Money Management

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 9
   Posted 11/11/2009 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
If you or your loved one is prone to spending sprees, what steps do you take to protect your finances and credit?  Thanks!

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 11/12/2009 12:16 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband is an impulse shopper who is used to haveing alot of disposable cash. Thanks to the economy, this past year he hasn't had that option, and it's been very tough on him.

Knowing that the bills must be paid first and foremost, and knowing that I can;t count on him to do so each month, forced me to take charge. Having to control the household accounts, has helped me learn alot about financial stability and controlling my own impulses.

I've been known to hide money from myself, I have an online savings account that is easy to deposit into, but takes 3-5 days to withdraw from. Knowing that the extra money isn't a pin code away keeps me from spending it without thinking.

When bills come in at an uneven number, say, a water bill for 76$, I will deduct 80$ from the house account. 76$ to pay the bill, and 4$ for my personal 'pocket change'. I use this spare cash to either force myself to save for a book I want, or for impulse items at the grocery.
We protect our credit by not having any credit cards or accounts. No sears card even! Unfortunatly, though I do regularly pay some accounts, I've been forced to ignore my credit card account. It is on the list of things to pay, it's just waiting it's turn. I can;t make acceptable minimum payments on all the accounts. so I started with the high interest accounts and I pay as much as possible each month. Once they are closed, I will turn to the rest.

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 59
   Posted 11/12/2009 2:11 PM (GMT -7)   
I don't want to trigger anyone, so I will simply say that we had a crisis in our relationship after the discovery of spending sprees, and it resulted in what follows.
We moved all money into accounts under only my control.  My wife agreed very reluctantly to give up all plastics, and to do shopping using cash that I provided.  Beyond that she had a certain amount of money that she could do absolutely anything with and not have to feel guilty. 
It was very difficult, she felt like she was being treated like a child and like she could not be trusted.  It took her a long time to realize that it was too her benefit as well. 
Eventually she learned to control her impulses and re-earned my trust, though her control was never tested by a major manic or hypomanic episode.   She got her debit card back with access to some funds, but the majority of the money was still kept separate.

Precious Gem
Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2008
Total Posts : 1139
   Posted 11/15/2009 9:56 AM (GMT -7)   
after surviving financial ruin, lost everything, wrote bad checks when manic we did the following and it works. We have 3 savings accounts, one is mine,one is my spouse and a joint account.  Our paychecks are direct deposited into our personal accounts, then each  of us transfers to the joint account enough to cover bills for the month.  Whatever we have left over personally is ours.  One day a month I go to our Credit Union and they issue certified bank checks for bills, at no charge.  Whatever is left over in joint account we get out with ATM card for groceries.  It works beautifully, no more bounced checks, legal issues over bounced checks, no overdraft fees.  It has been a great way for us to management money together and individually.  NO credit cards.  If we need one we load a prepaid one we get from our credit union for a very small fee.  It takes work but you will find a common ground that keeps bills paid and everyone feeling in control of what they earn no matter how large or small.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 139
   Posted 11/16/2009 9:42 AM (GMT -7)   
My husband suffers from BP and when manic has gone on shopping and gambling sprees that have racked up a couple of thousands of dollars each time.
The last time he was manic, I reported his credit cards lost and quickly moved all of our money into a personal checking account of mine that he has no access to.  Since then, only $200 per month of my paycheck goes into our joint account. Unfortunately he has not been working (mostly due to the economy) so the only other money that goes into our joint account is his unemployment checks whcih aren't much.  He hates that our savings and the bulk of our income go into accounts that he has no access to.  I've explained to him that it is only to protect him and our savings because in the past he has tried to access the savings account to go gamble.  I know it's hard but when I explain it to him that way calmly and say that it's our money just the account is in my name, he usually backs off.
I was always the one who handled the bill paying so it wasn't that hard for him to swallow.
I do like the idea of setting up an account with limited funds that the person can access so he/she doesn't feel too controlled.
Hope this helps

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 76
   Posted 11/16/2009 1:43 PM (GMT -7)   
What about using one of those visa gift card things? Putting X number of bucks on it that have been saved up during non-manic phases, and when the mania hits, you hand them the card and say go have fun? They can;t overdraw the card, so there's no fear of that. It does cost a few bucks to recharge it though.

