from the October 1992 San Diego A.A. Coordinator Newsletter

Although A.A. itself charges no dues or fees whatsoever, we have already paid pretty heavy “dues” to liquor stores and bartenders before we get here. Therefore, many of us arrive at A.A. nearly broke, if not heavily in debt.

The sooner we can become self-supporting the better, we have found. Creditors are almost always happy to go along with us as long as they see we are really making an honest, regular effort to climb out of the hole, even in tiny installments.

A particular kind of expenditure, however — in addition to food, clothing, and shelter, naturally — has been found extremely valuable in our first sober days. One of us has given his permission to print here his “Investment Counsel.” —

In the first few weeks without a drink When the wolf is at the door,
And the sheriff's at the window
And you're sleeping on the floor, 

And life looks bleak and hopeless From a monetary angle, 
It's time to spend, in certain ways, To solve the awful tangle:
That token or that bus fare
To get you to a meeting, 

That dime to use the telephone For that necessary greeting, 
That nickel for "expenses"
That makes you feel you matter, That dollar for the coffee shop for after-meeting chatter. 

All these are wise investments
For the neophyte to make.
This "bread," when cast upon the waters, always comes back cake. 

~ Anonymous