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Likeabowlof0ranges

Irregular but controlled spending

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Hi I have a pattern of spending which is odd. It usually happens when I'm hypomanic / manic. I've never spent myself into any trouble, I can't afford to do that. I'm only a student, so what might seem like no money to you may be quite a lot to me.

I do this thing where I will withdraw set amount, go home and leave the card there. It's usually $50 and allow myself to spend it on whatever crap I want without repercussion, I don't beat myself up for it, even though I usually budget well. I usually do this at a department store, or the $2 store or the supermarket sometimes. I like to control the environment, to be sure I won't be tempted. But at the same time I get an incredible rush from doing this. I love it, and I usually buy useless rubbish. Is this a dangerous behaviour? I feel that it satisfies that urge to spend up, and can distract me from doing worse things. I'm just seeking opinion and insight.

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The only danger I see is if it escalates. Even non-MI people can have what they call blow money - a small amount that they can blow on whatever. I think it's good that you leave the card at home and only take cash - when you're out of cash that's it no more spending.

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I think the fact that you can restrain yourself from bringing the card and buying more is a good thing. When I have extra money I like doing that too, it's like a treat. That's okay as long as it's controlled.

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I think the way you're doing it is fantastic: you budget, you don't carry your card thereby forcing yourself to stick to your limits, and you restrict yourself to places where you won't blow it all on one item.

If I might add a tip, my mother taught me that I could do this. Prior to hitting the checkout go through the cart/basket and assess the quality of the things you're getting. I found that if I found a flaw I'd start throwing those things out of the cart. I couldn't do this while throwing items into the cart, but I could bring myself to a moment of clarity just before hitting the till. You might find that it reduces your initial purchase a little bit. Obviously, I'd feel some disappointment with chucking my purchase, but it did mean that my initial spend was reduced which, in your case, would open up the door for you being able to reuse that spend should you have an emergency urge.

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Hi Oranges, I can kind of relate. My spending comes in fits and spurts. I save up my fun money, and then blow it all in one fell swoop (usually in one day). Then after I blow all of it, I hoard fun money for a couple of months, then boom!!! Time to blow it again.

I have been in this cycle for years. I have yet to spend myself into a jam, but I know I should be saving more than I am.

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I've never spent myself into a jam either, but I have spent all of my savings (a significant amount to me). I used to be much worse about my spending than I am now, and I used to get huge rushes over buying what essentially amounts to crap. Part of my deal is that I have OCPD, which makes me want to hoard money, so when I'm not manic or hypo, I spend very little. This usually allows me to save up enough to blow it when I do eventually turn hypo. Like Odetta said, even "normies" have their blow money, as long as you're able to keep it under wraps.

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I do this when I am "high" from hypo, but it's not irritable hypomania.

I don't spend myself into trouble, but I buy a ton of small purchases. My pdoc says either it is nothing (as in, "normal" people do this, too, there is a reason why they call it "Shopping Therapy"), or lack of impulse control because of my hypo. But he isn't worried about it, if I am not getting us into difficulty financially.

I feel incredibly guilty about it, though.

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I think as long as you can keep it controlled it is ok. IMO it prevents overspending ... like if you restrict all the time you *might* binge on shopping; what you do is let yourself spend, so the urge doesnt build up.

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It sounds like you're doing fine.

I have no control if I start to spend. None. I give money away, because I can't spend it fast enough.

It's great that you have that restraint!

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You seem to have a good system. What you do is actually a good idea, because I tend to overspend when I bring my debit card.

I'm always afraid of something happening and I'll need the money (like when I blew a tire)

I will not allow myself to have a credit card that isn't debit or pay as you go, I hate debt.

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I always make sure I walk when I do it. So I don't have a car / petrol issue. I have like no restraint if I have the actual card on me, thats why I never take it, I hardly have it on me. I do get the urge to spend a lot, I am usless at saving and sometimes I'm awfully materialistic and I want to have things. Sometimes when I'm manic I think I deserve things, not essential things but things like new nail polish, new stationary, new socks. Thankfully it seems to orientate around small purchases. I've never had an urge to buy something huge like a car.

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For awhile I used couponing as a way of painlessly indulging in my instinct to spend in a non harmful way. I didn't go so overboard where I have a garageful of stuff but I did stock up on household stuff and got to try some makeup colors I wouldn't have normally. I bought a car while manic once but I still have it 8 years later....

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I just went thrifting for the first time since forever, and got two sweaters, two vinyl albums, and a really nice serving bowl that complements some serving trays we already have, all for $12.30. Thrift stores have gone up in price since the recession started, but I go on half-price days, and still get pretty good deals.

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I only have controlled spending when manic. Mainly because my income is so tightly budgeted and I pay my bills (mostly) as soon as income comes in. So I will never drop $500 on some shopping spree, because I never have that much in my bank account.

That's a huge pet peeve for me, those (esp pdocs) who think that you have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars during an episode to be manic. I mean, these days, who has that kind of money to begin with, much less to spend? I can be manic and have overspending as a symptom but only spend $50. Because its my last $50 until payday and it needed to be saved for more important uses.

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Yes Gizmo. I agree with that. I tell my pdoc that I spent $50 and she's always like, oh that's alright everyone does that. When you're right $50 means something different to everyone. I love op shops. I really like mismatched tea cups. I also buy books from there, cause I only read them once.

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I'm the same way. Well I've never put my family in financial trouble but I have spent foolishly. My mania/hypomania makes me go nuts with projects like learning to sew. Then proceeding to buy two hundred dollars of fabric and a few dress patterns. Then mania fades and I'm stuck with a bunch of useless half finished crap. Books are also a problem for me cause I end up reading about half of each one and end up getting bored with the plot.

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