[Sober Living] Budgeting For Success

The can of soup cost X. The gasoline cost Y. The materials required to make my lunch cost A, B, and C; sometimes more, sometimes less. The apartment-mansion costs Z daily. When we are granular with our spending, we realize how much potential for regret there is over how much money we’ve squandered on this or that. That’s too bad, right? It’s easy to say we should focus on our future. What about financial vicissitudes?

Budget for a stable life.

Sobriety for me is about budgeting my patience daily. Yesterday, there was a strong personal emotion directed toward me that briefly interrupted my professional calm. It was the sort of outburst that would cause unease for anyone.

From a financial perspective, that was like an unexpected bill.

What do you do with bills? I usually like to lump my bill payments around the first of the month, so paying an extra few hundred dollars mid-month feels weird, but that’s why we budget extra money. If it’s an annual or quarterly thing, then I just update my burn-rate spreadsheet to reflect that. I buy gasoline weekly, car insurance twice yearly, and maintenance quarterly or when needed, all of which equate to a total burn-rate for using my car.

I paid nobody… nothin’ today.

Yet, when I bought groceries last week, I paid them in advance. Similarly, when there are issues that disrupt our calm, they may bite into our financial sobriety. It’s like a patience and empathy bank where when low, we don’t want to engage in anything that could make us stumble further.

Those are difficult days, sobriety-wise.

It’s the same as looking at the bills rapidly depleting your bank account as you remain unemployed with all the good jobs seemingly impossibly distant. We send out resumes into the void. We avoid drinking even though it’s the one thing that, in our minds, will soothe our weary souls.

That’s not a good place to be.

We feel trapped inside of a financial and sobriety prison. Yet there are things we can do. We can reach out to friends to see if they need help with anything for which they might give you some petty money. That restless energy could toward a volunteer organization that could help provide a reference for your next job or just help you feel better about yourself.

It’s just a matter of realizing you’re hurting.

My current financial situation would be less than ideal for many readers. They might feel a job with more pay is worth more than a job with less mental drainage. I enjoyed my drive home on Monday. My work woes went ‘way and everything else about the day was positive. I invested my evening’s energy into helping me succeed on Tuesday. Tuesday’s turbulent tirader didn’t make much of a splash because I’d already invested in my sobriety’s future the night before and the morning of, through realizing that short of complete ruin, I’ll be fine.

We’re better financially/sobrietially than we think.

Quotes: None.
Sources: My personal and professional experiences.
Inspirations: Thanks to a random like on the Important Tax Documents essay, and my increased interest in math and finances, I thought about how they relate to sobriety. I also arrived at work significantly earlier than usual, so I cranked out this essay and another one with time to spare.
Related: Other Sober Living essays.
Photo: An idea I had after work. This is just a sketch of it, but considering how we always graph out our finances, how about stress levels or overall happiness? I added the green bar, which is supposed to mean that there’s an uptick in happiness, I guess.
Written On: June 26th [23 minutes, mobile]
Last Edited: June 27th [Minor edits; otherwise, first draft; final draft for the Internet.]
My big goal is writing. My most important goal is writing "The Story." All other goals should work toward that central goal. My proudest moment is the most recent time I overcame some fear, which should have been today. I'm a better zombie than I was yesterday. I'm not better than you and you're not better than me. Let's strive to be better every day.