Road to Recovery, Episode #62

Have you struggled with a besetting habit or type of addiction? My guest today, Ambus Hunter, has had the same experience and shares from his recovery story to help others get out of the situations that bind them. At 24 years old, he was student debt-free and financially prospering, but was introduced to gambling shortly after entering the workforce. When he finally came to a point of recovery he made it his goal to help as many people as possible gain freedom and meaning in their lives. Ambus is a financial coach and blogger, speaker, owner of a financial wellness company, and more.

You will want to hear this episode if you are interested in…

  • Ambus’ story: a great start, a turn to a gambling addiction, and back again [0:58]
  • The benefits of paying now for what you want to be true of your future [6:47]
  • The correlation between improved financial health and mental health [18:12]
  • Evaluating job opportunities through a different lens [23:36]
  • How Abmus’ experience enables him to serve others more effectively [28:57]
  • 3 steps you can take today to move your life forward financially [31:35]
  • Next steps for Ambus: A YouTube channel, courses, and additional resources [36:07]
  • What Ambus did today to bring joy and set him up for success [37:17]

The negative and increasing impact of a gambling addiction

By the time Ambus was 24 years old he’d paid off all his college loans and was stepping into a new role in a government job. The future looked very bright. But unfortunately he was introduced to the thrill of gambling and over time, everything ran downhill. At his lowest moments he lost as much as $10,000 in one weekend. Ambus says that you don’t notice how your life is slipping away when you first experience the problems gambling creates. But in his case, he did begin to notice a preoccupation with gambling, he was not taking care of himself as well, he was losing track of the days of the week. And he did the very worst thing all along, he kept silent about the struggle.

Ambus had always been strong financially and when he got a call from his credit card company informing him that his payment was late, it was the wakeup call he needed — he’d NEVER missed a payment before. Ambus encourages anyone who even thinks they may have a gambling problem to talk with someone about it. Don’t stay in the dark. If you need to break free of a gambling addiction, you can, but you will need help.

Is there a correlation between the health of one area of life and another?

When I asked Ambus how he feels his gambling addiction impacted the other areas of his life, he was quick to say that he believes that every area of life — physical, mental, social, financial, spiritual — impacts the others. In his situation, the financial struggles he was experiencing because of gambling losses were seeping over into the other areas of life. He points out that the mind often goes to money issues first when things go wrong. That’s because money is such an essential part of life. Developing the habit of funding and keeping an “emergency fund” is a stress reliever because when things go wrong, you know that you’ve set aside the money to take care of it. Think of it as a financial plan that increases your health and well-being.

How to evaluate job opportunities through a lens that is not purely financial

When Ambus was considering positions after graduating college, he received two job offers that seemed very good — except ONE of them paid 30% LESS than the other. For most people, that would be the end of the story, they’d take the higher paying role. That was how Ambus felt about it at first, too. But as he began evaluating the offers, the lower-paying job (which was a civilian role serving the Air Force) had additional things to consider. It offered a promotion training plan, travel opportunities, funds to pay for a Masters Degree, significant government benefits, and the job security that is typical of a government-related job. He decided that the ongoing and future benefits of the lower-paying job were worth the difference in salary. It was the decision that set him up for success long-term. If you are someone you know is looking for that “right” position just out of college, encourage them to listen to this episode. Ambus shares lots of advice that will help them with that decision and more.

Connect with Ambus Hunter


Ambus Hunter is a Baltimore-area Accredited Financial Counselor, Conflict Resolution Mediator with the Federal Government, Blogger, Speaker, Jazz Drummer, and a recovered gambling addict. His financial coaching and content helps millennials strengthen their relationships with money in order to live a life of comfort, satisfaction, and purpose.

Guests on the Mitlin Money Mindset Show are not affiliated with CWM, LLC, and opinions expressed herein may not be representative of CWM, LLC. CWM, LLC is not responsible for the guest’s content linked on this site.

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