Budgeting is the promise of a better future. Whether young, middle-aged, or older, you can make planning and sticking to a budget interesting. The best part of budgeting is it’s never too late to begin. Wherever you are now in your life is where you can start building a financially sound future. You are capable of creating financial stability in recovery.
Substance Addiction and Your Money
Alcohol or drug addiction can hurt your financial well-being. When you were actively using, you weren’t thinking about saving for retirement. This isn’t your fault. The chemicals in substances change the cells in your brain. These changes result in cravings and urges that disrupt your life. Possibly one of the behaviors that disrupted your life was risky financial decisions.
Most people with substance use disorder (SUD) face financial instability due to substance addiction. While you’re in substance addiction treatment, talk with your therapist about your financial status. They may suggest you participate in budgeting and saving classes while there. If you have this opportunity or can attend classes through their aftercare or alumni programs, sign up. You can learn the advantages of living a fiscally intelligent lifestyle.
Needs Versus Wants
People say they need something (the latest game system, shoes, or a designer coffee). Do they really need everything they think they need, though? Chances are, you (and others) don’t need a lot of things. Needs that don’t serve a purpose other than to make you happy are wants.
Instead, as you consider how you spend or where you spend your money, remind yourself of this piece of advice “Put your outdoor work in order and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” Proverbs 24:27 reminds you to put your means of survival – your savings – ahead of perceived necessities. You do need a house, but owning and keeping a home is difficult without a healthy source of income. This passage is a guide to understanding needs versus wants.
There are necessities you do need. A few examples are:
- Food – consider what you buy when you grocery shop. Processed or pre-packaged food costs more than unprocessed food. For example, a chicken may seem expensive, but when cooked, it can provide several meals versus one meal. Think about how you grocery shop and devise a plan — a helpful hint when shopping is to avoid the middle of the store. Healthy, unprocessed food is located on the perimeter of the store.
- Utilities – everyone needs electricity and water.
- Transportation – whether you take the bus, subway, or drive a car, you need a viable mode of transportation. If you work close enough to walk, skateboard, or ride a bike to work, try to do so when the weather is nice. You can decrease transportation costs and increase your mental and physical health.
- Mortgage or rent money – stable housing is essential. Put aside money every pay period to cover the cost of housing.
While compiling your list of needs, don’t forget to include your medical and mental health needs. Your physical and psychological health is vital to your future.
Wants aren’t always a bad thing. When you balance wants against needs, you can remain on your path to financial stability. For example, a want is having a coffee from a favorite coffee spot before you go to work. Could you make coffee at home? Yes. Is it the same? Homemade coffee probably won’t be the same as your coffee spot’s, yet what if it’s better? Try to make your coffee at home for a few days. Give yourself a few extra minutes in your morning routine. The money you will save also adds up; if you want to keep your coffee routine, look at your budget and decide what to cut out instead of your coffee.
Forget what money you do have. Plan a monthly budget starting from zero. Write down your fixed expenses (mortgage, utilities, and food), contributions to savings, and investments. Then add in any extras you may need or want throughout the month. Use your final total to figure out where you spend your money and what you can do to increase your financial health. Put aside the amount of money you need to cover the necessities throughout the month and leave the rest alone.
Being Financially Savvy
“A wise man thinks ahead; a fool doesn’t and even brags about it!” Proverbs 13:16
You don’t need to know the difference between micro or macroeconomics to begin to build a financial future. You need to know how much you want to put aside each pay period. Knowing how much you want to save depends on your goals. Consider your age. Younger people have an advantage when it comes to saving for the future. Their age gives them more time to work towards their goals. Don’t give up if you’re not young, though. Saving and budgeting at any age provides opportunities to reach your financial goals.
How can you start to become financially savvy without knowing the ins and outs of the financial world? Keep your plans simple and determine what you want versus what you need.
Substance addiction disrupts your life. The financial, personal, or professional repercussions can follow you even after completing alcohol or drug addiction treatment. When you’re in substance addiction treatment, consider talking with your therapist about ways to become financially responsible. One way to improve your financial standing is to participate in any of your treatment center’s economic classes. Another way is to learn how to identify needs and wants. Once you understand the difference, you can create a budget and work towards your financial goals. Renaissance Ranch Treatment Centers provides you with the financial tools necessary for financial stability. We believe that you can build a stable financial future with the proper skills. You deserve to live a life filled with happiness and prosperity. Find your path to well-being with us. For more information about our services, call us at (801) 308-8898 today.