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Reader Stories: Controlling Spending Sprees in Mania and Hypomania


Updated October 18, 2014

It can be really hard to control your spending during manic or hypomanic episodes. Everything looks so appealing, and remembering that you can't really afford it goes out the window. Here, readers share their successful strategies for dealing with the urge to go on reckless spending sprees.

A fabulous gift idea to control spending!

One Christmas strategy I did last year cost me nearly nothing and was loved by the receivers. I love all the catalogs - I can't just trash them. So I "bought" things for friends by cutting the items …More

Friends' intervention was needed

Early this year, my two closest friends sat me down for an "intervention." They described and questioned me about quite a large number of "episodes" in my life: spending sprees, heavy drinking, being…More

I could not resist a bargain...

I realized how bad my problem was when I ended up ordering the same book three times. So now I only buy what I absolutely need. I also set goals for starting my own business and only purchase things …More

My father's solution for my sister

Now, she can only walk around with $5 a week in her pocket. She can go to the local thrift store which is only open on Saturday or buy a pack of cigarettes. My dad is 87 and it is hard to keep her un…More

Do more than get rid of credit cards to control spending

I too have given up my credit cards - I found that I just kept spending - on stuff that I didn't/don't really need. My counselor took them to hold for me - since I don't have a spouse to do it and I …More

Controlling bipolar spending - ask for help!

I have a few strategies for controlling spending. First I have a strict budget. Second, I carry no credit cards and for stores that will look up your credit card number don't go in alone and tell you…More

Controlling bipolar spending - I nearly ruined myself

After the eviction, the stark reality became evident that I needed help. I could no longer try to solve my "spending" by myself. I did not understand why I could not stop. I began seeing my current p…More

Controlling Bipolar Spending - Credit Cards Are Evil!

I don't have any credit cards. I never borrow money. I always pay bills as soon as I get paid. That seems to help. I tend to look at a lot of things on the internet but I'm too broke to buy the thing…More

With Help We Can Learn Control

Once I was diagnosed and started meds I was better, but the desire has not left me. I still have mini episodes, and when I am manic I've learnt to stay at home, away from temptation.When I do go out …More

I Needed Help

We decided to put in place some strategies that would keep me safe from urges to spend up large. The bank agreed that I could have a $300 limit on my credit card. It took a bit of persuasion, because…More

Picture Yourself Out of Debt

1. Made the decision that I wanted to be in control - not the credit card companies. They were charging fees, I swear, just for the fun of it. Very abusive!2. Every time I make a purchase, I pay the …More

Controlling Spending: Know Thyself, Get Help

With my husband, we came up with a plan so that I wouldn't bankrupt us! He kept the checkbook with him at all times, cancelled my credit cards and changed the ATM PIN. He gave me a discretionary fund…More

Spending Control - Did You Need It Yesterday?

USE YOUR INTELLECT, not your "instincts." It's difficult, but at least try Two of my main mechanisms are to ask myself, "Did i have this (whatever) yesterday, and did i need it? Do i need it now? Why…More

To control spending, I make it hard for me to spend

I threw away my credit card and never took more than $50.00 with me when leaving home. Also took only one check with me at a time. Did I feel broke? YES! When I get catalogs in the mail, I walk to th…More

My fiance controls my spending

I return everything the next day, the ones I really don't need and then I walk out of the store. I have to or I'll spend that money all together. Bargains are my weakness. I love bargains, not for ju…More

I control my spending by wise shopping

I only use a prepaid visa card. If I have the need to spend, for that awesome high that comes with it, I will shop and put things in my cart and along the way take them out. If I do purchase them I f…More

I almost ruined myself - learning why helped

Learning that bipolar caused the spending sprees was a huge help. I use a calendar to know when every bill is due and pay those before anything else. Have paid off all checking accounts. I have no cr…More

No More Credit Cards!

I go to the store with a list and if possible I take my husband with me - then it isn't as much fun. I have a list and a budget. If I go over some he is there and knows about it. I don't have credit …More

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