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Saturday, April 19, 2014

Spending Sprees, Treatment and Tools to Dollar Stretching

Living outside your means isn't something limited to people living with a mental illness diagnoses, but if you see a pattern talk to your doctor.  When I was working full time, I spent money like it was water, it was only after my bipolar diagnoses did I learn what I was doing, here's what I learned over the past eighteen years.

During my mania cycle of bipolar I tend to swipe on books, clothes, junk food, stuff I don't need.  In addition  I purchase items like tea and coffee for others  as well as make donations to charities, these add up very quickly, especially if you are on a fixed income.

Also known as a spending spree for me this is mild, for me their are mechanisms in place to prevent me from spending , but for others this can be very costly and problematic and can ruin your credit if you need to file bankruptcy.

If you find the above happening and you find yourself borrowing money from friends and family on a regular basis start a charting each time you do this as you may be undiagnosed for a mental illness, possible bipolar or obsessive compulsive disorder.  Diagnoses and treatment is the first big step.

The following isn't easy, it has taken me years to curb my spending, I hope some of these work for you.

The goal is to have one credit card, and use debit card and cash.  What type of credit card should you have, my first choice is a  convenience cards like American Express where you pay the balance off each month. Another way to do this is use a pre-paid card.

Use a credit rebuilding card, it cost you to have one of these.  There's a monthly fee, a monthly finance charge and a credit card limit.  If you do well for a fee, you can purchase additional credit.  A costly card to own, but everyone needs at least one card, use one of these.

ATM fee's, how to avoid paying them when your bank isn't available.  Many supermarkets, drugstores, convenience stores offer cash back when you purchase something, if you are going to pay the fee anyway, buy items like toilet paper, spend $4 to get $10, $20, $30, $40...rather then just paying the fee.  Maximize your fee's.

Sign up for the discount cards where you save money, earn points and save money, earn points and get $5 OFF your next purchase, these I like best as if you save coupons you can use them on top of the $5 OFF and spend like $.49 cents.    I know you hate your spending being tracked, well if you are reading my blog, your on the Internet, trust me you are being tracked, so maximize to your advantage.

Pre-paid cell phones are a good alternative, as are cell phone plans that have no contracts, one I use is Consumer Cellular as I get email alerts when I'm at 75% use of my plan, which allows me to sign into their web portal and add minutes so' that you don't incur $.25 per minute.  Also the reverse if you check your web portal 1 week out and have an access of minutes and texts that are one plan down, you can switch and save money as much as $15.  Lastly if you are an AARP member you save 5% OFF your monthly bill.

I hope theses have helped you, below find some resources:

The Dollar Stretcher

Convenient Cards

Pre-Paid Cards

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