I deposit the money into an account that I can’t access under any circumstance.
The only credit card I keep on me is one that’s attached to my parents. Which prevents me from doing anything stupid like cash advances or using it on an online sports book.
I’m building credit and I’ve finally started getting approved for cards that have sign up bonuses. Which I use to hit the sign up bonus and then I cut them up and throw them away.
I got a new job that rocks and pays good.
I could sit and say other things like: if I do bet it’s really small, the one time a couple days ago I went to the borgata to play poker and cashed out up a couple hundred after an hour, or the home game I went to and won, but ... but ... but ...
As you know, i recently got a big paycheck and I needed to pay bills. It was over 5k worth. Did I pay them? Yes, but I also did something bad. I got a call from a gambling friend that I haven’t talked to in over a year. He let me know that Delaware Park now has sports betting. So sure enough I roped myself into that mess and lost 2500 (1500 I had and another 1000 In a cash advance) and then I lost another 1000 on bovada. I felt like shit. And my bank account got shutdown from a $1k overdraft.
That story hurts to tell, but I’ve gotta say that it feels good that I’m hurting and I do want to improve.
I’ve cut back on the drinking and replaced it with reading. The cardio isn’t exactly where it needs to be at, but I’m knocking out 3-4 days every week with at least 10000 steps. And I’m also paying a therapist — best money I’ve ever spent.
With that said, I’ve got another big paycheck coming next week. I’m really hoping I don’t spend it. I already owe the IRS 2k and will probably owe an additional 6k this year. I’m thinking about just opening a 6 month CD so when tax time comes around I’ll have it.
A little over a year ago I've banned myself from the PA casinos. I've defintely seen a little life improvement during this time. Such as; less panic attacks, having a LITTLE more money, and even being able to engage a little better with people and build a network of semi-friends and possibly rebuilding old friendships. Hell, I might even have a date next week. I've been able to sports bet "responsibly". I think I recently made $25 wager. I won and I wasn't tilted that I didn't bet more :)
The bad is that online casinos (I'm looking at you Blackjack) are the devil and I've lost tons. Also, I'm still within driving distance to AC. So I've been down there a handful of times. Always a bad ending story. But the times I would have just headed to the local casino would be 100x more .. easily.
[Note before reading this next paragraph my employer hasn't paid me commission in five months.]
Upcoming this month I have a huge paycheck and ALL OF IT NEEDS to goto bills. I haven't paid rent in six months, and I'm close to six months late on all other bills, somehow internet is the only one that has actually been shut off. I've been rockin' the HDTV antenna for awhile now. Oh, and all my cards are maxed out. Not late, but they are maxed. One of the cars actually closed because it was always maxed ... not a charge off, they just chose to close it down. Now I owe the whole amount that was due. Some of this I will blame on my employer for stalling on commissions, but still, if I would have just saved I wouldn't be put in such a bad situation. As in, if I would just cut back on bar food, beers, going out to lunch and stepping up my coupon game .. I would be in a MUCH better situation.
My biggest worry is that I'm going to try and use the online casino deposit bonuses to "profit" and just go busto. I've figured it out and I can get close to 10k between freeplay and cash bonuses. All the places have a pretty fair rollover and are easy to withdraw.
Here's the biggest preventative measure I plan to make soon -- Switching to a flip phone so that I can't gamble online since I don't own a laptop. Biggest issue is that I use Uber like crazy ... so that's going to be a huge problem. Also, I use google auth for 2FA on a bunch of accounts. So I would have to disable that.
I'm also losing my job at the end of June, but I'm already setup for another. Same'ish pay. So not to much of a change there.
It's been almost a year since I banned myself from the casino. I can say it's been the smartest decision I've ever made. Really wish I would have done this YEARS ago. Though I admit it's not all sunshine and rainbows. Here's how I've been fucking up for the past year:
There's still local places that have games. Not casino, but you can play cards there.
I've been to Atlantic City 2-3 times.
Online casinos ... ugggghhhh.
The truth is that I've taken the first step (not a big step, just the first step) towards the top.
Because of the three things listed above I still have credit debit. Online casinos accept credit cards and when I'm lonely or feel the urge to gamble I've used them. I'm way past due dates and I'm getting calls everyday. And I hate it. I can't believe this is how it was all the time pretty much for the past 10 years, but worse.
