Substance use disorder can affect all aspects of your life, including family, health, romantic relationships, employment, and friendships. People with substance use disorders often find themselves in financial ruin because they spend money and even amass a lot of debt to feed their addiction. It is easy to make poor financial decisions when your judgment is impaired by drugs or alcohol. These can include remortgaging a home, taking payday loans, maxing out credit cards, and pawning possessions.
Assessing your financial habits and rebuilding your finances in recovery is a vital part of regaining your life. Tackling this part of your life can alleviate deep-seated anxiety and make you excited about what the future holds. These tips can help you rebuild your financial health in the months after you complete rehab.
Get Financial Assistance
It is common to assume that getting into a rehabilitation treatment program only provides treatment for substance use disorder. The advantages of learning how to lead a productive life after rehab are often overlooked. A comprehensive treatment program that incorporates financial counseling equips you with the necessary recovery skills and prevention strategies to increase the chances of staying sober.
Through financial counseling, you will acquire skills, resources, and tools to recover financially and lead an independent life. A financial advisor will assess your current financial status before coming up with recovery strategies specific to your situation. The counselor will also offer basic money management skills to help you rebuild your credit score, overcome debt and avoid getting into more difficulties.
You may initially be reluctant to seek financial assistance because of the fear that the counselor may try to micromanage or control your income. However, the reality is that an excellent financial counselor will help you understand and practice financial management based on your needs. You’ll learn where to get financial aid, how to secure loans, and why to apply for grants and scholarships.
Secure a Job
Working after recovery helps you create structure, self-confidence, manageable accountability, and income. It offers a chance to think about your future, assess your goals and strive to achieve them. Your financial well-being and sobriety depend on having something to do and the means to meet your needs. The susceptibility of falling back to substance use increases when you cannot meet your basic needs or have a purpose in life.
Begin your search by assessing what you are good at and enjoy doing because doing a job you love will motivate you to remain sober, work hard and strive to live a healthy life. Ensure that you keep going to outpatient therapy and meetings when seeking employment to have an outlet and tools to manage stress, which will help you maintain a hopeful and positive mindset.
Remember that you may not secure your dream job immediately, but your first job is an integral step in rebuilding your career. It is best to adjust or let go of your expectations and be willing to do part-time or entry-level jobs. You’ll want to welcome new ideas and people, stay patient, learn from every interaction and practice mindfulness. It would help if you also reassessed what you think you can or cannot do.
Networking is essential when seeking employment. The relationships you form during your rehabilitation program are quite useful as your peers in recovery can share any job leads they may come across and even be your references. Several treatment centers also partner with local businesses to refer you to various job openings.
Resources like LinkedIn, America in Recovery, Meetup groups, and recovery centers offer education and a chance to connect with potential employers. It will help if you do not draw a prospective employer’s attention to your addiction. However, do not offer false information if asked about the gap in your resume.
If you cannot find a job right away, you could volunteer in your community. Volunteering helps you discover and manifest your natural abilities, develop a sense of purpose and passion, give back to people in need and build your skillset without compromising your recovery. Potential employers love seeing that you volunteer. Your commitment may lead to a full-time paying job.
Expand Your Personal Inventory
The 12 Steps of recovery aim to help people with substance use disorder recover from addiction and rebuild their lives in sobriety. Tackling these steps may seem daunting, but the benefits are worth it. The 12 steps help you gain a better view of life, freedom, peace, happiness, and serenity. You’ll learn to let go of the past, value other people, and be less selfish and self-seeking.
Step four deals with taking a personal inventory, a step described by Alcoholics Anonymous as “a searching and fearless moral inventory.” This step is often hard for many people, especially new members, but it is only as hard as you make it. Completing a personal inventory can help you grow spiritually, strengthen your sobriety and establish your financial goals. Facing your past actions and behaviors enables you to overcome your character flaws like impulse buying and gain confidence and freedom in yourself.
When creating your inventory, make sure that you exhaust every aspect that needs to be addressed, including a comprehensive financial inventory to get an accurate assessment of your liabilities and assets. The process entails practicing complete honesty, uncovering the character flaws that caused financial problems in your life. You can write columns to indicate fears, resentments, harm caused to others, and sexual misconduct. Consider writing all the things, people, and places you feel anger toward and the precise reason for it.
Once you complete the list, you can figure out how to overcome your indulgences without creating excuses for your actions. Failure to overcome these issues will impede your recovery process and could even cause a relapse. Since fear is a massive driving force behind poor decisions, it helps to list all your worries and face them.
