Author: June Lawrence
Substance misuse takes a lot away from you, and recovery is your time to get that back. Early on, however, when you’re still in the process of rebuilding your life, you might find that some basic day-to-day tasks are pretty challenging, especially when it comes to covering your expenses. Substance misuse can lead to job loss and make finding opportunities harder in the future.
The good news is, there’s plenty you can do to get your financial situation back on track, and to make ends meet in the meantime. Addiction Recovery Coalition New Hampshire is dedicated to helping people reclaim their lives – here are some tips for making it happen:
Monetize Your Skills
If you’re having trouble on the job hunt, you’re not alone. The job market is pretty slow for many people right now, and if you have gaps in your resume, the search can be even more challenging. One way to boost your income and your resume at once is to pick up side gigs.
There are two approaches to side gigs – picking up whatever work you can do and find or trying for something more specialized. The first category includes things like dog walking, ride sharing, and food delivery. These can be a great way to bring in income without expending the creative energy you need to make solid, attractive job applications.
The other approach is to try skilled freelance work. This takes more energy and can be more of a gamble, as you have to sell yourself to clients to land contracts. That said, it’s a far more powerful piece to put on your resume. Plus, if you really enjoy it, it can lead to full time work on its own. Establish a strong client list, and you might make enough money that it makes sense to form an NH LLC and turn your side job into a full-fledged business.
Build a Budget
Creating and sticking to a budget is another important step in building up financial stability for yourself in recovery. It’s difficult to avoid overspending if you’re not paying attention to your spending in the first place. After all, most of us aren’t capable of keeping a running total of our bank account in our heads at all times. Moreover, budgeting empowers you to set savings goals, prioritize necessary expenses, and give yourself permission to indulge in a treat once in a while without stress.
There are many forms of budgeting, so try several to see which one works best for you. Some people respond well to keeping track in a journal or notebook, while others work best in a digital medium. If you don’t want to bother with keeping notes, you can try envelope budgeting. Rather than keep track in a document or notebook, you simply fill categorized envelopes with the amount of money you’re budgeting in that category for the month. Any method is fine, as long as it helps you contextualize your spending and make smarter choices.
Watch for Emotional Spending
Substance misuse recovery is a vulnerable time. Emotional spending is a common, attractive, but ultimately self-destructive coping tool. One of the valuable aspects of having a budget is you’ll be quicker to notice if your spending habits become unsustainable.
If you notice this happening, reach out to a counselor or other mental health specialist. All it means is that the coping tools you’re using aren’t effective, and you need to tweak your routine in order to manage your emotions without doing things that could harm you.
Getting your life back on track after substance misuse is hard, but it’s worth it. Learn how to support yourself through this time, and you’ll be able to reclaim your life and learn who you can be after addiction.
Do you or a loved one need help recovering from substance misuse? Contact ARCNH today.
About the Author: June Lawrence is the creator of recoveryisland.com, a website that provides a “safe shore” for people in recovery to swim to online.
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