Gambling has definitely been handed down to me via my genes. I remember Saturday afternoons round Gran and Grandads (the Duffy side) watching the racing and then later watching the football results as the family would be glued to the tele dreaming of winning the Pools. If there was a lull in the entertainment from the tele (and gambling on it) then there would be a game of cards on the go in the kitchen.
This would be the same round Nanna and Grandads (the Rooney side) as the racing was constantly on. Grandad Jim (aka ‘Biggles’ as he was a Spitfire Pilot during the Second World War) constantly had the racing on and would have a flutter every day.
Back in the day drinking and gambling were the order of the day and both my Grandad’s spent most days in the boozer drinking and gambling the family money away. This would leave the rest of the family to live off bread and eggs as meat would be in short supply.
My first taste of gambling for myself came when I was 16 and I was addicted to fruit machines. Not good. I started going on the fruit machines in local pubs. One particular day I had spent all of the 30 quid I had on me (a lot of money to me back then) and was down to my last credit. I got one of my mates to wait by the machine while I jogged to the local cash machine to get just another £10 note as I was sure I would win the jackpot. After jogging 1.5 miles (round trip) and wasting my last 10 pounds on the fruity, I was pissed off to say the least. That £40 had been earned from hard work doing odd jobs for family and friends of family and I wasted it because of my newly found addiction.
Another time my addiction kicked in was on holiday at the lakes. I had saved £70 to buy presents for family and on the last day I blew it all on the fruity. This was the last straw and I vowed never to go on another fruity. I felt horrendous and was down in the dumps and it was a feeling I didn’t want to experience it again. I have been on a fruity since but your talking a handful of times in the last 20 years. Fuck you fruity!
Football is my favorite sport and I have loved it since the 1990 World Cup when I was 7 years old. Over the years I have fell into a habit of not even watching the sport I love without having a flutter. Watching soccer Saturday with Jeff Stelling and the panel of ex-footballers is a favorite past time of mine and I love watching the results come in with my skybet account constantly on my mind as I check my results.
The problem with my Soccer Saturday and Super Sunday is that I am not present for my wife and kids when the football is on. They could be having a full-blown conversation with me but it is just background noise as I am constantly checking my bets. Can I cash out? Is this my week when I win a big one? It is ok to have a little bet on the football but not if it affects my time with my squad.
So am I serious about getting my house in order? The answer is yes. The more information I consume, the more I want to get things moving in the right direction. I have decided to remove Soccer Saturday and Super Sunday out of my life as I move towards financial abundance. At least the gambling side of it. This is a big deal to me and it will be hard work. But it is a challenge I am ready for and I already know where the £100 a month saving is going. It is going into my stocks and shares ISA.
The 2019/2020 football season is going to be about following my hometime club Middlesbrough and watching the big Premiership games. Sitting there and enjoying the football, instead of chasing the pot at the end of the rainbow. The added benefit is that I will be present for my ladies. As I tend to work away a lot I cant be wasting time checking bets all day Saturday when I should be making the most of family time.
Let me tie this in with my new focus on money. I have read several books this year on money and have been putting the strategies in to action. I have Stocks and Shares ISA (Individual Savings Account) set up and also a SIPP (Self Invested Personal Pension). My understanding of money has improved and I feel I am heading in the right direction. That is not to say it has been easy and bad habits come back from time to time.
Just this weekend my inner gambler decided to make an appearance. I read an article about Netflix and the fact that is has now got increased competition in the streaming industry from Amazon and Disney and a few others. So I decided it would be a good idea to Short the stock of Netflix. Basically you are putting your money in and hoping the share price goes down. If it goes down you make money, if it goes up you lose money.
Before doing this I messaged two of my friends who have been investing a while and have applied this method (shorting a stock) in the past. They both advised me that I needed an IG account to start trading. By the time I had got my head round actually doing it, I had talked myself out of it. I am happy with my funds within my ISA and SIPP and shorting stocks is just another way to gamble and goes against what I have been trying to achieve all year.
When it comes to money, try to keep a level head and do not let your emotions run wild. Managing my emotions and managing my money are at the forefront of my mind.
If you do like a little gamble, make sure it is with money you can afford to lose and are comfortable losing. Whenever I have gambled in the past, I have had absolute faith that I will win and am seriously pissed of when my bet does not pay off (99% of the time). When the fun stops. STOP.