By nature, I am not good with money at all. I have a huge spending problem. What I view to be priorities are probably outside the norm anyway. I have been known to go buy things we did not necessarily need before paying the bills. Money is also a huge trigger for me.
It does not fail, every income tax season, my hypomania kicks in full force. I’m happy, bouncy and giggly because we now have some money to spend. The bills typically get paid up first, then the kids needs and then there’s some spending money for Dan and me. This is where the problem lies.
Dan will only buy a few things for himself, same as me, but then I take what’s left and I BLOW it!
Years ago I was known as the tight wide of the family. I was able to budget and save just like “normal” people do. When Hubs and I were trying to figure out who would handle the finances before we got married, I was nominated for the job. My parents’ had taught me how to balance a check book, I had lived through very hard times with my Mom and therefore knew that we needed to save every penny that was left over after the bills were paid.
For awhile I was pretty good at this. So good that if the soles of your shoes weren’t wearing off, then you didn’t need new shoes. Clothes had to be worn or torn before I’d even consider buying new. I was a tight wad, as the saying goes.
But sometime between 1999 and now, things went down hill. We would get a big chunk of money and I was the first one making a list of all the needs and wants that we had missed out of during the time before the money came through. I would sit each child down and say, “Okay! Make Mom a wish list!” I already had my own list of their needs, I wanted to know what they wanted. It soon became common for me to blow through any money we had.
This turned to disaster as it began to overflow into Hubs income as well. I had our money spent on frivolous things before that money even entered our home.
Having a spending problem on its own is a problem and one that should be taken care of right away. In this economy we need to do everything we can to make and save an extra little bit of money. If you know you aren’t good with money, it’s time for a budget counseling course or credit counseling services. These places will typically hold you accountable each week or once a month as to where the money has gone. You may feel like a child for a while, but if you are unable to manage your money yourself, then you need some help.
If you are Bipolar and money is a trigger for you, then it’s best to let your spouse handle the finances. It’s hard for me to not impulsively go buy something when we have the extra money and then later we find ourselves struggling because of my stupid decision. More times than not I feel guilty for this, but I have a hard time getting it under control. Knowing my symptoms of hypo/mania has helped me to keep things in check when money starts rolling in.
Until next time…..