Perhaps let them pick a store, and get a giftcard for that store?

I keep an wish list running that is frequently updated depending on my moods and whims. There's personal items, household items, and gift items for my husband on there. When I have the need to go spending money, I limit myself to what's on my wishlist, using whatever cash I've squirreled away.

Recently, I splurged on 2 books. South Beach Diet book and the matching cookbook. I searched, found them cheap on Ebay, and used my 'rainy day' fund to buy them. It benefits me in the long run, didn;t cost to much, and I got the pleasure of an impulse buy.

red lightening
Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 620
   Posted 11/16/2009 5:19 PM (GMT -7)   
After getting manic and going on a spending spree 2 months ago I
am on a set weekly cash allowance. I've been doing very well with this.
It's a small amount so I have to really discern what I want to spend
it on but it has made me more responsible and accountable.

happy bill
Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1132
   Posted 11/17/2009 8:39 AM (GMT -7)   


  One of the tricks a friend helped me discover and use was to not open what i bought and to tape the reciepts to each item. That way when i came down i could return all the items and get my money back.  It also saved me from that black depression of realizing how bad i screwed up because i was allways able to return most of what i  bought. 

   That was all before meds, which thankfully now give me the relief to not suffer those urges. I now am much more interested in saving money, so much so that my wife wants to strangle me sometimes for my penny pinching ways. LOL LOL LOL  turn   tongue    


New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/17/2009 9:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I have this problem too. I don't usually buy big ticket items, but I make rash decisions with money and I buy alot of smallish, unnecessary items that result in clutter. (I also have a hoarding/clutter problem)

Last April I lost my job (downsizing) and I had the$$ to pay the house taxes, but I held onto them worried about what was to come. After a couple of months I had used them for basic living, a trip to our family cottage and still haven't paid them. As I am a highly skilled Software System Tester with several years good experience and plenty of great references, I didn't think it would be this hard to get another job.

I'm still not working and am facing my last weeks of EI. I'm worried about losing my car and minihome and I am not in a committed relationship so having my 'husband' or 'boyfriend' help is not an option.

Today is really bad for me and I'm starting to have those really nasty feelings again. I know I need to be a good steward of my money especially to show my teenaged children how to be good stewards of their money, but I really don't know how.

I can't and won't go to my mum for help again. I've burdened her too much thus far and she's not doing well health-wise. She's getting to the age where it's MY turn to care for her!

What do I do!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 3715
   Posted 11/17/2009 10:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi sunflowerLu,

Welcome to HealingWell and the bipolar board. I'm so sorry to hear about your ongoing unemployment. That must be causing you a lot of stress. I wish I had some good ideas for you, but I'm no good with employment. You should probably contact the property tax collector for your area (your county auditor, maybe?) and set up a payment plan or get a deferment based on unemployment. I bet, given the terrible shape of employment in our country, that you are not the only one who has had trouble paying her taxes because of unemployment.

Glad to have you,
Co-Moderator, Bipolar Forum
Bipolar II

"Bipolar disorder can be a great teacher. It's a challenge, but it can set you up to be able to do almost anything else in your life." - CARRIE FISHER

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2009
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/17/2009 11:29 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you very much, Serafena!

I've been doing that with my credit cards. I find it sooo hard because I feel so embarrassed about not being able to pay my bills. I contacted one credit card but I have one more to contact and it stresses me out immensely. Today is a BAD day for me--feeling really down and trying to fight it.

I will try to do what you suggest.

BTW, I am in Canada, so things aren't all that wonderful here either with the job market.

Thanks again for the warm welcome!
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