calculator, pen and pad used to create a budget during recovery

How to Budget New Hobbies During Recovery

By Nicole Arzt is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist specializing in providing psychotherapy for individuals, families, and groups struggling with substance use disorders and psychiatric illnesses.

Sober Recovery Expert Author

calculator, pen and pad used to create a budget during recovery

In your journey of recovery, it's essential to learn how to replace your substance use with healthier hobbies and passions. After all, there is a good chance that you spent excessive time using, quitting, and recovering from your drug of choice. If you don’t find new interests, you risk feeling stagnant and bored and that can be a triggering experience for anyone.

That said, healthy recovery should entail financial responsibility. Let’s get into how you can manage costs while still enjoying what you love.

Keeping new hobbies from becoming too costly can aid in your recovery while keeping you on track for a sober life.

Make A Budget

Healthy recovery includes fiscal responsibility. A budget helps you organize, plan, and track your daily expenses. If you can’t physically see where your money comes and goes, it’s hard to know what to do with your cash. Therefore, budgeting helps you cut costs during recovery.

After assessing your necessities like rent, utilities, groceries, and automobile expenses, you should create a ‘hobby category.’ This category will help you allocate an appropriate amount every month for your hobby without sacrificing your financial well-being.

Use Groupon

Want to try something new without the upfront costs? Groupon is a fantastic marketplace for scoping out new hobbies. From skydiving to salsa dancing, Groupon offers an extensive variety of introductory classes around the country.

Best of all? They offer steep discounts ranging anywhere from 50-90% off typical retail prices. It’s a painless, inexpensive method for trying out a new activity or merely crossing an item off your bucket list. Rock climbing anyone?

Start Slow

Hobbies may be affordable at first. However, the more passionate and involved you become, the more tempting it is to dish out money. While investing in your happiness is never wrong, it's wise to watch your spending when starting with something new.

Keep in mind that you don’t need to purchase top-of-the-line equipment on the first day. You can always start by borrowing or renting supplies first. After all, what if you purchase all the gear, but you no longer enjoy the hobby six months later?

Instead, it’s wise to start building your collection slowly. Get a feel for what you genuinely need (versus what you want), and then scour for applicable discounts.

Also, don't forget to look for used items. Many hobbyists change or lose interest in certain activities over time. Check out Craigslist or eBay to see if you can find deals.

Everything in Moderation

There is no doubt that finding your passion is exciting. There is a rush and a thrill involved in conquering a new milestone. Yet, for individuals in recovery, it’s essential to remain mindful of moderation. It’s easy to overdo an activity, and it can be challenging to strike that vital balance.

For example, you still need to prioritize other aspects of life including:

  • Spending quality time with friends and family
  • Focusing on work or school
  • Taking care of your physical and mental health
  • Staying focused on recovery needs

Even if the activity is "healthy," anything in excess can become an addiction and impact one's mental well-being. If you are still trying to fill an emotional void with an external distraction, you may find yourself feeling more depressed and anxious as time progresses. This vicious cycle can trigger an emotional spiral and even a relapse.

However, keeping new hobbies from becoming too costly can aid in your recovery while keeping you on track for a sober life.

If you or someone you know is seeking help from addiction, please visit our directory of treatment centers or call 800-891-8171 to speak to a treatment specialist.

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