How to Manage Your Money Now That You’re Sober

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Believe it or not, there is a support group called Debtors Anonymous (DA). It seems that there’s a 12-Step program for literally everything, even debt. Granted, DA and other 12-Step programs aren’t nearly as common as AA or NA. It might be difficult to find a Debtors Anonymous meeting in many small towns. Your best bet for finding a DA meeting is going to be in large cities. But they’re out there and worth considering.

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Debtors Anonymous is based on the twelve principles of Alcoholics Anonymous, simply replacing the word “alcohol” with “debt.” It sounds a little weird, I know. When I first heard about DA from a friend, I laughed out loud. I thought she must be joking. But nope, she wasn’t. Eventually, I attended a few meetings myself when I first began tackling my money problems.

I’m not going to spend much time explaining DA, but you might want to give it a try if you feel you need a large support group around you. I found the meetings to be very uplifting and positive. One thing I quickly learned after attending a few DA meetings, is that my financial problems were relative; many people were in far, far, far worse shape than I was. So it gave me some perspective and helped dispel a lot of my anxiety and fear about the state of my affairs. No matter how bad our problems are in life, there’s always someone worse off, so we should count our blessings when we can.

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A big part of DA is an emphasis on forming an action plan and building a support group around you, similar to what we discussed in the last chapter. So it can be very effective for many people.

It might be worth investigating if you’re curious to find out more about it and how it works. Attend a few meetings if you can find one near you. It might be a good fit. At the very least, you’ll pick up a few new ideas and come to realize you’re definitely not alone in your financial struggle.


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