Book a call

Money in Recovery

Jun 15, 2021

I am in recovery from an addiction to spending money.

I am in recovery from addiction to alcohol.

When I first got sober from alcohol my addiction to spending money got out of control.

I almost lost my home because of my spending addiction. That was my rock bottom.

The impulses I felt about drinking had now manifested into overspending.

The parallels between sobriety and money is fascinating to me and see it in women every day.

When we are active in our addiction it is often us trying to cope with an internal struggle with external things.

My drinking was fueled by anxiety, stress, overwhelm, burnout and so many other things.

Getting sober my spending was fueled by all the same things. When I was stressed (and all the other feelings), I went to the store to purchase things to make me feel better. Even when I felt happy, it was an excuse to go spend money.

When we are in recovery there is a term called addiction transference. What this means is that you can transfer your addiction from one thing to another. Switching your behaviours from drinking to spending money is very common.

Addiction transference can be with so many things including food, exercise, gambling, sex etc. We start to look beyond what we are in recovery from and find something else to help ease our negative feelings, or at least we think it is helping ease them. Often these new behaviours happen by accident and we aren’t conscious of what is happening until we are deep into it.

Recovery is like an onion. We peel back layers of the onion and discover the many layers of what we are in recovery from.

Money is often a layer of what we are in recovery from.

Our thinking brain can convince of anything. We can justify buying things so easy. We get a dopamine hit when we purchase something. The cycle of overspending begins. Our brain is very happy when we spend money and cravings follow, just like addiction to anything.

During this past year of the pandemic, online shopping reached all- time highs and many women found themselves reaching to online shopping to feel better. Online shopping makes it really easy to press the “buy now” button and your credit card is already linked. The dopamine hit really LOVES online shopping.

Spending money with credit cards is something that is often used when we are overspending. Most of the time it is hard to keep up with the spending and fingers are crossed and hoping that the transaction goes through. Next thing we know we are completely in debt and have no idea how to move forward.

Debt creates a response that usually is filled with feelings of shame, anger and guilt. The same feelings that also come up when we are knee deep in our addiction. Does this sound familiar?

The good news is that recovery from money is possible.

The definition of recovery is: a return to a normal state of health, mind or strength.

What does this mean for you with your journey with money?

For me this definition resonates as creating a plan to gain control on my impulses to spend money.

 I did this by: 

  • Practicing mindfulness (meditation, yoga, deep breathing)
  • Keeping journal in my car to process my emotions instead of reaching outside of myself to feel better
  • Not using credit cards (yes, I kept them in my freezer)
  • Making a spending plan
  • Tracking my spending
  • Three deep breathes before entering a store
  • Understanding WHY I was overspending
  • Making a meal plan for week and making a shopping list and stick only to my list in the store
  • Take all my credit cards off online shopping sites and linking my PayPal account that is linked to my bank account and NOT my credit card
  • Did not enter the store I used to always spend money in until I felt comfortable in my recovery

I found that these were also things I did when I first got sober from alcohol – mindfulness, journaling, deep breaths, not entering liquor store or pub, understanding WHY I drank etc.

Recovery can be hard sometimes but I know for sure that it is so worth it. Putting in the work to heal is so important. 

Hope this inspires you to start to look at your relationship with money and looking under the surface to see what is really going on and taking steps to heal your money.

Want to talk more about it? Let’s book a free call and chat right HERE!

All the money love,

PS - Do you follow me on instagram yet? Follow me right HERE! These are a few of my latest posts that I love ❤️