Debtors Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their
experience, strength, and hope with each other that they may solve their common
problem and help others to recover from compulsive debting. The only
requirement for membership is a desire to stop incurring unsecured debt.
There are no dues or fees for DA membership; we are self-supporting through
our own contributions. DA is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics,
organization, or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy;
neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stop debting
one day at a time and to help other compulsive debtors to stop incurring
Revised Preamble approved by DA World Service Conference, August 2003.
"Sunday Abundance" Business Debtors Anonymous (BDA) Meeting
Meets at Austin Galano Club, Small Meeting Room
6809 Guadalupe St, Austin, TX 78752
"Debt Busters" Meeting, with Focus on Underearning
Meets at West Oak Baptist Church, 2900 W. Slaughter Lane, Room 101 (Westgate entrance.)
Friday Night Live!
First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 6800 Woodrow Avenue. Enter on West side of church parking lot through open gate.
Meeting in Adult Parlor.
Third Friday of month includes business meeting, 6:30-7:45
Multi-format Meeting, with small group breakout
Meets at Crestview United Methodist Church, 1300 Morrow St. Enter on Grover Ave. side
- Being unclear about your financial situation: not
knowing account balances, monthly expenses, loan interest rates, fees,
fines, or contractual obligations.
- Frequently "borrowing" items such as books, pens, or
small amounts of money from friends or others, and failing to return them.
- Poor savings habits: not planning for taxes,
retirement, or other not-recurring but predictable items, and then feeling
surprised when they come due; a "live for today, don't worry about
- Compulsive shopping: being unable to pass up a "good
deal" making impulsive purchases; leaving price tags on clothes so they
can be returned; not using items you've purchased.
- Difficulty in meeting basic financial or personal
obligations, and/or an inordinate sense of accomplishment when such
obligations are met.
- Having a different feeling when buying things on credit
than when paying cash.
- Living in chaos and drama around money: using one
credit card to pay another; bouncing checks; always having a financial
crisis to contend with.
- A tendency to live on the edge: living paycheck to
paycheck; taking risks with health and car insurance coverage; writing
checks hoping money will appear to cover them.
- Unwarranted inhibition and embarrassment in what should
be a normal discussion of money.
- Overworking or underearning: working extra hours to
earn money to pay creditors; using time inefficiently; taking jobs below
your skill and education level.
- An unwillingness to care for and value yourself: living
in self-imposed deprivation; denying your own basic needs in order to pay
- A feeling or hope that someone will take care of you if
necessary so that you won't really get into serious financial trouble,
that there will always be someone you can turn to.
Adopted by DA World Conference, 1999-2000
- We admitted we were powerless over debt-that our lives
had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves
could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to
the care of God as we understood God.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of
- Admitted to God, ourselves and another human being the
exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have God remove all these
defects of character.
- Humbly asked God to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became
willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible,
except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were
wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our
conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for
knowledge of his will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these
steps, we tried to carry this message to other compulsive debtors, and to
practice these principles in all our affairs.
Adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, © AA World Services, Inc.
- Our common welfare should come first; personal recovery
depends upon DA unity.
- For our group purpose there is but one ultimate
authority--a loving God as He may express Himself in our group conscience.
Our leaders are but trusted servants; they do not govern.
- The only requirement for DA membership is a desire to
- Each group should be autonomous except in matters
affecting other groups or DA as a whole.
- Each group has but one primary purpose--to carry its
message to the debtor who still suffers.
- A DA group ought never endorse, finance, or lend the DA
name to any related facility or outside enterprise, lest problems of
money, property, and prestige divert us from our primary purpose.
- Every DA group ought to be fully self-supporting,
declining outside contributions.
- Debtors Anonymous should remain forever
non-professional, but our service centers may employ special workers.
- DA, as such, ought never be organized; but we may
create service boards or committees directly responsible to those they
- Debtors Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues;
hence the DA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.
- Our public relations policy is based on attraction
rather than promotion; we need always maintain personal anonymity at the
level of press, radio, and films.
