Our addictions affect us mentally, physically, spiritually and often financially.  Many people have found themselves in a financial disaster from various life situations and are trying to take the proper steps to get their finances back in order.  The road to financial recovery is possible and takes a lot of dedication and discipline.


Unmanageability is a hallmark of any addiction.  Part of that unmanageability is often related to finances.  People in active addiction often have neglected to pay bills, failed to file income taxes and may even have lost a job as a result of their use.  Once in recovery it may seem overwhelming to begin to deal with this and can be a relapse trigger.  It may seem easier to go back to using than to begin to sort out the situation.

Your recovery skills can be effectively used to deal with your financial problems.  The AA adage, “One day at a time,” is especially helpful.  You didn’t get into this mess all at once and it will take time to work through it.  Begin by doing the next right thing each day and you will move forward and keep from digging the hole deeper.  Then you can start working on the issues you have been neglecting.

If you started using drugs and alcohol at a young age you may never have learned basic money management skills and may need some professional help or mentoring.  You may have never learned basic concepts like spending less than you earn and developing a system for saving money.  Look to a friend or a family member who has these skills for guidance.  There is also professional help available.

One important money management concept is separating “need” for “want.”  In our addictions, “want” ruled us.  Now we can take an inventory of ourselves and our finances and focus on what we need.  Once our finances are back on track we can look at meeting some of the “wants.”

Use the 12 Step principles and apply it to your financial situation.

  1. We admitted we were powerless over our finances, that our lives and finances had become unmanageable.
  2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, and stabilize our finances.
  3. We made a decision to turn our life, our will and our finances over to a Higher Power.
  4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and finances…Etc.

Everyone’s situation is unique.  The good news is various options are available and simple to implement.  Take the first step, ask for help and apply the same rigor and dedication to your finances.

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