A person struggling with addiction will not only have to recover from the mental and physical effects of substance abuse but the financial implications as well. The good news is that, much like you can recover from a mental health disorder or health problem stemming from your battle with addiction, you can also work your way towards a better future for your finances as well. To help you get started, here are some tips on how you can get your finances back on track after a battle with addiction!
1. Take Some Time to Assess Your Current Financial Standing and Potential
Who you were when you were dealing with an addiction is entirely different from the person you can be. That said, the new you does have to deal with the very real impact of drug abuse. This is especially true when it comes to your financial health. The best first step to take is to assess your current situation and begin crafting a plan on how you will move forward to a better future. This may include:
- Dealing with any legal or financial issues that resulted from substance use, such as criminal history and outstanding charges, missed rent or mortgage payments, or bankruptcies, just to name a few. Although these are some rather large issues to tackle head-on, they are important to address and solve as soon as possible. Otherwise, they may come up in the future and impede your progress. Additionally, you will want to consider the costs of rehab. These costs may include going through rapid detox and receiving assistance for your withdrawal symptoms, receiving counseling for a mental health disorder or to help you work through addiction and the cost of food and shelter during your stay. Paying off any existing costs is a major focus when you are working towards a better financial future.
- Checking up on your credit score and conducting a background check. Things like a credit report and a background check (which may feature criminal records, employment history, and other important information) can impact your ability to get a job, rent an apartment, and generally make big moves in your life. If you do not know what your credit check or background check will reveal, look for the best free background check and credit check services available to view a detailed report and gauge how it will impact your efforts later.
- Figure out what financial resources you may have available if any. Build off of this information by looking into important next steps like where you live, what you will do for income, and how you will support your needs in the near future. Whether that means asking for health from the federal government or friends and family, you must start somewhere!
Financial planning only works when you have a strong understanding of your current situation and where you can go from there. Once you’ve established this foundation, all you have to do is follow through and remain consistent!
2. Find Work and Develop a Budget
Now that you have a better idea of where you stand, you must have income coming in and build a budget to make sure that your money is being effectively put to use. Look at factors like your background check, employable skills, and current abilities and look for employment opportunities that are the right fit for you. Once you have a stable income coming in, you can then create a budget that will help you figure out how to afford things like rent and utilities or transportation and pay off debt.
3. Begin Working on Your Credit Score and Savings
Even if you have a low credit score and little savings, that doesn’t mean that you can’t build these up over time. Figure out how much money you can begin putting away and how you can boost your credit score as soon as possible. You can begin boosting your credit by paying off your debt and applying for low-interest credit cards or credit-builder loans that will slowly increase your score. For savings, pay yourself a small amount of your income first and stick with it. Over time, you will see your efforts make a big difference.
Recovering from financial issues can be difficult, but with a little bit of strategy and a lot of consistency, it is absolutely achievable. If a battle with addiction has had an impact on your finances, use the information above to take the first step towards a better financial future!