What Do I Need to Recover From?
- Being unclear about your financial situation. Not knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees, fines, or contractual obligations.
- Frequently “borrowing” items such as books, pens, or small amounts of money from friends and others, that you fail to return.
- Poor saving habits. Not planning for taxes, retirement or other non-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling surprised when they come due; a “live for today, don’t worry about tomorrow” attitude.
- Compulsive shopping. Being unable to pass up a “good deal”; making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they can be returned; not using items you’ve purchased.
- Difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such obligations are met.
- Experiencing a different feeling when buying things on credit than when paying cash: A feeling of being in the club, of being accepted, of being grown up.
- Living in constant chaos and creating drama about money. Using one credit card to pay another; bouncing checks; always contending with financial crises.
- A tendency to live on the edge. Living paycheck to paycheck; taking risks with health and car insurance; writing checks hoping money will appear to cover them.
- Unwarranted inhibition and embarrassment when having a normal discussion about money.
- Overworking or under-earning. Working extra hours to earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below your skill and education level.
- An unwillingness to care for and value yourself. Living in self-imposed deprivation; denying your basic needs in order to pay your creditors.
- A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you, if necessary, so that you won’t really get into serious financial trouble; that there will always be someone you can turn to for rescue.
The Twelve Steps for Financial Recovery
1. We admitted we were powerless over our finances, spending addictions and compulsive behavior. And we admitted that our lives and finances had become unmanageable.
2. We came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity, and stabilize our finances.
3. We made a decision to turn our life, our will and our finances over to the care of God.
4. We made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves and our finances.
5. We admitted to ourselves, to God, and to another human being, the exact nature of our wrongs.
6. We are entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.
7. We humbly asked Him to remove all the shortcomings in our lives and finances.
8. We made a list of all persons we have harmed and became willing to make amends and financial restitution to them all.
9. We made direct amends and financial restitution to such people whenever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
10. We continued to take personal inventory of ourselves and our finances and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it.
11. We sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and our finances and the power to carry that out.
12. Having had a spiritual experience and financial freedom as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to others, and practice these principles in all our affairs.