4 Ways to Cope with Financial Issues Related to COVID-19

Like millions of Americans and people all over the world, you might be finding yourself out of work or in a tough financial situation due to the coronavirus pandemic. While there are many options available to help carry you through this time, some options are running out and others still might not be enough to keep your anxiety at bay. Keep reading for four ways to cope with financial issues related to COVID-19 so that you keep stress levels low and your sobriety in check.

Cope with Financial Issues of COVID-19: Make a Budget

Taking a look at how much money is coming in versus how much money is going out is the most important step in easing your anxiety and coping with financial issues relating to COVID-19. You might be surprised to see what you’re spending your money on and how to start trimming things back.

  • Print out your bank statements from the last few months to see what you are spending monthly payments on that you can easily cut out right off the bat. Some might include subscription services you’ve forgotten about, memberships you can’t use right now or other types of hidden payments you didn’t even know about.
  • Take a look at your basic expenses such as credit cards, cable, internet, rent or mortgage, and your utilities and start making some calls. Many companies are willing to negotiate right now and you might be surprised at how much you can save by just making one phone call.
  • See where you can comfortably start trimming back, such as setting a rule to eating out only once a week, going to the coffee shop less in favor of making your own at home, or putting a hold on purchasing new clothing until things get back on track.
  • Once you’ve trimmed the fat, set your monthly budget for what you’re comfortable spending each month on food, transportation and other necessities. Start shopping at different grocery stores, use coupons or try public transportation to keep costs down.

Identify Your Financial Triggers

Another way to cope with financial issues related to COVID-19 is to identify your financial triggers. Much like substance use disorder recovery, it’s important to recognize your triggers so that you don’t go off your desired path. In this case, you want to spend some time to recognize the financial triggers that get you opening your wallet so that you don’t end up with anxiety later—which can put you on the fast track to relapse.

Ways of recognizing a financial trigger while it’s happening include:

  • Rationalizing to yourself that whatever you’re about to buy is a “treat” and that it’s important to treat yourself every now and then. While it is important to treat yourself, you can find other ways to do that instead of spending money.
  • Going against your predetermined budget, such as eating out more than once a week or buying coffee every morning like you used to.
  • Using extra money at the end of every month to splurge rather than saving it or putting it toward a credit card or mortgage payment.
  • Shopping at non-essential places for items such as clothing or any other type of things that aren’t on your predetermined budget list

Search for New Sources of Income

A great way to cope with financial issues related to COVID-19 is to brush up your resume and search for new sources of income. Searching for a new job is a job in itself, so spending a lot of time on your resume or submitting applications is never wasted time, no matter what your anxiety might tell you.

In addition, you can search for more creative ways to have new sources of income. If you’re particularly crafty, sell your art or goods online. You can also buy and resell items that you don’t use anymore. Get creative and know that this is only temporary and for the greater good of your family.

Change Your Routine

One way to keep both your financial anxiety and your sobriety in check at the same time is to change your routine. Not having a job can make it easy to fall into bad habits such as sleeping in, eating poorly, lounging around or going back to using.

Change your routine and set aside time every day to:

  • Track your budget
  • Submit your application to new jobs or find new ways to bring in income
  • Problem solve financial issues, such as calling the debtor or working on payment plans
  • Checking into options to see what you might qualify for as far as loans or grants
  • Seek emotional support from your loved ones—chances are they are going through the same thing and can provide a lot of guidance or advice to make you feel less alone

Financial issues are one of the biggest triggers that can send someone into a relapse situation. Making sure you’re on top of how you’re coping with financial issues related to COVID-19 is one of the most important things you can do for yourself and for your sobriety.

About Cliffside Malibu

Because no two addictions are the same, we develop individualized treatment plans for every patient at Cliffside Malibu. We are committed to providing evidence-based treatment through a continuum of care model across a range of levels of care, including medically supervised detox, residential treatment, day treatment and outpatient services. Our program includes family therapy and holistic therapy, as well. Whether an individual has a substance abuse and/or alcohol addiction, our programs are structured to create a supportive environment where healing can begin.

In addition to world-class treatment, Cliffside Malibu offers luxury accommodations, a serene environment, five-star dining, and plentiful amenities. We understand that addiction treatment is a rigorous process. Therefore, we provide for your comfort and relaxation at every turn, allowing you to rejuvenate, and meet the demands of treatment with your greatest energy and attention.

For more information, visit Cliffside Malibu.