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As I am no longer employed and my reserves are fast disappearing, I naturally look to make savings but without giving up to many principals. If you consider principals a luxury then I am guilty of holding on to some luxuries.

March this year was the first significant point it marked a full year unemployed. I had my first attempt at changing a utility company it was the electricity supplier Eon. They had sent out a letter in February saying I should increase my monthly payment and backed it up with e-mail then a phone call. The phone call had been a bad idea on their part. Sat with my laptop in front of me delving into my online account with the company. While the salesman did his thing, I was well armed with questions for the invitation when it came at the end of his speech for any questions.

I was fairly well aware he would not be able to give me any concrete answers after all he was a salesman not a negotiator. However, I let him have it anyway first I pay you £50:00 per month up front by Direct Debit (DD). My highest usage months the winter I rarely go over £59:00 per month. My summer month’s lowest usage the costs are £35:00 per month. The excess sitting in your company’s bank account earning your company interest and not sitting in my bank account earning me interest. Currently you want me to increase my DD by £10:00 per month to £60:00 per month yet after the latest bill my account shows a credit of £19:64 sat earning interest for your company. Admitting to being lost for words, he apologised for calling and wished me a nice day.

I went to a comparison web site to check out the rates of other electricity providers. It seemed once initial deals came off and the extent of contract there was little difference. Also I knew there was another round to energy pricing to come over the summer for a change this one had been flagged up early thanks to the call from the salesman. Sure enough further increases were added over the summer months by all the utility companies.

It seemed before I knew it I had been unemployed for eighteen months.  Obviously, that was August this year and the electricity company tried again no phone call though this time, just an e-mail and a letter telling how the increases would affect me. Oddly enough a £10:00 per month increase. I returned to the comparison websites, found a deal, and contract term that suited me £50:00 per month DD annual renewal. Therefore, I think I may have won that round.

I am still struggling with the description of these companies as utility companies I would much rather call them energy companies. We all understand useful, of use and these large companies seem to be at odds with these descriptions. Then going through a final summer clear out before entering hibernation for the winter. I came across an old economics paper with the economic theory description of utility I had written down but omitted to remember as may path lay elsewhere. In economic theory, utility is the amount of satisfaction or pleasure that somebody gains from consuming a commodity, product, or service.  Not the product or services’ actual usefulness.

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These types include the professional gambler, social gambler, serious gambler, compulsive gambler, escape gambler and the antisocial gambler

Professional gamblers for whom gambling is their primary source of income. He or she gambles in a planned manner, and rarely loses control while gambling. They are disciplined, that is why they are ready to accept losses and do not chase to win them back. They do not bet compulsively, and they consider their strategies before making their bets.

I would take issue with this, whilst they may make an income over a period it is rarely sustainable over a working lifetime of say fifty years.

Social gamblers see gambling as recreational, source of entertainment, and not their source of income. They are infrequent players, but some of them play regularly, but within considerable spaces of time. They do not get frustrated if they were not able to play. Most gamblers are considered to fall on this type.

In general, I would agree but the second part of the statement does not ring true. They are equally capable of being regular players or irregular players who go on a gambling binge.

Serious gamblersmake gambling a vital part of their life. Unlike social gamblers who would not mind missing a game, the serious gamblers would be upset if they do not get to play. Although they are serious players, they are not caught in financial trouble due to gambling. Like professional gamblers, they do not chase losses, but unlike the professionals, they do not depend on gambling winnings to pay for their necessities. The serious gamblers still have other non-gambling activities that they engage in.

Again this is to simplistic in terms of how they are measured against their nearest group. The serious gambler may mind missing a game or a round of betting. Yes like the professional, they are not in financial trouble. Yet! They will research their strategies and profit/loss situation and if in control not chase their losses.

Compulsive gamblersregard gambling as the sole important thing in life. They forget other aspects in life such as career and family. They find themselves in financial problems due to gambling, and use the money dedicated to more important things to support their hobby. Vice versa, they depend on their winnings to pay for their necessities. They have strong urges to gamble, and could not quit gambling easily.

I would add here that though gambling is their main addiction along the way other addictions will have been in evidence. Like alcoholics, they try to be secretive about their addiction. Lying readily to themselves and anyone who may suspect they have a problem.

Escape or Relief gamblers use gambling as their escape from problems or troubles in life. Instead of turning to family, friends or organisations for relief. These gamblers would prefer gambling to forget about their worries. Although gambling may be a good stress reliever, the effect it offers is short-lived and once the euphoria, of the gamble is over the problems come back, and the escape/relief gamblers are more depressed than ever.

These types are often hardest to define as you can see many other gambling traits in them.

Now what type of gambler am I? I do bet most days of the week usually on football games occasionally on horses. I will pass an hour or three in the evenings playing poker. All the time risking nothing more than points.

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