Quit While You're Ahead - How To Dabble Sensibly*

*This is a collaborative post*

I'm going to be brutally honest with you all here, I've been partial to a bit of gambling in the past. Yes I've won money but I've also lost plenty too. I suppose with my addictive personality it was always going to be a tad dangerous. The thing is, it needn't have been so and it definitely needn't have got so out of hand. If only I'd known then what I know now... Hence why I'm writing this post. Hindsight and all that hey?

Of course there's nothing wrong with having a dabble here and there. Indeed some people make a fair bit of extra cash via gambling, especially with the now popular Matched Betting and so it's highly tempting to give it a go. But for some it can prove hugely problematic. The key is to be sensible and to play carefully. Below you'll find a few tips before you take the plunge.

Firstly think about your personality. Do you have addictive or obsessive tendencies? If so think very carefully before you gamble any money. The slope can get altogether more slippery once you start sliding down it and it can be hard to know when to stop. Before you know it, you might just have blown your entire months wage on just one betting site. And yes I've been there and done that, lesson learned the hard and expensive way. 

If you are going to gamble then do a bit of research first and find trustworthy online gambling sites. Read reviews and check out the reputation of each betting site. Make sure that each has tools in line with gambling responsibly. 

Know your limits and set your limits. Oh how I wish I'd done this in the beginning. I'd have saved myself a fair bit of money and heartache. Most gambling sites have a reality check feature and the option to set your deposit limits and I'd highly recommend you take advantage of this. 

Sites should offer a time out or cool off feature which means you'll be blocked and won't be able to gamble on the relevant site for a short period of time, usually up to a maximum of six weeks. 

Finally, if you think you have a serious problem then you should probably consider self exclusion. Once activated you won't be able to gamble for at least six months. I'd also suggest you seek help from a support group or treatment centre. Some worth mentioning are the National Problem Gambling Clinic, GamCare and Gamblers Anonymous UK. If you're not sure if you have a problem or you don't know where to start, try this questionnaire via NHS Choices.

Remember that gambling should be just a bit of fun, the key is to be sensible and always quit while you're ahead! 

*Header photo via Pexels

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