- Anonymity is the spiritual foundation of all our
traditions, ever reminding us to place principles before personalities.
Adapted from Alcoholics Anonymous, © AA World Services, Inc.
- Abstinence. We practice abstinence by not incurring compulsive
unsecured debt one day at a time. Unsecured debt is any debt that is not
backed up by some form of collateral, such as a car, house, etc.
- Meetings. We attend meetings at which we can share our
experience, strength and hope with one another. Unless we give to
newcomers what we have received from DA, we cannot keep it ourselves.
- Record Maintenance. We maintain records of our daily income and expenses
and of the retirement of any portions of our outstanding debts.
- Anonymity. We practice anonymity, which allows us freedom of
expression by assuring us that what we say at meetings or to other DA
members at any time will not be repeated.
- The Telephone. We maintain constant contact with other DA members by
exchanging telephone numbers. We make a point of talking to other DA
members before and after taking difficult steps in our recovery.
- Pressure Relief Groups and Pressure Relief Meetings. After we have gained some
familiarity with the DA program, we organize Pressure Relief Groups
consisting of ourselves and two other persons from the group who have been
abstinent for three (3) months, and who usually have more experience in
the Program. The group meets in a series of Pressure Relief Meetings to
review our financial situation.
- Spending Plan. The Pressure Meeting usually results in the formulation
of a spending plan, which puts our needs first, and an action plan, for
resolving our debts and taking the first steps toward solvency.
- Sponsors. Many of us find it extremely helpful to select a
sponsor. A sponsor is an abstinent member of DA who is usually more
experienced in working the Twelve Steps. The sponsor aids us in
implementing our action plan and in working the steps.
- Attending Business Meetings. We attend business
meetings that are held monthly. Many of us have long harbored feelings
that business was not part of our lives, but for others more
qualified. Yet participation in running our own program teaches us how our
organization operates, and also helps us to become responsible for our own
- AA Literature. We study the literature of Alcoholics Anonymous to
strengthen our understanding of compulsive disease. We can identify with
many of the situations described therein by substituting the words
compulsive debt for alcohol.
- Awareness. We maintain awareness of the danger of compulsive debt
by taking note of bank, loan company and credit card advertising, and by
reading news accounts of its effects.
- Service. We perform service at every level: personal, meeting,
Intergroup, and World Service. Service is vital to our recovery. Only
through service can we give to others what has been so generously given to
In the program of Debtors Anonymous, we come together to share our
experience, strength and hope so that we may recover from the disease of
compulsive debting. When we work DA's Twelve Steps and use the DA Tools, we
begin to receive these gifts of the program:
- Where once we felt despair, we will experience a
- Clarity will replace vagueness; we will intuitively
know how to handle situations which used to baffle us.
- We will live within our means, yet our means will not
- We will begin to live a prosperous life, unencumbered
by fear, worry, resentment, or debt.
- We will realize that we are enough; we will value
ourselves and our contributions.
- Isolation will give way to fellowship; faith will
- We will recognize that there is enough; our resources
will be generous and we will share them with others and with DA.
- We will cease to compare ourselves to others; jealousy
and envy will fade.
- Acceptance and gratitude will replace regret, self-pity
- We will no longer fear the truth; we will move from
hiding in denial to living in reality.
- Honesty will guide our actions toward a rich life
filled with meaning and purpose.
- We will recognize a Power Greater than ourselves as the
source of our abundance; we realize that God is doing for us what we could
not do for ourselves.
Are these extravagant promises? We think not; they are well within our
means. When we work this program with integrity and to the best of our ability,
one day at a time, a life of prosperity and serenity will be ours.
Approved August 19, 2001, 15th Annual DA World Service Conference.
Higher power, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
the courage to change the things I can,
and the wisdom to know the difference.
Austin Debtors Anonymous
DA General Service Office
P.O. Box 920888
Needham, MA 02492-0009
"It did matter what our spiritual condition was. . . .
Money gradually became our servant, not our master. It became a means of
exchanging love and service with those about us. . . . We found
that freedom from fear was more important than freedom from want."
(last update 05 September 2011. DT)