There are no rules for developing your personal inventory; you could even write your life story first. Doing so may make it easier to create the list because it gives you a better understanding of your past actions. After completing your personal inventory, the next step will be to admit to yourself and others your wrongdoings. To protect your confidentiality during step four, disclose the information only to trusted individuals. You might create a password to safeguard the document or hide it in a safe place. Eventually, you will embark on the Amends Process in which you will work to address your wrongdoings and correct them if at all possible. This can include financial amends and will require to honor debts you accumulated while in active addiction.
Create Your Budget
Having either a lot or not enough money can be a significant relapse trigger. Struggling to pay your bills can make you seek drugs or alcohol to cope with the situation, while a windfall such as a tax return might tempt you to use again. Although monitoring your expenditure may not be enjoyable or straightforward, it helps you get your debts under control, have money for basic needs and other things at all times, and plan for the future.
Developing and adhering to a budget helps curb overspending and forms a safety net for unexpected expenses or accidents. Budgeting involves handling outstanding debts, ongoing expenses, and expected income, as well as developing a smart and achievable financial strategy. For example, you can set aside some money to celebrate your progress with your support group.
You might want to avoid debit or credit cards because having immediate access to money can be quite tempting, especially during the start of recovery. Consider withdrawing cash from the bank to discourage impulse spending. Your recovery from addiction takes priority over securing your financial independence. Therefore, as you strive to get back on your feet financially, watch out for things that may lead to stress or too much pressure.
Finding affordable options for meeting your basic needs, such as hunting for bargains and using coupons, saves you money. You should endeavor to save money to secure your financial future. If you intend on making a large purchase, start setting aside some money to achieve this goal responsibly.
A savings account helps ensure that you do not run into unanticipated money stress that could trigger a relapse. It is okay if you are not an expert in budget creation from the get-go because there are plenty of resources to help you get started and increase your knowledge with time.
Separate Needs From Wants
People with substance use disorders struggle with instant gratification; it is what fuels their addiction. The desire to satisfy your wants immediately is an integral component of making alcohol and addiction quite appealing. There are five stages of instant gratification: desire, the resolve to resist it, adrenaline rush, giving in, and feelings of remorse and guilt.
Giving in to your desire can have adverse effects on your financial status, so aim to tackle them during recovery. Some individuals recovering from substance use disorders can turn to other activities that are detrimental to their emotional and financial well-being, like gambling. Ensure that you separate your wants from needs to prevent satisfying every minor desire you may have. It’s important that you find a way to avoid overspending as a coping mechanism.
Delaying gratification helps you find a balance between needs and wants and make the recovery process more enjoyable. It allows you to prioritize what you require to live before spending money on your wants. You can increase the chances of achieving your goals, prepare for the future and gain more control over your life. The sacrifices you make will translate to great rewards later. Learning delayed gratification requires setting goals, making sacrifices, and repeating past successes. Keeping a diary to keep tabs on your progress and celebrate your achievements may be helpful. Some people find that activities like mindfulness meditation help improve their impulse control, while mental visualizations offer the motivation to keep going.
Rebuild Your Credit Score
A person’s credit score can significantly slip or change due to addiction, and rebuilding it may take time, but it is crucial to keep working on it. The process should begin by reviewing your credit report to understand your situation better, including the amount of money you owe. When assessing the information, pay attention to any discrepancies with your FICO or credit score.
Correcting the errors in your credit report can help improve the score. They can range from unused addresses and incorrect names to a defaulted loan you never actually owned. You can typically negotiate with the creditors if you owe them large amounts or notice discrepancies. If you can work with an agency, they can distribute your credit payments, giving you time to repay comfortably. Some creditors can also write off part of the debt or permit smaller monthly payments. By sitting down with an agency, you will understand the options you have and pick the most manageable.
You can also help improve your score through behavioral changes. These include not moving your debt to a different carrier and making sure to pay bills on time. You may want to open a new credit line to help rebuild a healthier history but only do so once you speak to your financial advisor or bank.
Granite Recovery Centers
The first step to take if you have a substance use disorder is to admit that you have a problem and get help from an addiction treatment center. Granite Recovery Center has been helping adults suffering drug and alcohol dependency from New England and beyond for more than 10 years. We offer a unique combination of evidence-based treatment consisting of scientifically supported psychotherapies and an extensive 12-step program.
Our treatment program for addiction entails a complete care continuum with extended care, medication-based treatment, sober living, intensive outpatient counseling, and primary residential treatment. We help our clients identify, make sense of and reprogram their harmful behaviors and thoughts. Our transformative program has provided our clients with therapy and essential skills to lead better lives.
The decision to get assistance is a crucial step toward recovery. Compassionate counselors will help you take steps to rebuild your life and get back what you lost. Recovery is a fulfilling journey that presents an opportunity to assess, make personal and financial changes and rediscover yourself physically, mentally, and emotionally. We’re here to help you every step of the way.