Many addiction recovery organizations focus a lot on emotions, spirituality, and self-awareness—and for a good reason, of course. A successful recovery from a severe substance use disorder entails a lot more than managing your feelings and staying sober, though.
Managing your money can also be an important key to a successful recovery. Why? In active addiction, the focus was entirely on obtaining drugs or alcohol and certainly not on balancing your checkbook or paying off your credit card debt. That means, in early recovery, many people with addiction have to learn how to manage their finances all over again. Often, addicted people used up their entire life savings to fund their drug and alcohol misuse.
Having cash in your pocket can also be a powerful trigger because in the past money—especially cash—was psychologically strongly connected to using. In recovery, spending money on things can also become a replacement activity, with predictable financial consequences.
Living Sober is a nonclinical program providing transitional support for people beginning their recovery journey for the first time, as well as for those who are stepping down from a higher level of care and want to give themselves the best chance for success. Our curriculum focuses on 12-Step immersion and each day begins with a beach reading and meditation.
However, teaching essential life skills such as financial and employment competence is also part of our sophisticated recovery plan that goes well beyond abstinence from drugs and alcohol. Solid financial planning and fiscal responsibility are important skills to possess on the recovery journey as overwhelming money problems are one of the many contributors common to relapse.
At Living Sober, clients learn to keep an eye on where their money goes, how to use bank accounts, and how to organize their financial records in a meaningful way. Many people in early recovery are on a tight budget and possibly without a job as a result of their disease.
The program covers a lot of territory, such as taking an inventory of your monthly income and expenses, running a credit score check, documenting all income sources, leveraging online budgeting tools, and generally organizing your finances.
In most cases, it’s a good idea to start spending less money and we will show you how. Simple things like cooking meals at home, making your own coffee, and only shopping on sale days add up when you are starting a new budget.
Living Sober also offers sessions on how to avoid “retail therapy,” i.e. buying things you cannot afford to feel better psychologically. It’s an important life skill to be able to separate needs and wants—and not only in recovery. If you find yourself reaching for your credit card to feel good, take part in other activities that give you the same feeling but won’t ruin your budget. It’s not always going to be easy with special sales and doorbusters staring you in the face at times. At Living Sober, you will learn why it is often better to save your money instead.
The Living Sober curriculum is the foundation of a program that goes far beyond the concept of a conventional recovery residence typically only providing a transitional living space.
With over 30 years of experience in sober living, we created a program providing a structured transition back to a life of independence, free from substance misuse.
For more information about our services, call (561) 279-1037.