Time and time again we have heard the stories of lottery, bingo and other cash prize winners going broke within a few years or even months. There is no perfect way to prevent yourself from going broke when gambling, except not to gamble it all. Self-discipline and smart money management can help your winnings last a long time.
When you have won big, at the bingo rooms for example, sometimes it can be hard to take a step back and just make an assessment of the situation. Your emotions and excitement take over and you get swept away with all the potential of what you could do with this money – you could travel endlessly across the world seeing all the places you’ve ever dreamed of while staying in the most glamourous hotels; or buy a yacht and quit your job and take to a life of luxury on the open seas sailing from beach paradise to beach paradise. Regardless, if the first thing that springs to mind after you’ve hit it a big jackpot is to spend, spend, spend – then we suggest taking that step back.
Squash Your Debt
When someone asks you what you would do if you hit that jackpot and made instant millions, they’re asking you about your wildest dreams. Nobody wants to hear about the investment plans you have or how much you are going to put away and save. That said, one of the smartest things that you could possibly do with your winnings is pay off all your debt.
It is hard to try and enjoy your monthly income when you have bills such as car payments and mortgages that eat into your earnings. A sudden cash injection from a hearty jackpot could be exactly what you need to take the pressure off your life for good and could allow you to improve your lifestyle overall.
Do You Have A Plan?
Having a plan for how to allocate and how to spend your winnings can be incredibly beneficial and can help prevent you from having it all get out of hand. Even the wealthiest people in the world have plans and strict management systems for their money so that they can protect their financial future.
One simple plan is called the 10/20/70 plan and can be used with any source of income that you have, not just your winnings. The 10/20/70 plan allocates your money as follows:
· 10% to Charity – Before you have spent a cent, you should take a little off the top and donate it to charity. The act of giving back to the community should be taught early in life and helps to build compassion and empathy. Give as much or as little as you want to, and maybe practice with smaller amounts of money such as your income. It doesn’t always have to be 10% either – give as much as you feel is reasonable.
· 20% to Save and Invest – This next chunk of your winnings is going to keep on winning, in a sense. There are a number of easy ways that you can make money work for you, turning itself into more money over time. Take some of the skills you’ve acquired and developed at work or through hobbies and consider how you could turn them into a profitable business. Learn to buy a product at wholesale and sell it for retail. Purchase a piece of property and flip it for a fat profit. Hire a financial planner and dabble in the stock market. There are so many ways in which you can turn money into more money, and that is how you make sure your winnings will never run out. After all, a poor man spends his money and saves what’s left and a rich man saves his money and spends what’s left.
· 70% goes to Lifestyle – When considering what to do with the rest of your winnings try to divide it between necessities and luxuries. While it is important to cover debts and catch up on bills, make sure that some of it is used to splurge. Be practical with your money and make sure that you are making sound and smart decisions with it to secure your financial future – but definitely take some of it and spend completely illogically and wildly. Having fun with your winnings makes saving for all the sensible stuff a little bit easier and prevents regret setting in when you didn’t buy those sports cars that you wanted to the moment you won.
This is just an example of how a plan like this might work, and it is up to you how you want to go about saving, investing or spending your winnings. The key here is to prevent yourself from going bankrupt like so many other winners before you and plan for a solid and secure financial future.
Returning to the Tables
A very easy trap for a lot of players to fall into is that winning more means you get to play more and keep winning – this is not always the case and in fact, it is very rarely the case. A way to protect yourself from simply giving your winnings back to the casino by trying to snag another big win is to set yourself strict limits and budgets for gambling. Setting a win/loss limit on games is an easy start and an important rule for gamblers. Good judgment is key when setting any limits for yourself and you can never predict how much you will win or lose when you gamble – no game of bingo owes you any amount of prizes and likewise, you don’t owe the game any more than you are willing to spend playing it. Set yourself realistic limits that keep your money safe but also let you have a bit of fun – after all playing online bingo is fun and that’s why we play. Consider if you are willing to lose £20 on this game, or if you can live with losing £100, but don’t let desperation take over after a loss or win and unnecessarily drive up your limits. You can find more useful tips on managing your bingo budget in our blog.
Although playing online or at land-based casinos is just a bit of fun, like any other form of entertainment the industry has developed into one where the primary goal for the business is to make a profit. As long as you treat gambling like an expense and budget accordingly, you should always be able to enjoy it without risking your financial future. The ideal gambling budget is one you don’t need to accomplish any of your lifetime financial goals.
If you want your chance to win it big and land that jackpot that secures you a solid financial future, then why not try playing some online bingo with us at Mecca Bingo?
We’re here to help you keep it fun – remember to set your deposit limit. Click here for more details on the safer gambling tools available including reality checks and the ability to take a break from your gaming.