Quick Thoughts with Jane – ADHD Debt Epiphany

I’ve been trying to think why I can’t break my cycle of debt. I’m really trying to figure out the psychology on why I keep self-sabotaging myself.

Then I had an epiphany the other day ::

My debt acts like weighted blanket to my overactive nature.

Anxious people, over energetic people do really well with sleeping with a weighted blanket. It produces a calming and secure feeling. Like a giant hug. And with an over-stimulated mind, my heavy blanket is a Godsend in giving me a good night’s sleep.

But this is exactly what having debt does for me. When the weight starts being lifted, I feel like I have room to spend more money. Impulsive spending. Every penny has an expense until it’s all used up.

I’ve gotten good at curbing the impulsive spending with small things (once upon a time I was addicted to Starbucks). Now it’s the bigger items like financing cars. When I am zoned into the purchase I can rationalize that it’s the right choice to no end!

Having debt keeps me in check.

I need to find a way to anchor myself in a healthy way when debt freedom starts to feel real. (At this point, seems to be apparent at about the $58K mark that I have yet to break).

So what might be another way to keep my over-active nature in check when money starts becoming available again?

13 thoughts on “Quick Thoughts with Jane – ADHD Debt Epiphany

  • I think if we could figure that out we would be MILLIONAIRES!!!! I wish I knew the answer because I am right there with you – it is almost like you KNOW how to deal with being in debt….what would happen if all that debt was paid off – it sounds really bizarre, but it is almost scary….

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  • It IS Scary! Ha. I am nervous to handle abundance. If I stay under my debt shell, I will be okay. Except now its not because I hope to retire, work a less stressful job, and do things that debt won't let me do right now. Plus I need to make the best of my current position. I was just looking back at my year… in Jan I was $7K away from my lowest debt point. Now I figured out it will take about 10 months to get to that lowest point via normal payments. I gotta keep telling myself, “don't F it up! Just follow the plan.”

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  • This is a wonderful realization for you. Now you can learn to work around it. Improving yourself and your life is never comfortable. It's like dumping a boyfriend that you like, but isn't good for you.

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  • Thank you Michelle. I'm actually terrible at dumping boyfriends, too! LOL. I do hope I can figure out a way to lull my need for debt-security (bad habit for sure) with a healthier replacement. Right now, it has been food and not of the health kind (bad habit too).

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  • Knowing is half the battle! Maybe try to find a replacement anchor/weighted blanket that is not debt? I'm kind of in the same situation myself, so I don't have any answers. The closer I get to paying off my debt, the more difficulty I'm having with overspending and staying in budget. A big part of that is likely just debt fatigue that's worsened over the years…So yeah, you aren't the only one.

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  • For me, a few things have helped me keep my spending in check as I paid off my student loans (woo-hoo) and my income increased dramatically. One was finding all kinds of free or lower-cost things that I love – going to an independent theatre ($6 a ticket), going to a nature preserve ($65 for an annual pass), going to free shows as part of the myriad of festivals my city hosts, going to free talks at my favourite independent bookstore. Having a long list of activities that I like to do that aren't expensive makes me feel not at all deprived and makes it easier to say no to more expensive hobbies. The second is dreaming about retirement. I was recently thinking about buying a new car, but then I thought about how much longer I would have to work to pay for, and it became much easier for me to say no.I think the key is finding what works for you. Another thing that used to work for me when my income was much less variable was having a percentage of my income automatically invested every month.

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  • I've been giving that some thought – finding a replacement anchor. I haven't come up with any answers, but am glad I had the epiphany! Maybe I am one step closer to finally getting my debt pay down right. Perhaps meditating and sitting still with the uncomfortable moments will help me through.

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  • thank you for the tips Solitary Diner! I've had some recent moments of insight with regards to retirement. Haven't much thought about til recently. But having a decent retirement is a good thing to have. However, some of the realizations were kind of mute in my case – I will likely never own many of the things I desired because my potential (late start) outcomes. This is of course okay as long as I can have a modest life. But in some ways had me pouting. But you are right, definitely easier to say no realizing how long I would have to work to pay for it!

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  • I agree with Ms. Fiology, I’m a huge fan of automation. “I Will Teach You to Be Rich” by Ramit Sethi does a great job of walking readers through a simple way to get that set up. That way, your money goes exactly where you want it to without you having to lift a finger or worry about it!Instead of dumping money into debt or vices, you can start dumping it into thinks like retirement accounts that will build wealth over time, and be much more difficult to pull from before retirement age to prevent impulse purchases. Best of luck from a fellow lifelong ADHD suffer!

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  • thank you. I don't know why it took me to realize debt was my “safe” guard. I'm ready to outgrow that phase. and automation would definitely be good on my part. forgoes the chance to spend it before hand!

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  • fist bump on the ADHD commonality. I used to think it was my super power. But in getting older, it starting to prove more problematic. Definitely need to find a way to live a life where my wings of personality can spread more rather than needing to keep playing “normal” or by the books. (that's what FIRE is for right?) I may not be able to RE but I'll be able to retire at a decent age if I continue to play my cards right. I do happen to automate $645/m towards retirement. But that's mainly to keep the tax man away. I like that it is a win-win situation for me as my retirement account is getting padded. Most of my other account are automated, but truth be told I got bored not touching my accounts in paying my bills manually. Then updating my spreadsheets. It's hard to find something else to keep me occupied aside from streaming shows/movies. Sad I know. But I get how it would be beneficial when I do get the impulse to spend. It's tough changing old habits.

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