The good: I banned myself from PA casinos.
The bad: I still find a way to gamble.
The good: I finally got approved for credit cards again and build my credit profile.
The bad. I'm eight day away from starting to screw it up (30 day late) again.
The good: I don't have many other vices except for drinking.
The bad: I still drink and sometimes get a little to crunk.
The good: Got rid of 99% of my gambling friends.
The bad: I have maybe one friend and it gets super lonely at times.
Though there really is a lot that I can do that will correct my confidence and overall mental health. Exercise is the big one. Going to a chiropractor would help -- I've horrible upper back and neck pain. Yoga, mediation, etc. Plenty of things that could help
I guess it's a lifelong battle. The more I put into it. The better results I'll get.
An old story. From a time that was very sad in my life, but I feel as if many people go through similar situations. Or could end up in this situation. So it's important to get out there.
It was probably around 6-7 years ago. If I'm honest, I couldn't even tell you if this was a time I was unemployed or I was making good money. Fact is, it doesn't really matter because no matter whether I was making 120k/yr or on unemployment. I would always end up spending it on the same thing ... casino, sports betting, etc.
So anyway, I didn't drive at the time and I had somebody take me to a train station. Then I took a cab or and somehow ended up getting to Harrah's Chester (now called Harrah's Philadelphia) and gambled throughout the night. I believe the night started out playing poker and doing OK, but ended up with me drinking .. probably playing table games and going broke. I'm almost certain I didn't have a penny in my pocket. No credit card, bank card didn't have anything on it, and of course .. no cash.
It's possible my cell phone was also dead as well and even if it wasn't I would have been to embarrassed to ask anybody for money or a ride.
After a few hours went by and just going up, down, and around the casino I reached in my pocket and I shit you not I had a winning $100 scratch off ticket, but how would I cash it? This was weird, because less than 1% of the money I've gambled in my life I've spent on lottery tickets. So it's possible this thing could have been in my pocket for some time. Either way, at least I had hope.
If you know anything about casinos, there's almost always some spot where the homeless people hang out and/or sleep. In this particular case with was around 6AM, I was super tired, and I connected with a guy -- we'll call him "Gary" and I told Gary if he found a spot to cash this ticket. I would split the winning with him. Finding a spot is a story in itself, but he claimed he had a spot. We roamed through the cold whether in the streets Chester (not a great place .. google it) and eventually ended up finding a spot and got it cashed. On the way back, Gary actually bought some powerball tickets :\.
We got back to the casino, and my body was shot .. up all night .. no food .. walking around all morning in cold weather. I had $50 in my pocket and taxi + train ticket was well over that. This is when my homeless buddy Gary told me about public transportation -- I hopped on the bus for $2.25 and verified with the bus driver I would be able to get to my location. If I remember correctly, I had to do some extra walking or transferring. Somewhere between my destination I scored some food off the dollar menu. Then I headed to the train station where I had somebody pick me up so I could go home and sleep. Never telling one word of what happened.
Don't gamble. There's better things to do with your time.
I started this blog around five years ago. I'm not sure at that point if I was looking to gain attention or maybe it was a desperate cry for help.
In those five years I've lost many, many friends. Got fired from jobs and lost out on great job opportunities. And went broke and ruined my credit.
It's been pity story for the most part.
Early this year I finally decided to take a stand. Early this year I put my name on the voluntary self exclusion list. This prevents me from stepping foot in any casino in my state. It's probably the smartest thing I've ever done since I turned of legal gambling age. I've also cut ties with the negative people in my life that would encourage me to gamble in one way or another. Addicts really are the most selfish people.
I admit, I still take the occasional casino trip out of state, login to online sites to gamble, etc. but it's gotten much better. And I'm happier than I've ever been.
I finally have a little bit of money. I'm able to buy things. The stress level has went down a bit. And I have a pretty solid high paying job.
The truth is that the debt still way outweighs any income that I'll make anytime soon, but that's a ditch I dug myself. So I've got to accept that.
Goals in for the rest of 2017: Resister for self exclusion list in every state, ban myself from online casino's, exercise, and work on physical and mental appearance. Find healthy friends and a girlfriend. Continue to pay down debt and improve credit and credit score.