My son has been addicted to gambling since he was 16 now 26. He is around £10,000 in debt with a loan and two credit cards. He wants to change after blowing this months wages on Friday now cannot make his repayments. He wants us to take over his finances and we want to help (not enable) any advice on the best way to do this. We love him and feel so sad he is under this curse but we know its an addiction. We also want him to get help but I think he'll only do something on line.
Perfectly normal for you to run your son's finances for a while. You will be taking a huge load off his shoulders and it is normally a time of reflection and healing. Be aware of the gambling addict in him. He may want to try and manipulate to be able to gamble more. You should sign a contract with him with can and can not do that he should live up to. And tell him to use the time to get himself sorted out. It is very hard to see out from those trees when you are young and lost but he can also see it is an opportunity to get well and all of us want to get well from this addiction.
I wish you well
10K is obviously a far wack of debt, what is his financial capacity to pay this back is it realistic or not ?
the fact he's blown his entire wage without making any repayment would probably indicate he belives he has some sort of safety net , this has got to be removed
he has got to learn his lesson and the only way that will happen is when he's stopped gambling and done the back breaking work to get himself straight again
if you do it for him by paying the debt he wont ever learn and by 30 will probably be in 25K debt
you also need to make sure he has actually stopped gambling and that the 10K debt is actually 10k and not more
Hi Shooting Star,
So sorry to read about what you and your son are going through. It is such a cruel addiction for everyone involved.
It's good that he has asked you to take over his finances and good that he wants to stop. He can contact advisers online here. He is also really lucky to have supportive parents who understand that he is suffering from an addiction.
Make sure that you look after yourselves too. There is help available for family and friends on here. It can be very hard emotionally when someone you love is a gambling addict.
Is he taking other steps such as putting blocks in place? If he gambles online software like Gamstop can remove the opportunity to gamble. He has to really want to do this for himself.
Take care and I wish you all the very best.
I've been through this as many gamblers have/requesting family members to hold finances for a bit...
A-Z of best way
- Ask him to open a Post office account instant save... or a similar (atm card only so he can withdraw cash)
- Obtain Asda or similar Gift cards that can be topped up, for food etc.
- Take all his bank/credit cards (except atm only card) cancel/ask for new ones......
(he can not be allowed to have the security No or long digits)
- Change all his bank internet access codes/ telephone number/keep noted only you can access.
- Obtain all information of all debts he has to everyone.
- Set up Standing orders direct debits - to pay these debts/together sort agreements with them as needed
set amount to atm card weekly and top up on food/Supermarket vouchers/and possibly transport(monthly) or fuel card etc.
- The main thing on top of this is he has to agree to have counselling /go through courses and show
you he has been doing this as part of your agreement/he sets aside time...
(also get him to join gamstop/sense gamblocks on his devices)
get this in writing as an agreement between you both.... dont be to overpowering ask for his input as much as possible... and set a time frame when you guys will check in discuss how things are going...
Doing what you are doing will not enable him but will give him space to breath and gain the tools he needs.
also when you reach the point to give back finances do not give him back all control.... start it very slowly...
damage limitations just in case he goes back to old ways immediately which normally can happen....
if it does you guys can re group and form another attack plan... with not to much financial damage until he is back to normal..
Hope this helps all the best
Thank for the informative and supporting replies much appreciated. He is going to do a DMP step Change and this is positive. He has also opened up more for example he uses crypto currency to navigate blocks etc. He is now not sure around us managing his money but I’ll not push it as he needs to want to do it. I’ve also asked him to look at some help on line. Trying to keep things calm and support not enable. He also gets annoyed when he thinks we don’t think he’ll change but we have been here many times before. I find it so sad he works hard and it all goes to gambling companies and these should be some of his best years.
Thanks Again All
We are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year. You can also contact us for free on 0808 80 20 133. If you would like to find out more about the service before you start, including information on confidentiality, please click below. Call recordings and chat transcripts are saved for 28 days for quality assurance.