Finding Financial Balance After Recovery by Jennifer Scott
Like a seasoned boxer in the ring, the process of addiction recovery punches in a great number of ways. People pursuing a full recovery are often trying to deal with strained relationships with family and friends, lost jobs, and a huge list of other losses. Addiction touches many facets of your life, including your finances.
Coming clean and starting over can be tough for a person who has struggled with addiction. A byproduct of a life with addiction is often financial ruin. After bouts with drugs, gambling, or alcohol, money is often spread thin. Wages can be lost entirely if employment is unattainable or lost. Bills upon bills may begin to pile up. Your credit may seem like a lost cause, but there is hope.
The journey to full recovery will be long, with many important decisions that can make or break your recovery. A good credit score and savings built up will be major steps forward into the new “you,” and help you keep positive energy around you.
Being proactive with your finances can help you move forward as far as saving, making payments, and staying away from bad money habits. Even using therapy and rehabilitation can bring ridiculously high costs, some of which may not be covered by insurance. The financial fallout addiction causes can easily be cleaned up if the right actions are taken along with the correct perspective.
- Take an inventory: Make a list of the bills and debts that need to be taken care of. Make sure to include all of them and categorize them by which ones need your attention first. In addition, look at spending habits and how they can either be cut or removed entirely. Budgeting a monthly spending limit can also help manage money in the present.
- Keep a cool head: All people, to a certain extent, have issues with money. Feeling overwhelmed by a plethora of incoming bills or payments is a mutual emotion felt by anyone who has encountered financial burden. Keep in mind, there are many options to assist you in your finances.
- Ask for help: You are not alone. Family, friends, and 12-step groups all have the capacity for understanding your issues. Some 12-step groups are even specific to the type of recovery you are seeking.
Credit is another thing that can be harmed when struggling with addiction. You may find that once recovery commences, your credit history might be in shambles, but it can be fixed. To rebuild a bad credit score or history, start off with these steps:
- Get your free credit report. Get a report of your credit so that you can grasp exactly where you stand as well as where money is owed. Understanding your current situation is pivotal in moving forward with a plan.
- Come up with a monthly budget. Plan for monthly withdrawals for payments for the mortgage, loans, and credit cards. There is an abundance of ways to save money in all walks of life.
- Maintain consistency. Remember, financial responsibility is a long-term action. Its results are freedom and well-being for the future. Stay away from credit. Also, make sure to keep strong communication with banks and credit agencies.
Money as a Trigger
Doctors have studied the effects of money on people who are attempting recovery. Money carries with it a psychological effect that both enables our confidence in our future and hinders our ability to think straight. The need for money can often morph into emotions of a compulsive (addictive) nature. Therefore, a lack of financial stability is linked with an increased propensity for relapse.
A life lived with addiction is a life closely related to excess. Drugs and alcohol may seem like small purchases when considered in terms of other bills, such as mortgage payments. But this is the mindset that usually allows addiction to result in no savings, enormous debts, and loss of jobs. Reversing the compulsive lifestyle can help you attain financial stability and help stop the idea of money being a trigger to relapse.
Very often when people struggle with addiction, they have issues with money as well. But all is not lost. If you take an honest look at your finances and take all the steps necessary to rebuild your credit, you can make a full financial recovery.