Being a Militant Realist

Click here to listen on our podcast site, “I Cant Stop Spending!”

militantrealistI know that many of you are not in a 12 Step program around your spending. And that’s totally fine. I believe my message can be helpful to anyone who wants to recover from this debilitating addiction. Of course, I also hope it will resonate enough that you will at least give a program like Debtors Anonymous (DA for short) or Underearners Anonymous a chance to change your life.

I brought this up because I’m going to write about living in reality and making some hard decisions around money, and in doing so, I’ll be mentioning a tool of DA. But the point I’m making is relevant to anyone who wants to recover from compulsive spending regardless of their approach.

What is a Pressure Relief Meeting?

In DA, we have a tool called a pressure relief meeting, or PRM (also called “PRG” or pressure relief group). These meetings generally last an hour to an hour and a half and are comprised of two members in recovery helping a third member.

For beginners, the first order of business is creating a spending plan. Now, bear in mind that the two members aren’t financial planners or experts. They’re just sharing their experience, strength, and hope with the third person to help them along the path of recovery. Once the spending plan is created, the meeting may be about refining the spending plan, shifting priorities, allocating a windfall, or paying for an unexpected expense. And sometimes, it’s purpose may be to find a way to fund a vision.

It’s an amazing (and often healing) process both for the person receiving and the two people giving the help. Even after seven years of recovery, I still have a PRM every couple of months.

So, at a recent DA meeting, we were reading from the DA Spending Plan pamphlet (click here to download the DA literature form to order this and other literature). The first page talked about the process of creating a spending plan at a PRM. And then we read this:
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2013 Taxes Already?!

I know what you’re thinking — “Don’t you mean 2012 taxes already?”

Nope, I mean taxes that I will pay in 2014 for tax year 2013 (assuming the Mayans are wrong about tomorrow, of course).

This is highly relevant today, especially for those of us who are on disability or get Social Security or work for ourselves and don’t have taxes automatically taken out of our paychecks.
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Pressure Relief Group (PRG) – Part 2

Today’s post is a continuation of yesterday’s on PRG’s.

What to Give to Your PRG Team

When you are new or beginning to create your spending plan, you will want to either email or bring a list of categories and how much you spend in them. If you are new to program, please don’t let this overwhelm you. This is why you are getting help … because you cannot do this alone. Take a look at this post on categories of a spending plan and some information on how to track your spending. Plus, DA has pamphlets on spending plans and categories to help you.
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Pressure Relief Group (PRG) – Part 1

Debtors Anonymous has a great pamphlet explaining what a PRG is. Here is the synopsis of their pamphlet:

Pressure Relief Groups and Pressure Relief Meetings
Explains how these unique, powerful tools help remove the pressure from you and encourage you to live an abundant life. Includes how to set up a pressure relief group, what happens at them, and what joy you may experience as you recover from compulsive debting.

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