10 Tips for Managing Finances During Recovery
Rebuilding your finances is an important part of your recovery and early recovery can be an especially challenging time. One of the challenges is managing your finances after a period where things may have been out of control. You can get back on track if you follow a few tips to help you maintain good financial habits to keep your life on an even keel.
1. Take Responsibility for Your Spending
Creating financial stability for your life is a critical part of the recovery process. You may have racked up debt from your addiction or your treatment that can weigh heavily on you, adding to the stress of managing other aspects of your life. Make a full commitment to taking responsibility for your financial situation and resolve to take positive action to improve it. If you are in debt, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. It won’t go away. Own up and take responsibility.
2. Get Help from a Debt Professional
Your ongoing sobriety has to be your biggest concern. If you are in debt and it is weighing heavily on you, seek professional help. It might be uncomfortable, or even scary, but most countries have national debt helplines that can give advice and guide you through solutions.
3. Understand Your Spending Habits
Over a period of weeks, start writing down everything you spend in a book. Categorise things honestly and without judgment according to essential and non-essential spends. This will enable you to see where you can cut back and assist you in making a spending plan (see below).
4. Create a Realistic Spending Plan
The first step toward financial improvement is to create a spending plan that realistically reflects your income and expenses. Review all recurring expenses to determine if you can get a better price on some items. You may find changing your phone carrier or getting a different plan can save you money.
5. Do Your Monthly Accounts
Record your incomings and outgoings day-to-day. At the end of the month, total everything up so you can see if your expenses are outweighing your income. If they are, you will need to make some changes to avoid going in to debt. If you are already in debt and you income does not cover your expenses, you should seek professional help, keeping in mind that your sobriety must come first and cleaning up your financial wreckage is a process – don’t let it overwhelm you.
6. Avoid the Use of Cards
Debit and credit cards are so easy and convenient to use that they often invite overspending. Avoid using them whenever possible. You will rethink every purchase if you have to go to the bank to take out the money in order to make it. If you do choose to have debit or credit cards for convenience on certain purchases, leave them at home in a safe place so you aren’t tempted to engage in impulse buys.
7. Monitor Yourself for Addictive Behaviour Involving Money
Make a habit of monitoring yourself for other signs of addictive patterns, such as constant shopping or gambling. It’s not unusual for addicts and alcoholics to seek out new ways of obtaining a ‘high’ such as gambling and excessive shopping sprees. These habits may indicate you haven’t dealt with some of the root causes of your addiction and will almost certainly undermine your good intentions for building a more secure financial future.
8. Be on the Lookout for Ways to Supplement Income
A bit of extra income can help to pay off any debt, so you can get a better start on rebuilding your finances. While this is important it is equally important to remember self-care alongside this. Don’t take on more than you can reasonably handle – the additional stress could be damaging to your recovery. Look for low stress supplemental income streams. There’s always someone who needs help with moving, yard maintenance, house cleaning, chauffeuring or other chores. Keep an eye out in your neighbourhood for people advertising for help with tasks.
9. Attend a 12 Step DA Meeting
If you know that you have an issue with over spending or under earning beyond what you can control or manage yourself, seek help. As well as seeking advice from a debt professional, Debtors Anonymous is a global fellowship that offers support for those with issues around money through a 12 step program based on the program offered by AA (Alcoholics Anonymous).
10. Revisit Your Recovery
If you suspect that the reason for your finances being in bad shape is linked to the underlying issues that caused your alcoholism or addiction, you may want to consider revisiting your initial recovery. If you are following a 12 step program, it might be time to retake the steps or make a personal inventory around money. If you are not following a 12-step program and did not receive professional help when getting clean or sober, it may be that you are suffering from Dry Drunk Syndrome. You can read more about Dry Drunk Syndrome and how to combat it here.
If you are concerned about yourself or a loved one, we urge you to reach out and contact us in confidence. Our private programs are tailor-made to suit individual needs and our doctorate level clinical staff have extensive experience in the field of addiction.
If you are not currently in Bali but would like to begin a recovery program immediately, contact us as we will be able to arrange a VISA for entry into Indonesia. We also have online recovery options available which can be taken should you not wish to travel.
To talk to one of our team members, contact us on WhatsApp or by Phone. Alternatively, send us an email and we will either answer your questions in writing or call you back, according to your preference: Contact Us.
We understand how difficult it can be to reach out for help but it is the first step towards recovery and a happier, healthier way of living.