Guide to Bingo Budgeting
The game of bingo has become considerably popular over the last decade, especially with being able to play online which means that there are so many more possibilities for players, old and new.
Because of the number of top bingo websites available for bingo enthusiasts, quite often they will sign up to more than one site, especially if they are able to take advantage of any welcome offers which appeal and as a result, this can have a substantial impact on a player’s bankroll.
What should also be factored in is that players now can get offers and promotions sent straight to their pocket (often where a smartphone is) at any time of the day from bingo sites, and this can be tempting for a lot of players to take action, when they might not have planned to.
Let’s explore all of the fundamentals with regards to budgeting for bingo as well as tips for how you can stay disciplined.
Why do you need a bingo budget?
While having a budget for bingo is by no means a requirement, there is no harm at all in having one, especially if you have just started playing the game online. Even if you have been playing traditional bingo for years, the online formats are substantially different and you may find that it is too tempting to just play the one game.
To make sure that you do not overspend
If you keep track of your budget and you can detach yourself from the emotion of the game of bingo, then you will be able to decide whether you are spending too much on it or not, in relation to the limit that you may have imposed on yourself. By not overspending, this means that you will be less likely to do something that you might later regret, which seems good at the time.
Make sure that you are aware of the wagering requirements
These can trip players up in online bingo, especially if you are new to the game. In order to fully unlock welcome bonuses, bingo sites require you to wager a certain percentage an ‘x’ number of times and if you are not careful you can end up spending more than you planned. Many sites also have reload bonuses as well where you are prompted to wager even more to unlock these. Having an understanding of the wagering requirements before you sign up to a bingo site can really help. However, if you do sign up to a welcome bonus, it does not mean you are obligated to go through the wagering requirements - all it means is that you will not receive the bonus.
Sometimes for new players, because they are unfamiliar with the game, they will just make a deposit that does not meet the minimum required for the welcome bonus and as a result, can enjoy playing the game on the small amount they have deposited. This helps to give them a feel for how the site and the various games work.
Make sure you stay safe from the dangers of gambling too much
By setting a daily or weekly limit on how many games of bingo that you play, this can make sure that you are not getting too drawn in. For some people, gambling in all of its forms can unlock a chemical stimulus in the brain which acts as a psychological trigger to hook you into it. Some bingo sites even allow you to set a maximum deposit limit so that you can control how much you spend in one go.
Be aware of how much you are making and losing
It is so easy to lose track of your overall balance sheet in online bingo, especially if you make a £20 deposit, spend £10 on a game and lose then get drawn in by a £5 matched bonus, lose £15 in one go, then maybe win £2.76 three times. By this stage, you may have got drawn into the game too much and maybe even believe that you are up by a lot overall, because you have won three small amounts. You can easily keep track of how much you are losing and winning through your account balance and it is definitely recommended tht you do this after every game you play so that you know where you stand.
Stick to your budget
This for a lot of players can be the hardest thing to do. They maybe go in with the best intentions, though after spending the budget that they set themselves can often think that another two games won’t hurt. At this point, it can be a sign that you are becoming addicted and if you do this once, you will invariably keep on doing it.
Tips to make sure that you keep within your budget
There are a number of things that you can do to make sure that you keep to the bingo budget that you have set yourself. All of these methods vary and while not everyone might appeal, there could be at least one that you find useful for your online bingo gameplay. Let’s take a look at some of the things that a lot of players do to make sure that they stay in their bingo budget.
Keep a track record
The good old pen and paper approach can work for a lot of people because if they physically write down what they are depositing and spending on games, this can have a psychological effect on their brain and as a result program it in their memory better. Also, because you will be able to actually see it written out in black and white using your own method can mean that it makes sense, rather than glazing over it on a screen.
If you make a profit then this gives you the luxury of making a decision of whether you withdraw it or use it as part of, or the entirety (depending on how much you have won) of your next week’s budget. However, if you make a loss, you might want to rethink what you do next, whether it is taking a break or gambling on the fact that you may make this back. Chasing losses, however, is something that is not recommended as this can lead to problems further down the line.
