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In my last post, I covered the issues of impulse buying, retail therapy, and the need for a financial advisor and/or buddy. Everything I said was true and applies to everyone, especially ADHDers, and in particular, me.

My spouse, SIL, and I went to a convention this past weekend. There was only one vendor I wanted to stop at and pick up a couple of things. The seller makes geeky leggings, loungers, joggers, shorts, skirts, and more. I planned on getting one item, a pair of loungers in a Sailor Moon print. They did not have the one I wanted in stock, so I looked at other items. I literally bought something/s from them every single day. I now have three skirts and two loungers that I'm in love with. But... I am also now broke. Again.

Granted, saving up for things like conventions is a good thing to do, which I actually did. I just didn't expect to end up spending quite as much as I did. I justified it with, "What they have, they have; once they're gone, you're screwed," so I got what I really loved and to hell with it.

Except that I now have to pay down my credit card again. It's something I can do, it just leaves me a bit on the penny-pinching side of things for a few weeks.

So even when you have a financial advisor/buddy, sometimes you're going to screw up and go nuts. The trick to this is to acknowledge that you did the thing (spending too much), analyze why you did the thing (impulse-shopping, mental health, justification), and come up with a strategy that keeps you from doing the thing again. My partner and I typically run $100+ purchases by each other, and smaller ones if they're cumulative.

Part of my issue this past weekend was that the items I got were $40 or less a piece, I just got several over the course of several days, and didn't add it up until the deed was done. The other part was that the shop did not put out same patterns every day. Saturday had slightly different inventory than Friday, same on Sunday. So I found something new to get each day, having not seen it before. And while $40 isn't terrible, when you multiply it by nine, it turns into a lot, and definitely over my allowed con budget.

Do I regret anything? Yes, and no. I regret not doing mental/calculator math while I was in purchase-mode. I pretty much lost all self-restraint (again, because they are popular and sell out fast). That justification does not make it any better though. I had a budget and I should have stuck with it. So yes, I regret overspending. I did not do Future-Me any favors.

But also no, because I got some really cute things to wear, the skirts I can wear at the office, so in that sense, I don't feel as bad.

What's surprising, though very nice, is that my self-disgust hasn't reared its ugly head. I don't hate myself for overspending, not like I used to. I'm not in full on panic mode because I do still have a savings buffer, so the sky is not falling. I am not unappreciative of this feeling, it's just... odd. I've never really felt this before, this sense of "okay-ness" of having overspent; in the past, it's always been a "Holy shit, I effed this up, how am I going to feed myself the next two weeks?" situation.

I guess my point with all of this is that having my financial buddy (spouse) really IS helping me. I may have overspent, but not to the point of financial straits. I will recover by my next paycheck, which will go directly into savings. And in the meantime, if I need anything, I'll run it by him first.

Admit it: we've all made impulse purchases, especially when we're in negative-ish moods. When I'm feeling down, my urge to engage in retail therapy is strong, nigh on impossible to ignore. I'll go on a spending spree, purchasing everything, necessary or not, that catches my eye. Does it elevate my mood? Sure... for a finite, and usually short, period of time.

As the high of impulse shopping wears off, I find myself in a bottomless pit of guilt, shame, and a ton of crap I don't have room for because my place is already epically cluttered. And, worst of all, I'm now broke.

Impulse control is a problem for most ADHDers, and when we're feeling frustrated, angry, depressed, or a combination thereof, we have a need to spend our way into a better headspace, a headspace that, as I said, does not last all that long, and, in most cases, inevitably make us feel worse, because now we're buried in piles of crap we don't really need. This leads to guilt, followed closely by shame and depression, and the acute feeling of being totally overwhelmed.

The internet in general, and social media specifically, are not only enablers, they are the drivers of our getting ourselves into debt because they force advertisements on us. You can't scroll through Facebook, Instagram, X, or whatever other social media you use without having ads every third post. Hell, I can't even escape ads when I'm in my email account.

It is extremely frustrating because, for me, I discover cool new things that I would love to try/eat/wear/have/do/etc., but when I'm totally honest and rational with myself (which can range anywhere from "Rationale? I'm down with that," "Rationale? Okay, fine, whatever," and "Rationale? LOLOL! What's that!?"), I can acknowledge that for every 100 ads thrown in my face, only 1-2 really apply to me, and I know I shouldn't get it anyway if I don't have a need for it as it inevitably leads to more clutter.

Yet here we are, buried in mountains of stuff we don't really need or have any particular use for, which, for me at least, triggers a sense of panic because now there's more stuff to organize, in addition to the current stuff that needs to be organized, and now I'm so overwhelmed and depressed, I just ignore it all and dick around on the internet. See where I'm going with this? It becomes a vicious cycle.

