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Addiction Recovery - Money Management Tips for Recovering Addicts

Money management doesn’t come easy for all of us – especially people with an addiction or substance abuse problem.

For those in addiction recovery, the primary outsource of their income was most likely their substance of choice.

However now in recovery, it’s important to be more financially responsible to ensure the effects of your treatment remain as the building blocks for a long and healthy addiction recovery.

Addiction recovery

Employment and Money Management for Recovering Addicts

Your recovery should be your main priority, because it requires a lot of time and focus.

Returning to work too soon, may cause unnecessary stress and could result in you becoming overwhelmed and relapsing.

Make sure you are ready to take on the stresses of work before you commit yourself to employment.

With that said, finding a job IS one of the most critical next steps in the early recovery process.

Finding employment is crucial in rebuilding confidence, repaying debts and achieving personal goals, however, it also means ensuring there is a steady cash flow – something that used to be closely tied to substance abuse.

It’s important that you have goals and manage your money according to what you want to achieve. Ask your family for advice if you feel you need assistance with money matters. Family, friends and sponsors are there to provide support throughout your recovery.

Filling the void with money

Reckless spending is nothing new to someone recovering from addiction.

A recovering addict must be careful of their spending, while you may not return to substance abuse, you may subconsciously attempt to fill the void once filled by substances with reckless spending.

While we don’t suggest that you never purchase things that you merely want, it’s vital to first plan and budget for your needs.

Furthermore, rent and utilities need to be paid before you purchase that new outfit you’ve been wanting.

Although this may seem obvious, many recovering addicts are not accustomed to thinking this way.

Money Management Tips for Addiction Recovery

In some cases, it is essential for recovering addicts to have help with their money in the beginning of their recovery.

In the early days, it can be helpful to have someone you trust limiting the amount of money you have access to – especially if money was one of your triggers in the past.

You may be advised to put your pay check and other income in the care of a sober, trusted person (a family member or advisor).

It’s important that the person who is controlling your access to money transfers money management skills across to you, so that one day you can take on more financial responsibility.

Some of the keys to successful money management include:


  • - Taking an inventory of your assets and debts. Ask a loved one to help you make amends and pay off past debts – while helping you to avoid negative feelings about the past.
  • - Learn to separate your needs and wants.
  • - Try create a budget that covers your needs, allows for repayment of debts, helps build savings, and leaves room for a of your few wants.
  • - Store your money in a safe place – somewhere you cannot easily access it like a savings account.
  • - Take advantage of your available resources. Your bank may offer free financial planning. Additionally, you may need help arranging feasible payback plans or legal advice on declaring bankruptcy — these services are often available to those with lower incomes.
  • - Draw your budget for the week — instead of using your card to swipe, withdraw cash for budgeted expenses and place it in an envelope. When the envelope is empty, you will know that you are not able to spend any more.
  • - Set up direct deposit for your salary, this will help you avoid the temptation of spending it immediately.
  • - Make sure to maintain close contact with your recovery sponsor during the first months of your recovery, and ask them to check in with you on paydays.
  • - Speak openly to your friends and family about your drug use triggers, this will help them avoid inadvertently contributing to you relapsing.
  • - Create ‘saving money’ goals — set up an automatic transfer to a separate savings account.


Step Away Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation South Africa

Once in recovery, ask your family and friends for tips and suggestions about money. Receiving financial advice from loved ones and people that you trust will help you create financial stability.

Opening a savings account can be a great way to begin relearning independence and financial responsibility.

Additionally, by sitting down and working out a budget will help you visualise where, why, and how your money is being spent.

Gaining control over your addiction and your finances can solidify your hold on your new life, and help keep you pointed down the path towards a lifetime of recovery.

For more information about our alcohol and drug rehabilitation in South Africa, please contact us.

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