After you suffer from an addiction and attend a residential rehab center, you return to your life. Unfortunately, drug or alcohol use often comes with a high price tag that can harm your financial security. Fortunately, though, you can rebuild and restore your finances, so your finances are one less worry you have when you’re recovering.
First and foremost, you want to start the financial restoration process by getting organized. Start by taking all of your bills and placing them in some particular spot. You should have all your usernames and passwords near this pile as well.
You may even want to place them in order based on their due date, so you can easily determine when each bill needs to be paid. Then, create a schedule of which bills will come out of which paycheck.
Open Two Accounts
When you first start to rebuild your financial wellness after spending time in a rehab center, you want to open up two bank accounts if you don’t have two already. You want one savings account and one checking account. Your checking will be for bills, and your savings will be for any excess money you earn. You should take your time to search for the bank that offers the highest interest rates.
Know Your Income and Expenses
The next step to financial recovery after addiction and rehab consists of truly delving into your finances and determining your income vs. your expenses. Determine exactly how much you have after you pay all your living expenses. If you don’t qualify for any financial assistance through the government, make sure you factor in the average cost of food.
Once you have a steady income and know how much you have left after your living expenses are covered, you want to try to put as much money as you can away in savings, even if that only means you’re banking $5 or $10 a week. This money will add up. You ultimately want to strive to have enough savings that you can pay a few months of bills if something should happen that causes you to be unable to work.
If you feel like you’ll struggle to place money in your savings after every paycheck, you may want to consider setting it up as part of your direct deposit. You might also look into what your bank can do for you in terms of automating money into your savings every paycheck.
Prioritizing Your Spending
While it’s okay to splurge on yourself every now and then, you still want to prioritize your spending. You want to make sure your bills always come first. You also want to make sure that you save money before you spend needlessly. You do, however, want to treat yourself to something special every now and then to keep your spirits up.
One way you can ensure you aren’t wasting money is to reward yourself only once you reach a certain savings goal.
While it may be hard to give up another addiction after you leave a rehab center, if you smoke, you may want to think about quitting. The cost of cigarettes really adds up and can be enough to pay a bill or add to your savings. Plus, it’s better for your health to quit smoking.
Learn Ways to Help You Save
If you don’t already know ways to cut down your expenses, now is an excellent time to start. You’ll feel proud of yourself once you see how much more money you put in your savings to earn interest.
For instance, if you love to get a latte before work, learn how to make one at home for you to bring with you. A specialty drink, if you get one every day or frequently, can cost you enough to pay a bill by the time you cut this habit.
Try coupon clipping, too. In fact, you don’t even have to clip anymore. The Internet has plenty of websites with coupons.
Instead of shopping retail for your clothing, hit the thrift shops. These are just a few ways to save money and cut expenses.
Look for Public Assistance Programs
Don’t be too proud to look for assistance. After you complete a rehab program, you want to minimize your stress to promote an easier recovery. You don’t want an issue that stresses you to trigger a relapse. Therefore, if you feel overwhelmed or know you can’t make enough to pay your living costs, research the programs available that can help you with your expenses. For instance, you may want to look into a welfare program to cover your medical expenses and food.
Your electric company may have a program that can lower the cost of your electric bill to something you can afford.
Additionally, you may want to look into your local food banks, churches, and the Salvation Army.
Attend Rehab If You Need
While this may sound like a setback, you need to recover mentally and physically before you can focus on rebuilding your finances. You want to reduce your chances of starting to use again, so you can maintain a job without any disruptions. You also want to ensure you have a solid ground to start your recovery, so you’re mentally able to keep up on the bills and can save as much money as possible.
If you attend rehab, you’re also preventing any unexpected fines or medical bills in the future as a result of your drug or alcohol use. Keep in mind that a charge associated with drugs or alcohol could land you in jail, which will take time away from you focusing on your recovery.
Additionally, you want to make sure you keep a clean driving record, so you can continue to commute back and forth from work without a problem. A clean driving record also means reduced insurance costs.
Fortunately, many insurance providers cover at least part of alcohol and drug rehab. Government-funded insurance programs fund drug and alcohol rehab. You can also look into local and state programs to assist with the cost, so rehab is only a positive step toward financial recovery after addiction.
You want to focus on your recovery, but finances have to play a role in the process. If you center on cutting expenses and look for ways to save money, you can improve your financial well-being after you complete an alcohol or drug rehab.