Like with anything in life, your choices with money can produce good or bad results depending on the situation – and some are more vulnerable to negative effects than others. Here are three scenarios in which careful money management is especially important.

When You Receive a Windfall

Many people receive an unexpected and fairly significant financial boost at least once in their lives. This could be a one-time event (an inheritance, for example) or a permanent boost income (from a new, better job), but either way, it’s important to handle it responsibly. Do not let yourself get carried away with this new money. Continue to live mostly as you always have and save or invest the extra money – you’ll thank yourself for that later.

When Gambling

There are many things you can do to ensure that a night at the casino doesn’t turn into a financial disaster. Setting a loss limit ahead of time will help you restrict the amount of money you can potentially lose, but if you’re really playing it smart, you should set a hard spending limit instead. If you go in with a hundred-pound budget, you leave when you’ve spent those hundred pounds, even if your winnings exceed that amount. This helps break the temptation of continuing on until your losses start to mount again and ensures that you at least have the chance to walk away with some winnings.

When Making a Big Purchase

Ideally, you’d have the entire amount saved up before you buy anything relatively expensive, but that’s not always feasible. If you’re going to use some form of credit for this, always make sure you have the financial flexibility to make even bigger payments than what is strictly required to meet your debt obligations. You don’t want to run into trouble if you experience a sudden drop in income, such as in cases of job loss or long-term illness.

While we’re all constantly exposed to some level of economic risk, making good choices at these and other notable junctures should usually put you in a much better financial situation overall.