If you are a fan of gambling, it is important to stay on top of your finances to make sure that you can enjoy your pastime in a responsible way.
To make sure that you manage your money as effectively as possible, here are some straightforward tips to take onboard.
Create a separate gambling fund
The best way to avoid gambling interfering with your bank balance or impinging upon your lifestyle in general is to set up a distinct account into which you deposit only the amounts which you can afford to lose.
A gambling fund is something which all professional gamblers have and it can work just as well for amateurs. If the fund is flush, then you can play to your heart’s content. If it is close to empty, you will need to rein in your activities until it is topped up when your paycheck arrives.
This will also be a helpful step from a psychological perspective, as you will be ring-fencing an amount of cash to put towards gambling, without taking a more casual approach that could come back to bite you. Financial foibles can harm your mental health, so being cognizant of the potential complications and implementing a proactive approach to facing them is sensible.
Consider the tax implications of winning big
The question many avid gamblers ask is do you have to pay taxes on slot machine winnings or is it all yours?
The answer is that these winnings are taxable under US law, so you will need to let the authorities know when you file your return, or else face problems if you are audited. Only wins over $1200 are actually reported to the IRS by casino operators, but you should still make sure you keep your books up to date and take earnings from gambling into account to avoid sticky situations further down the line.
You can also report your losses on your tax return, but unfortunately the IRS does not allow you to claim more than the amount of the winnings you report in a set period, for obvious reasons. As always, if you are having any problems completing your tax return, getting expert assistance is better than crossing your fingers and hoping you filled out all of the forms correctly.
Avoid emotional involvement
It may sound difficult, or even impossible, but as soon as emotion gets into the equation when you are dealing with gambling and the financial side of the equation, you could be setting yourself up for a fall.
This applies specifically to the aforementioned creation of your gambling fund. You need to stick within the limits of your budget and never go over because you have ‘a feeling’ that your next spin of the reels or hand at the table will be your lucky break.
Pros know that being overly emotionally involved is a surefire route towards making bad decisions, particularly when money is involved. It is better to be as logical and calculated as possible, and appreciate that you have set certain parameters for your spending for a very good reason.
Take advantage of financial tools
Managing your money is easier than ever thanks to the variety of tools and solutions that many banks and lenders offer to their customers.
This can be particularly useful for gamblers, because a growing number of banks even allow specific controls to be placed on accounts so that gambling spending is simpler to limit, according to your needs. If you worry that you cannot easily stick within the bounds of your aforementioned gambling fund, using tools that automatically stop you going overboard can give you that buffer you need to stay in the black.
Use sign-up bonuses to save cash
If you are lucky enough to live in an area where playing at online casinos is an option, then you can get your fill of gambling without needing to leave the comfort of your home or even put your own capital at risk.
This is possible because most operators will offer bonuses to new customers who sign up, which means you can get a fistful of free cash to play with on everything from slots and table games to sports betting wagering and beyond.
Bear in mind that there will also be minimum wagering requirements which apply to any bonus funds you receive in this way, so making a withdrawal may not be possible until you meet these conditions.
So there you have it! With the right approach you can gamble responsibly and still keep your finances in good standing; you just need to account for the risks and remember to fulfill your obligations to the tax authorities.