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Recovering From Addiction - Including Your Personal Finances

Jan 27, 2008
Recovering from addiction is a long struggle, one that extends beyond a body free from substances. Recovery is a healing process that reaches out to your relationships, your mental health, you career and even your finances.

Achieving permanent sobriety means rebuilding your life after addiction and creating a foundation upon which you can steadily stand. To do that, many people recovering from addiction need to rebuild their finances. If you're on the path to recovery, keep reading to learn how to take charge of your finances, budget for an abundant life and rebuild your credit.

Many people coming out of addiction are faced with depleted savings, health bills, repossessed goods, bad credit or even bankruptcy. Before the stress of these financial burdens affects your path to recovery, you need to face your financial problems head on.

First, learn to budget your money without going further into debt. Start by calculate your total family income from all sources. From there, calculate all of your expenses including rent, house payments, utility costs, groceries, debt repayments, savings and entertainment. If, after budgeting, you're unable to balance your incoming cash flow with your outgoing cash flow, then you need to start making cuts.

Whether your cuts as small as removing your cable service or as big as downgrading your apartment or home - sometimes we need to cut back in order to build back up. Remember, you can also renegotiate your credit agreements and set up payment schedules as a way to reduce your monthly payments and begin tackling your debt both responsibly and in way that's affordable.

Second, be prepared to rebuild your credit. This starts with a plan. Focus on how you're going to attack your debts, make a commitment to never miss a payment and plan out how you're going to use your future borrowing ability.

If you've had to declare bankruptcy, start rebuilding by reopening a checking or savings account. You can then rebuild your finances by always making your bankruptcy payments on time, applying for and maintaining a secured credit card, staying away from payday loans or other high interest traps and always being diligent with your payments.

It's a long and hard road to rebuilding your finances, but over time you'll get there. The first year is the hardest, but once you've proven that you can responsibly manage your finances for a 12-24 month period, you'll see your credit score improve exponentially. With time, you'll be back in a position where you can apply for a home mortgage, obtain a credit card or secure a car loan.
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