Can you always find money to get high, but never enough to pay your phone bill?
Balancing bills and drug use can be hard - but it can be done!
Taking care of your financial health (the same way you take care of your physical health) will keep your dealer, your landlord and yourself very happy!
Money Problems usually happen because:
- You don't have a "plan" for your money, or
- You spend more money than you have (or you don't know where is goes).
- Each problem is easy to fix with a little effort.
Your "Money plan"Having a money plan simply means knowing what your monthly bills are and how you will pay them. It also means prioritizing your spending. The standard "rent first, drugs last" rule keeps many users out of financial and housing trouble while they still enjoy regular partying. Putting drugs before rent or other bills only causes bigger problems down the road. So ALWAYS PAY YOUR RENT FIRST! If you think paying rent is a pain in the ass, try being homeless.
Putting together a money plan is easy
- Just list your bills, their due dates, and how you will pay them.
- Then decide how much you can spend each month on other things like partying, movies, cigarettes, clothes, etc.
- You can use this handy worksheet to help you.
- You're more likely to follow a budget if you actually write it down!
- What's the payoff for all of this effort?
A roof over your head, less stress, getting high at the beginning and end of the month...find something that motivates you. Following a plan makes money management much less painful!
Where does your money go?Many people have no idea. Pocket cash can be a big problem if you tend to throw it around without too much thought. For example, if you buy a $3 latté twice a day, by the end of the month you've spent $180!! How many quarters could that buy? Would that cover your phone bill?
Here are some tips for handling cash.
- Use direct deposit. Cut up your ATM card or put up account access limits (ask your bank about options).
- Watch those nasty credit cards!
- Buy essentials (groceries, toiletries, etc.) before you head to your dealer. Make a habit of going directly from the bank to the grocery store!
- If saving enough rent money by the end of the month is hard, can you pay your landlord a little each week or twice a month?
What other bills can you pay in parts?
Pay attention to how much you spend. Coffee, cigarettes, food, movie tickets, bathhouse fees, bar cover, alcohol, and drugs can really add up fast!
How often do other people rip you off? Does your deadbeat roommate run up your phone bill? Did last night's trick steal your CDs or money from your wallet? Do you trust other users to buy drugs with your money... never to see the drugs or these people again? Be careful who you trust!
"I try to save money and take care of my bills, but I keep spending more and more on crystal. What am I doing wrong?"
If you can't seem to control your drug spending, then the problem isn't money - it's crystal.
This is often a sure-tell sign that your use is out of control. If you can't stop or slow down on your own, get help! Check out other resources on the resource page.
If you need help with money....
>>There are lots of places to get help with your finances.
If you have a case manager, start there.<<
NEON's SPEED SAVVY CRYSTAL COUNSELORS at Seattle Counseling can also help you plan a budget or connect you with financial/rental assistance programs (See the Resources Page)
Lastly, the good folks at Consumer Credit Counseling (206) 634-2227 can help you manage debt, overdue bills and collections.
All of the services at Seattle Counseling and Consumer Credit are free.