Guest article by Devon King of BizConsult.info
When you have a substance use disorder (SUD), the various physical, emotional, and mental effects make it hard to hold down a job. Needless to say, this makes it hard to both put food on the table and fund your recovery. It can be a vicious cycle. Below, we offer some tips and advice on how to secure financial stability if you’re recovering from an addiction and currently unemployed:
Prioritize your recovery
An addiction is like a hole in your boat – it keeps letting the water in and you keep having to bail it out. Patching the hole up will free up time and energy, making it easier to find and maintain financial stability. As such, make your recovery a priority. Set and meet recovery goals, create a self-care routine, eat healthier, get medical treatment, and put yourself first.
Assess your finances and create a budget
Assessing your finances will give you an overview of your financial situation, including your income and expenses. Use this information to prepare a budget (for until you find a job). Make a list of essential expenses like rent, debt payments, car payments, utilities, and groceries. Also, identify non-essential expenses (like subscriptions, entertainment, and luxuries) that you can cut back.
Explore your financial assistance options
Financial aid can help tide you over if you’re falling short. Here are some options:
- Employment benefits: You may qualify for unemployment, severance, and related benefits. You can check with your unemployment office for your eligibility. You may even qualify for alternate, lower-cost health insurance coverage.
- Financial aid for recovery: There are several grants, programs, and scholarships out there that help people in addiction recovery. Career Karma offers an extensive list.
- General financial assistance: General financial assistance includes food banks, government-sponsored programs, and help from charitable organizations.
- Debt restructuring: If you’re heavily in debt, you can use debt restructuring to reduce your liability and have more generous repayment terms.
Find a flexible job or a side gig (post-rehab)
A full-time job comes with pressure, responsibilities, and commitments. You may not be able to handle one during or just after rehab while you’re still healing. A stressful-enough job could even cause a relapse. As such, getting a flexible job where you can set your own hours or a part-time side gig may be best for now. You could make some money – at least enough to cover living expenses – and later transition into full-time work when you’re healed.
The best side gig for you depends on your recovery stage, skills, experience, education, and interests. With the internet, you could possibly land a remote job and work from home. Some low-key, undemanding options are pet sitting, virtual assistant (VA), tutoring, and teaching a musical instrument. MoneyPPL offers a list of handpicked options.
Start a freelance business
Having your own freelance business can give you a great deal of flexibility and freedom. You can set your own hours, take on as little or as much work as you want, and generally be your own boss. Starting a business requires some seed money, an idea, and a business plan. Oberlo offers a full guide here.
Forming an LLC for your business can help reduce the risk of running a business, as it separates your business assets from personal ones. Some other benefits of LLCs include less paperwork, tax advantages, and flexibility. States have different regulations around LLCs, so check the rules in your state before moving ahead.
Create a website to promote your side gig or business
Putting yourself out there is essential to securing work, whether you’re engaged in a side gig or running your own business. Getting a website at the very least is a must – it can raise your profile, allow potential employers or clients to get to know you, and directly help you sell products or services. Ted Vieira Consulting offers professional web services that can put you on the map. We build up your brand and help you attract leads.
Enter a rehab center if you suffer a relapse
Recovery is rarely smooth sailing. If you feel yourself being triggered into a relapse, don’t hesitate to check into a rehab center. You’ll receive the professional help and attention you need to regain your sobriety. Before choosing a rehab center, research what treatments they offer, their credentials and certifications, and reviews from past patients. If you’re worried about costs, you can look for facilities that offer complimentary treatment services through Medicaid and local health programs.
Making ends meet won’t be a problem if you explore your options properly, stick to your recovery goals, stay positive, and keep moving forward. Keep in mind that you’re not alone. You can always seek help from recovery professionals if you get stuck or need specific help. Also, your friends and family could also lend you a helping hand (or a sympathetic ear) if you need it.
About the Author
Every business owner needs an advocate, a mentor, a guide — someone who knows how to navigate the rocky road to growing a successful business. If your business is in need of this helping force, Biz Consult is here for you. From honing your business plan to growing your customer base to improving your website, we offer guidance specialized to your needs.