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How Can I Learn to Budget Money Better in Recovery?

In recovery, you continue to learn about emotions, triggers, and healthy coping skills. You probably did not learn enough about how to budget money, even though it is one of the most important keys to a successful future. In addition, most humans spend their savings on illicit substances until there is not a dime left. Even those who do not face financial ruin tend to associate money with substance use. This can lead to a trigger of potential relapse.

Not understanding how to budget money can be a barrier between you and your best life. It can be overwhelming to think about budgeting money. This article will present tips for creating a budget that you can live on and be happy about. Then, we will explore why having extra money in savings is beneficial in recovery.

Budget Money to Prevent Trigger of Relapse

Recovery takes a lot of time and focus in your life. It can often seem that life happens around you and prevents you from concentrating on important areas. Learning how to budget money in recovery can be just as important as working a 12-Step program, as money can be a trigger for potential relapse. For example, if a person in recovery engages in employment too early, that could be detrimental to the recovery process. However, it is crucial in the recovery process to obtain employment to afford living expenses.

To achieve a successful balance, a person should learn to draw the line between obsession with money and personal gains in recovery. A fixation on having money can lead to a potential relapse and it is important to be aware of such things.

You may want to create small, achievable goals for yourself when learning how to budget money. Small goals equal big goals. When you accomplish something small, you build confidence for the bigger goal. If you struggle with achieving goals, speaking to a professional therapist at The Guest House can guide you in achieving your dreams.

Take an Inventory of Debts and Assets

This may sound like a project; however, it does not have to be as intense as you think. Carve out a time frame that you will set aside just for this task. Give yourself something to look forward to, such as a hot beverage or a special cold drink. Put on some relaxing music and grab paper and a pen. Take a moment to breathe and calm yourself. If this sounds overwhelming, you may think about reaching out to The Guest House for additional support.

Think about all your debts and write them all down. If you struggle with debts from the past, this could be a prime opportunity to make not only amends with others but also with yourself. Learning how to budget money is simply about learning what you can afford. Additionally, not living paycheck to paycheck and being stress-free.

On a separate piece of paper, itemize your assets. This can be anything from a home to a car or nice clothing to shoes. Everything that you own, whether big or small, goes on this piece of paper. It does not matter how much the item is worth to others; it is only worth what it is worth to you. Some items may not have a monetary value, but they are important to you.

Separate Needs and Wants to Budget Money

Most people live in a space where they can obtain everything that they want. It is easy to get mixed up in the differences between a need and a want. Learning how to budget money is a staple in the process.

If you are not sure about an item being a need or want, try doing without it for some time. After that, you will recognize if you truly cannot live without the item. Essentially, a need is shelter, water, food, and air. Humans cannot thrive without those things in their life. Even those things that are needed have a need versus want thought process.

Take into consideration your impulse purchases. For example, you are scrolling through social media, and an ad pops up for fancy coffee that promises to make all your dreams come true. Before every purchase, ask yourself, “Do I need or want this?” If you want it, did you budget that item in?

Keep Your Goals to Budget Money In Savings

Research shows that increased spending is linked to stress levels and even depression. Just think about when sadness strikes, and you have some “retail therapy” to eliminate how you feel. It is easy to get caught up in the mindset that things create happiness. This mindset eliminates the idea of working through uncomfortable emotions and replacing them with items, much like the addiction process.

Addiction rewires natural pathways and can be easily associated with spending, as the “high” is similar. It is easy to try and fill the void of substance use with spending and harder to start saving. Having several dollars extra per month can give you space for safety and security. You do not have to have a lot of money to save, but start with putting ten dollars each paycheck back. Something is better than nothing, and everyone has to start somewhere.

You continue to work through all the things that recovery has presented. Learning how to budget money may be a soft spot for you. Changing several small things can make a world of difference when budgeting money. It can be easy to buy unnecessary things just to improve your mood lifted. The first step is being aware of how you spend money, and the rest is making small goals to create big goals. At The Guest House, we are aware that recovery takes dedication and work. Our mission is to continue to help you grow in every facet of your life. Give us a call today at (855) 483-7800 to learn more.