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Money Managing For Recovering Addicts

December 6, 2018


The biggest fight in the world today is for money. People are worried because they have it and they can’t manage it in the right way; and people are worried because they don’t have it and want to earn it enough to live a good life.

An addict has no sense of how money is to be used, so he blows it all up for his substance. But when he gets into recovery, he gets an understanding through the therapeutic sessions and counseling, that money is a serious and a delicate matter. In Shafa Home, in 4th stage of the treatment, i.e. the rehabilitation stage, our residents are given this responsibility of carrying a good amount of money and shop for the requirements of the center. This way, he is able to put in practice all the lessons that he had learnt through the treatment. So he knows that every single penny counts and each rupee is important. In this article, we would be discussing, how to manage money wisely when you have set your flight for recovery.



Indeed, when you have enough of money in your hands, you would get stressed. You might not be able to understand how much to spend and how much to save. But there always must be a strategy that you would follow once you have some amount in your hand. It should not be like one day, after staying clean for 6 months, you get your first salary from your new job, and out of anxiety to celebrate, curiosity to Buy Your Own Booze, just for the heck of spending it on shopping; you end up wasting it all!

It is true that addiction affects all aspects of life and specially your decision making abilities. There are various aspects of your life that you wish to apply your sagaciousness in. Be it your relations, eating and sleeping habits, health or finances-which indeed is a good thing to do, but never forget to be cautious in every step you take and walk with consequential thinking.


The Fight Between Id, Ego and Superego in a Recovering Addict:


Let us first understand, in simple words, that what exactly are these Id Ego and Superego.

Id comprises of all our desires and impulses. It works on the Pleasure Principle. So when I say that someone’s Id is very strong, it means that he would not think rationally about anything and would just do whatever he wants!

Superego is the counter part of Id. It does not allow one to do anything that is immoral or unacceptable as per his values or society. It works on the Moral Principle. So if a person’s id is demanding something, his superego would stop him or forbid him from doing it.  

Now comes the Ego and it is not the same ego that we take as a point to pick up fights and arguments. Here, Ego is the balancing factor of our lives. It works on the Reality Principle. It is like the tie breaker between Id and Superego, which makes us follow the right path to fulfill our desires.

Id is the dominant factor in every addict’s life. In order to use their substance, they can go to any extent. They would never think about what all it would cost to take that slow poison. Although, a recovering addict might have learnt a lot to live a sober life, but anytime, that Id can attack and that might lead to relapse. And in cases where there is involvement of money earned by the person himself or his family, that money might be the triggering factor leading to relapse. Sometimes, when a recovering person knows that he cannot spoil that time he has earned his recovery for, his anxiety leads him to incumbently spend the money in some way or the other. He might become shopaholic to replace his substance using time with buying things!

 It is very important hence to keep yourself aware and instead of letting your id overpower you, you must gain control over it. Immediately start calculating the pros and cons of the step that you want to take.


How to Manage Money in Recovery


Now this is a very complex thing in our mind. But it actually is very simple.

  • First step is to make a Budget. Even governments cannot work without a budget, so how can you think of spending randomly?

  • Get in the habit of maintaining an expenditure diary. Jot down every rupee you have spent through the day, even if you bought a candy for yourself! This would help you to be aware and be thrift with your spending.

  • Always carry a list of the things you wish to buy. As an addict, you have had enough of indecisiveness in your life. You wasted away money in buying useless things. But now is the time you have to prove yourself that you are a better and a more responsible man. So make a list and get it reviewed by your family and then go for shopping.

  • Carry money, enough only to travel and buy those things that you have listed. In the end, when you’d be able to save a few bucks, you would get a feeling of achievement. You would start feeling that yes, you can manage money! Start saving the left over money, even if it is a cent or a rupee. It might sound silly, but get a piggy bank and start putting the money you save, in it. 

  • Always go shopping with a person you have called ‘Miser’. This would help you because he or she would help you to buy the best stuff in the cheapest deals. That person would keep you focused. Initially in your recovery time, avoid shopping alone. Always be with a partner. And later on, when seeing somebody buying a soap for the price, with which you bought the same soap but in a pack of three, and you feel sad or feel like telling that person about the deal you picked, you may start shopping alone.

  • Start saving more money by doing all the things you can do at home on your own. For example, washing your clothes and cooking. So next time you wish to party, you should cook yourself(yes, taking help from your mom, dad, wife or girlfriend is allowed), clean up your house, make it well lit as per your mood and enjoy! And of course, buying something from the sale should not make you feel ashamed of it. It should rather make you feel like you are more intelligent than the other person! (WINK-A-WINK)

  • Avoid being a defaulter and using your credit card. I remember that there was a person, who dispensed 12000 rupees on credit card, and had to repay 40,000 after 3 months! Wo ho! I am sure, you do not want to be a defaulter at all. Even over a petty amount, they impose too much of tax, so use your mind, and know what to do.

  • If you want to celebrate, instead of feeding your addiction or a few others who are social drinkers, think of doing it with some needy people. Maybe, you can take a few kids on the street to Mc. Donalds’ and eat with them! That would indeed double your happiness and cheer up your mood further! It would also add on a star on your self esteem



I guess, that would be enough for now. If you still think that your hands might slip, give your card to a trustworthy person who would give you the money as and when you need it, and ask your bank to put some limit on your transactions. Last but not the least, keep in contact with your rehabilitation center and counselors, so that you can keep a check on yourself.  If you want to know how to earn money, then wait for the next blog. Till then, practice all that you have read…

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