That's not even touching upon the real danger of impulse buying/retail therapy; it's that it's antithetical to saving money. You get income. Yay! You put some of it into savings. Go you, you responsible badass! Then, oops, you bought all the things, without keeping track of your purchases and how much you're actually spending (and we all know those little things add up fast). Suddenly you find out your checking account is empty. In order to remedy this, you have to pull money out of savings to put into checking so you don't overdraft, meaning you are spending your savings and therefore are not actually saving anything at all.

And then, to make matters even worse, come the overdraft fees. "You don't have enough money in this account to get groceries? We (the bank) will cover it and charge you a $35+ overdraft fee." And those fees add up lighting fast. Suddenly you realize that your account is at -$650, due, not to spending, but to the accumulation of all the overdraft fees.

This leads to greater guilt ("You can't even keep money in your account!") and deeper depression ("I got new thing/s and now I can't afford to pay rent/mortgage, bills, etc., or even feed myself... I am utterly worthless."). That's around the time you want to crawl into a dark hole and never come out. But let's face it, if you're -$XXX in the hole, you can't even afford the hole you're trying to hide in.

So what does it all mean? It means you need a way to track your expenses, minimize purchases, especially impulse purchases and retail therapy, and, if you can afford one, get a financial advisor. Or at least a financial buddy, someone you trust to teach you how to manage money without digging yourself further into debt. A financial buddy should be someone you trust, like a spouse, sibling, or BFF. It needs to be someone who has good financial management skills, patience, kindness, and a willingness to teach ADHDers with the full knowledge that, for ADHDers, financial management is a "three steps forward, two-and-a-half steps back" process until the ADHDer has created a ritual for it, making it a habit. Most importantly, it has to be someone who will not judge you, take advantage of you, or make you feel worse about yourself.

There are also countless apps for budgets and expense tracking, which can be very useful tools... when you find one you like, and remember to use it. But that's a topic for another time.

So, back in May of last year, I posted the following:

I managed to lose a cosplay gown that I had custom made, after only having worn it to one convention. I've searched everywhere in places that made sense and places that did not. It's well and truly gone. So I commissioned a new gown to replace it, and I'm at least 80% sure that once I get the new gown, the first one will turn up, because that's just my luck.

I received the new gown in July (shortly into my Absence). A literal two days after the new one arrived, I found the original one. It was "sharing" a hanger with another cosplay dress, which was on top of the gown, rendering it invisible. I didn't find it until I had pulled out the other dress to get ready for a convention. Imagine my surprise (and fury...) at finding it! Part of me was relieved; the other part was pissed AF, at myself. Why didn't I catalogue my cosplays and put them all in one place!? Hell if I know. I'm never one to do a logical thing. (Screw you ADHD!) :CRIES:

For those of you curious, I give you a shot of the gown I lost and found:

Neo Queen Serenity

Sailor Moon

So my next convention is coming up in 2.5 weeks. Being responsible, I've already started gathering together items that I need to pack for the event. I should make a list... "But it's so time consuming!" "STFU, you! Do the responsible thing!" "Whaaaaaa! Don't wanna!" On and on, the conversation with myself goes, until I stop caring about doing the thing at all, hate myself, and then eventually do thing (in this instance, a list). So I present you with... a list:


  • Get your ass in gear, we are doing the thing!


  • Why are you not doing the thing? I'm so disappointed in you.


    • Who are you to say I'm disappointing!? Screw you!


  • You are so worthless! What is the point of your life even?


    • Okay, you can do this, one step at a time, take little baby steps...


    • Do the thing.

This is one of the more frustrating things about ADHD, the internal conversations with yourself which inevitably end up leading to a plethora of negative emotions, some of which trigger absolute self-loathing.

Famed blogger Allie Brosh, of Hyperbole & a Half, did an excellent piece on this called "This is Why I'll Never be an Adult." Using prose and iconic illustrations, she presents a highly accurate representation of what it's like living with ADHD (without actually mentioning ADHD), in a very silly, memorable way.

The truth is, I have started a list. The problem is that I don't always remember something TO list until I actually see it, and unfortunately, there is a lot of clutter in my place, so I have to go digging to find any one of the several locations I've put stuff. It makes for an ass-backwards routine in which I write things on the list, as I find them, and then immediately check it off the list, congratulating myself for doing the list, and then getting to the hotel and realizing I forgot to pack a random-but-important piece of my cosplay, sending me into a spiraling panic.

This whole mental meltdown is absolutely exhausting, not to mention counter-productive.

But hey, at least I found the dress!

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