Everybody has issues when it comes to money and finances. At least some point in their lives.
Whether it be to make more money or spend more on this or that.
Money is not an issue solely related to those with Bipolar Disorder. However, it is a HUGE symptom of mania. We know that when mania takes its grip, overspending and spending money that we do not have is a trademark of a manic episode.
There are a few things you can do to prevent a catastrophic manic episode. Some of these ideas just make sound financial sense.
1) Have a Preliminary Plan to Hide Your Credit Cards
When I start to feel “too good”, I make sure that my wife takes all the credit cards from me. That goes for all the cash and anything else of value that I could spend. The whole idea is to keep these valuables away from me so I do not blow it on something that my family does not need. It is not a penalty, but to protect my family from bad decision making on my part.
If you do not have a significant other or person you can trust, you can always take your credit cards, cash, and other valuables to a safety deposit box. This puts a barrier up to make it more difficult to get your own valuables.
2) Create a Budget
It is easy to take account of all your expenses and your income.
When it comes to your income, you may have one, two or even three sources for yourself and your significant other. Consider all the money you take in each month. Your parents may help you each month or you may receive SSDI. Write it down as income if you bring it in.
A good way to watch your expenses is to write down everything that you spend money on each month.
You probably at least pay rent/mortgage, water, gas, sewer, trash, phone, groceries, eating out, cable, internet, and medications. You may have to add some expenses or even take some away.
The idea is to get a written record of what is coming in, going out and if you are in the red or green.
3) Create an Online Savings Program
Creating an online savings program is a great way to start an emergency fund or save for something different.
Finding an account online is a great way to save because you can have a portion of your monthly income automatically transferred when you are paid. Even if you take ten or fifteen dollars each month, the idea is to start doing it.
Take action! Over time, those ten or fifteen dollars each check will grow.
Most financial consultants agree that everyone should have an emergency fund with three to six months’ worth of income in case an emergency arises.
Having an online savings account can help you if you are manic. It usually takes time if you want to pull your money out of an online savings account. Those extra couple days could save your entire emergency fund if you cannot get it at the drop of a hat. That is something to consider.
4) Decrease Your Expenses
Most people automatically assume the best way to increase wealth is to make more money. Yes, making money will help, but you should first look at your expenses.
There are countless ways to decrease your monthly expenses. For example, our cable bill kept going up month after month after month. It got so bad that we were paying close to $130 per month for cable and internet. I ended up canceling cable, subscribed to Netflix for around $11 and Sling T.V. for $25. Plus, I found a great program to get internet for $10 per month. I brought our monthly cable bill from $130 to less than $50 per month!
It never hurts to ask for anything when you are the consumer. The following is another example. I have a cell phone for my wife and me. A little over a year ago we were paying close to $150 per month. I simply called our carrier up and told them I could no longer afford their rates. I would have to switch my business to another carrier. The gentleman asked what I could afford. I told him half of that and he said DONE!
Like I said, we are the consumer and it NEVER hurts to ask. The worst thing they can say is no, right?
5) Increase Your Income
Increasing your income is easier said than done. When you are working at a job, the only way you can increase your income is to ask for a raise or wait until you are given one.
Another way to increase your money-making abilities is to find side work. Almost everyone knows something they can do that another person will pay you for.
For example, people will always pay you to clean their house. Maybe you like to knit and can sell what you create. Are you extremely organized? People will pay you to help them get organized. The list goes on and on. If you have the desire to make money, figure out a way to monetize your abilities.
Would you add anything to this list? I would love to hear your ideas.
Thank you for taking time out of your day to read my post about finances and Bipolar Disorder.
Until next time, take care of yourself! 😊