Financial health for Recovering Addicts: Budgeting, Planning, and Discipline

Financial Health

Financial health.

Financial health means the state of one’s private economic matters. Financial health has many extents, taking into account how much a person saves, how much at the same time this individual sets aside for retirement, and how much of the income this person spends on fixed or non-discretionary overheads. Addicts face a long, hard road to recovery. Achieving and maintaining sobriety is just one of many steps to health, happiness, and a restored sense of self-esteem. When you’re struggling every day to avoid temptation, it can be easy to overlook the everyday responsibilities that most people take for granted: things like balancing a checkbook, making a budget, and building a credit score. For recovering addicts, Financial health can impact physical and emotional stability. Financial stability means more than paying bills and saving a few dollars. Money trouble is one of the most common relapse triggers for recovery survivors. Getting your financial affairs in order can make the difference between sobriety and a return to self-destructive behavior.

For many people, good financial habits are very hard to attain. But those in recovery can learn them as well as anyone else. It just takes a little determination and guidance and an understanding that financial responsibility is necessary, no matter what your circumstances happen to be. That’s what leads you to financial health.

Build a budget to improve our financial health

Financial self-reliance, regardless of whether you’re employed, begins with a budget, a blueprint for responsible and informed decision-making. It also helps set you on a path to self-empowerment. This is the first step to improving your financial health. You might be surprised at how simple it can be to set a budget. Begin with how much money you have in your bank account or in your personal possession. Determine how much money you know you have coming in, whatever the source may be (paycheck, government aid, etc.). Next, figure out what debts need to be paid, how much you’ll spend on expenses such as water, electricity, phone, Internet, groceries, and any other basic needs, how much you have in assets, and the value of your home if you’re a homeowner.

If you need help with budgeting and other financial planning steps, you can seek out the aid of a financial counselor — you can usually get help for free or for a minimal cost. If you’re in a substance abuse treatment program, your counselors may be able to put you in touch with someone who can help. Or you can contact the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, a nonprofit service with offices in all 50 states.

Need it or want it?

One of your most important tasks will be figuring out what expenses are necessary and optional. This is especially important for people in recovery because this is where you’ll separate what you actually need from things that are just substitutes for dependence. A friend, family member, or fellow recovering addict can help you identify the hazards of giving yourself too much financial leeway and thus sacrifice your financial health. It’s a good idea to begin by budgeting for the most basic needs, meaning food, shelter, warmth, car insurance, etc.

Don’t carry it, don’t spend it.

It’s very important to avoid carrying credit or debit cards at first. It’s too great a temptation to spend what money you have at a time when you’re already struggling with other forms of temptation. Carry only what you’ve budgeted and no more. If the pull to use the money for self-destructive purchases like alcohol or drugs is still strong, consider asking a family member you trust to hold onto your cards. Prepaid cards can also be helpful if you’re just getting started.

Credit report – the reflection of your financial health.

Addicts often don’t pay much attention to their credit status when they’re using, so obtaining a credit report is important for figuring out where you stand. You can obtain your report from Equifax, TransUnion, or Experian credit reporting services with your social security number. Be careful to check your report for any errors; they do crop up from time to time, so look carefully. If you have old debts, make arrangements to repay them – this will help rebuild credit and give you a valuable sense of responsibility and achievement. And at the same time, it will improve your financial health.

Suppose you know someone who’s handy with money, great! Take advantage of their knowledge and experience. Or, you can find a number of apps and online resources that can put you on the road to financial health. By addressing your finances and setting yourself on the right path moving forward, you are giving yourself the opportunity to reclaim your credit and save for your future.

If you’re trying to overcome alcoholism or substance abuse and at the same time improve your financial health, contact Philadelphia Addiction Center for a personalized treatment strategy that promotes recovery.  (267) 284-4143