Have a set deposit limit
As referred to briefly above, the vast majority of bingo sites will let you set a deposit limit. This means that you can keep a track of how much you are crediting your bingo account with every time. Also you can do this in a variety of ways as well, such as setting daily, weekly or even monthly limits. For example, if you set a £20 monthly limit then the bingo site simply will not let you go past this which is a crucial component of a bingo site’s Responsible Gambling policy.
Keep a reminder
If you think that you might have difficulty sticking to your online bingo budget then it could be worth making notes and putting them up around the house or in your car, so that when you look at them, this help to program this in your mind.
Another way could be having it as a screensaver on your phone because the majority of people use their smartphones to play bingo. This will mean that even if you are playing bingo, your screensaver may come on after a minute if you're not using it which can act as a timely prompt if you are coming to the end of the budget that you have set.
Tell someone you trust
By getting another person who you trust (or even another player) to remind you about your keeping to your bingo budget, then they can help to hold you accountable to the promise that you made to yourself. In turn, this can also work the other way, which means you both support each other.
Choose the time of the day wisely
This can be a handy tactic for making sure that you stay within your online bingo budget because if you start playing in the morning for example and you do not have plans for that day, then you can easily get sucked in and before you know it, five hours have passed.
By playing at 9 pm on an evening though, after a full day, this means that you may not have the capacity to play for long, because you are tired. As a result, you may only end up playing one game before you fall asleep.
Do not play every day
Even though you might have set a daily budget does not mean that you have to play bingo every day, which means that you might even end up saving some of your budgets and can roll it over to the following week. In doing this, it vastly reduces the chances of you becoming addicted.
Treat it in the same way as a household budget
In the same way that you might have a budget every month for food, bills and rent, by applying the same approach to your online bingo budget might just help to increase your levels of responsibility and stop you from getting carried away. Also, the knock-on effect of going over the budget that you have set yourself for playing bingo could substantially eat into your household budget and leave you serious difficulty.
What should you do if you go over your bingo budget?
While some people may not apply much serious thought to this and apply the ignorance is bliss approach, assuming that everything will be alright, this can actually lead to major problems further down the line. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you can if you go over your bingo budget.
Re-balance the numbers
This means that if you go over your weekly budget, then do not use next week’s budget or even for the following week depending on how much you have gone over it. Not only will this give you a rest, which might be a good sign and have a positive impact on you, it can also help you to become more responsible with your gambling.
Add another layer of safety
If you find yourself going over your budget two or three times in a row then you might want to consider a bingo site’s self-exclusion scheme. This is a vital part of a bingo site’s Responsible Gambling policy and as such, they will suspend your account for a period of time to prevent you from playing as well as stop sending you marketing offers.
Put things into perspective
It can be very easy to get drawn into playing online bingo and as such you could be becoming hooked by it. One way to help is to take a step back and look at other things that you could be using some of the budget that are important in your life.
Seek out help
If you are continuously going over the budget that you have set for yourself then this could be a strong sign that you are developing an addiction. This means that it could well be a good idea to try and find help.
If you do not feel confident about doing this alone, tell someone who you trust and can act as support. What is important to remember is not to feel embarrassed about this, because there will invariably be others in the same situation as you. Every bingo site has a Responsible Gambling section, where they will have links to charitable organisations who can help to provide professional advice such as BeGambleAware and can help to get you back on the right track. Arguably the most important thing that you should do is close down your online bingo account so that you are not tempted to play bingo again.
While it might seem like it might be easy to play online bingo on a budget, the truth is that for many it is hard and this can lead to many unsolicited problems down the line that they did not expect. The fact is that playing bingo online can seem harmless because of, perhaps the simple nature of it, especially with how the game develops and the randomness of it.
Ultimately, if you are new to the game of online bingo is to make sure that you have a budget in place, following one or more of the strategies that we have laid out and never gamble more than you can afford to lose.