Plus – keep your winnings and put them into next week’s ‘budget’.
The standard good advice for keeping your gambling at ‘hobby’ status rather than ‘problem’ status, is not to spend more on the online pokies than you can afford. Only you know how much you can ‘afford’ to spend on online pokies … but if you aren’t fond of decimal points and carrying the one, how can you actually figure out what portion of your household budget pokies should represent? We help you set your limit today, depending on your current household finances!
Where Do Online Pokies Fit Into My Budget?
While it is a fantastic feeling to win on your favourite online pokies game, you really shouldn’t ‘expect’ it. So ‘online pokies’ should definitely go on the ‘Expenses’ side of your budget, not ‘Income’!
Most people would file gambling under entertainment. Entertainment does have benefits and is certainly a necessary part of your budget. You’ll need to fit your online pokies spending alongside other ‘entertainment’ expenses such as:
- Going out with friends
- Hiring movies
- Alcohol or cigarettes if you’re a smoker (there’s an opportunity to beef up your entertainment allowance – by quitting)
- Social club fees at work
- Gifts for family and friends
- Cable TV bills
- ANY other non-essential spending
You can look back through your last 12 months’ worth of bank statements to get an idea of what other non-essential spending you do.
Setting an Entertainment Budget
You can choose for the entertainment portion of your budget to be either a percentage of what you make, or a set weekly amount.
The standard budgeting advice is to:
- Subtract all your essential bills from your yearly wage
- Pay off debts before you start either saving, or doing a high level of discretionary spending
- Save around 50% of the remainder or 10% of your total income, whichever is lower
- Donate a portion to charity – either 10% of your remaining income, or 2% of your total income, whichever is lower
- Keep the remaining 40% of your discretionary income for entertainment.
However, if it suits you better, you could set a dollar limit for entertainment. This is easier to monitor, but if your income is highly variable it might not be the most appropriate method.
Within this dollar limit, you can either set a percentage aside for online pokies, or set another dollar limit.
The Psychology of Online Pokies Budgeting
It’s important that you see your allotted amount for online pokies as an opportunity, rather than a restriction. We are quite lucky to have the level of disposable income we do in Western countries – so try to think of your online pokies limit in terms of “What do I get to do with this money?”, rather than “What do I miss out on doing because of my limit?”.
What If I Need to Spend More on a Particular Online Pokies Game?
Part of the personal betting strategy of many pokies players is to play a single machine for a period of time. The theory is that you’re more likely to hit a big win if you keep playing for an extended period of time on the same game, because of payout statistics.
Remember that there are plenty of ‘high variance’ online pokies games (Tut is a good example), and if playing on a high variance machine you could easily play for 2 days straight without hitting a big win.
If this is your preferred strategy though, you could save up two weeks’ worth of online pokies budget and then play. Or, you could keep all your winnings and put them back into your online pokies budget for next week.
Online pokies are fun – but only if you stick to your limits, and keep it real!