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Friday, February 22, 2019

Rebuilding Financial Wellness in Addiction Recovery

In recovery, you invested a great deal of time into learning about emotional, physical and spiritual wellness through tools like behavioral and experiential therapy. One thing you may not have spent as much time on, however, is financial wellness. Learning how to set and maintain a budget and sensible spending habits may be one of the most essential keys to a successful recovery.

Money as a Trigger

Addiction and irresponsible spending habits go hand in hand. Many addicts reach a point where they are tapping into their life savings or frequently taking out “quick cash” loans to get money to fuel their addiction. They aren’t thinking of the long-term financial consequences of going into debt – their only goal is to chase the next high. Even those who do not end up on the brink of financial ruin may begin to associate spending with the rush of using drugs, which can turn money into a powerful trigger.

Even once recovering addicts have stopped spending all their money on their addiction, they often continue making irresponsible purchases, leading to debt and stress that can chip away at their newfound sobriety and put them at greater risk for a relapse.

Money Management Tips for Recovering Addicts

Like other life skills, financial wellness is something you have to learn. However, not all recovery centers teach and emphasize the importance of lifelong money management techniques like saving, budgeting, managing a bank account and tracking spending habits. If taking responsibility for your financial situation feels overwhelming, and you don’t know where to start, a good first step is to ask a trusted relative or friend to help you develop a plan for managing your finances.

Then, consider the following tips:
  • Develop a sensible budget that covers your monthly expenses and allows you to build a savings account as you repay any debts you have accumulated.
  • Consider setting up your savings account in a way that makes it more difficult for you to access – such as in a different bank from your checking account, with no ATM or debit card.
  • Take advantage of every resource available to you. Most banks and credit unions offer free financial planning advice or workshops.
  • Set up direct deposit for your paychecks, instead of getting a paper check that might tempt you to cash it on the spot.
  • Pay with cash whenever possible, or set up a prepaid debit card that is designed to help people in addiction recovery manage their finances.
  • Use a free online money-management tool like Mint to help you keep track of your savings and expenses.
  • Keep in close contact with your therapist or recovery sponsor and ask them to check in with you on paydays.

Start Your Recovery With Us

Rebuilding financial wellness in addiction recovery takes time, but it’s something you can achieve if you stick to a plan, learn to avoid bad spending habits and ask for help when you need it.

Canyon Crossing is a women’s-only addiction treatment facility in Prescott, AZ. Life skills, including financial wellness, are a cornerstone of our transitional living and treatment program. Contact us today to get the help you need and begin your recovery process with us.

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