Acupuncture did wonders for me in terms of rerouting the torn disc pain signals. Enough so, I was able to turn down a scheduled surgery. The thing healed on it's own because the acupuncture rerouted the pain enough that it was tolerable.
Other than that, acute torn disc may heal "substantially" on its own if you can isolate the pain site. In other words, no extreme twists, turns and bends. If it's severe chronic, you still eventually may need surgery [surgery should be your last recourse]. Only you and a physician can determine what's right for you.
I recommend if not severe chronic [which It may not be, because you state "hold off due to costs and time off"]. Try working on isolation exercise activities not to further aggravate (slow stretches while lying on flat surface - research this on google using words like "heal back and torn disc and back stretch."
While at rest try lying on ice pack frequently throughout day if you can, or against the back of a chair. Or go to medical home supplies and find a back ice pack harness that you can refreeze often and wear throughout the day.
Take anti-inflammatory and ask your doctor for a prescription of muscle relaxers for evening and pain killers to help throughout the day. Settling in for the evening is when the back tenses up. Muscle relaxants do a wonderful job at keeping the muscles relaxed.
But if you have seen a doctor, they may, or may not have recommended, or advised against some of these things due to severity of tear. I can't know these things. I do recommend you be referred to a physiatrist if you feel the pain is chronic (They specialize in chronic Pain management).
There is a back injury severity that may cause further damage to the nervous system if surgery is not done timely. This is why you must way all the information with the doc's and make the best decision for you.
You may be able to request a referral from your primary, or back specialist to an acupuncturist if you've not tried this.
I wish you good health and that your pain will be alleviated soon.