell yourself that these offers are not one-off, there is no need to spend a huge chunk of money right now.
Have a list of go-to sites when you’re bored.
For some people, spending money or gambling might be something you do when you’re bored – so have a list of websites that don’t require spending money. A website with free online games, funny news articles, videos, online forums and other ways to entertain yourself for free.
Know when to stop.
If you’re hiding how much you’re spending, buying things or gambling in secret or getting into debt, it might be time to admit you have a problem and to get help. To get help for gambling go here, and for spending go here.
Remember to have fun and stay safe!