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Lesson 28 - My Financial Sobriety Routine

Jun 04, 2024

When I first started my journey of Financial Sobriety I honestly didn’t think it would work. 

Someone said to me once, “if you can quit drinking you can do this”. This felt really important to me because quitting drinking was one of the hardest things I did. I was in a place where I was feeling the benefits both physically and mentally of my sobriety so it gave me hope about my journey with money. 

When I first started my journey it did start with hiring a money coach. I hadn’t started my training yet to be a money coach, I needed to start to understand my relationship with money before I could start helping people. 

The money coach I hired focused specifically on money behaviors at first. This struck me as confusing as I was a financial advisor who worked with numbers and had no idea why we weren’t trying to build a budget. 

I quickly learned that budgets didn’t mean anything if I didn’t understand why I was addicted to buying things. This blew my mind and I am forever grateful for the process of money coaching that led me to where I am today. 

During the years I took different designations to be able to really educate myself in all aspects of money coaching. This led me to my routine that I keep up with my Financial Sobriety now. 

Here are the most important pieces of my routine that I teach and also practice myself: 

  1. Create monthly spending plans: It is important to plan for each month. Every month is different. We have fixed expenses every month that often don’t change but it’s always good to double check every month just in case. Your variable expenses can often change, things like groceries, eating out, gas, and if you have any special events that month. 
  2. Daily Spending planning and tracking: I track my spending on a spreadsheet and I sit down and do this every morning as part of my morning practice - meditation, stretching, journaling and tracking/planning my spending. I track the spending that I did the day before and this allows me to check in to see how much I have left in my spending plan. I think of my day ahead and to see if I have anything I need to spend money on. This has been a game changer for me. If I feel that urge I ground myself back to what I had planned that morning. Having the presence of this helps support my Sober Spending.
  3. Money dates/meetings: Even though I do sit down daily to plan my spending/expenses it is important to have a time set aside, monthly or weekly to check in on your overall financial plan. What are balances on credit cards? What do you have in savings? Are the action steps you have being put into place for you? If you are part of a couple I highly recommend you both sit down and do this together. If you do this with someone it is important to set boundaries and expectations before you sit down so the conversation isn’t emotionally charged. Money can be very activating and both being on the same page might not happen right away but keep trying.
  4. No credit cards: I do not use credit cards if I don’t have to. My relationship with debt is still shaky. It is a daily practice to intentionally spend out of my bank account. Sometimes people who have worked through their journey with money can use credit cards responsibly but in saying that if you have a history of overusing credit cards my recommendation is to put them away. Stay in the black and don’t have the temptation to charge things on your credit cards.
  5. Pre-authorized transfers: For my savings plan I have it set up with my bank to automatically transfer funds from my chequing account to my savings accounts. These happen in the background and it takes away the chance that I might not do it. I account for the transfers when I am tracking my expenses but I love that it’s automatically done and I don’t even have to think about it.
  6. Check in with my emotions: I still have impulses to spend money. My go to when I first started working on my Financial Sobriety was keeping a journal in my car and when I had the urge to spend I would pull out the journal and investigate what I actually needed. This can also work at home, have a money journal and if you find yourself doom scrolling online for that next best thing you just NEED TO HAVE, pull out that journal. What are you feeling? Why are you feeling like this? What do you actually need?
  7. Budgeting for things I want: Yes, you read that right. You can actually buy things you want. It is important not to completely deprive ourselves of what we want. We just need to plan for it. I always look at my monthly spending plan and see what a realistic amount is that I can set aside for when I want something. You can buy things that you want but you just need to put some boundaries in place for it. It feels so good that if I see something that I can buy for myself that I want and have the money for it! No shame hangover with this spending.
  8. Celebrate: CELEBRATE your money, celebrate little wins, celebrate big wins. This can be hard at first when you aren’t used to it. I challenge you to try for a week to pull out your money journal and write down 2 things a day that you are celebrating with your money. How would it feel if you could celebrate not spending money you didn’t have on something you didn’t need. It feels SOOOO good. 

Habits and routine take time to build but in time they will feel much easier. As I was writing all of this out I thought to myself, wow this is a lot of things to do but it doesn’t feel like it anymore. They are just a part of my day now and I am super grateful for that. 

Remember, like recovery from anything, achieving Financial Sobriety is a journey, and each step forward is a victory worth celebrating.

You are worthy of Financial Sobriety. 

All the money love sent your way, 


Linda Parmar
Financial Sobriety Expert