No Spend Challenge

I’m a person of extremes. Not a great thing. It’s never good to be just black or white. And when I give myself an inch, I take the whole yard. It doesn’t constitute good will power or impulse control.

I have weak muscle tone in more than one way. And exercising is not something I enjoy. It makes me entirely aware of all the discomfort and I don’t handle discomfort well. I never learned how to accept it with any patience or grace.

Impulse is a real struggle. When your prefrontal cortex does not work as designed (well the credit card companies think it works perfectly) it can raise numerous issues with attention, organization, memory, and impulse control because your braking system is faulty! Yes, the prefrontal cortex is like the breaks of your brain. It is supposed to help us control our impulses by getting us to stop long enough to be able to organize our thoughts, determine consequences whether good or bad, and make plans. Well, what if it’s just letting us through each red light at a rolling stop…or maybe a pause, or maybe it doesn’t even occur that breaking for the red light is an option. Green is good. Red is bad! Right? Well at least that’s what our brain is thinking and we are just along for the ride.

When I purchase something on impulse, I may have given a very brief thought to what this costs me. But I can’t fully grasp it in the milliseconds that it pops into my brain. I just don’t process information that quickly. Because hello, attention issues! And off my brain goes again. I end up spending much more than I think I am. I don’t know about you but I was cleaning out my pantry and I have 3 bags, two open and half used of rice. This is indicative of planning, organization, attention and impulse issues. Regardless of your diagnosis (ADHD, impulse control disorder, post TBI syndrome, cognitive impairment, PTSD, the list goes on) this can create financial havoc which can cause major issues in all areas of life. It can destroy lives, livelihoods, and relationships. It can create it’s own trauma. It often creates a maelstrom effect that is impossible for us to extricate ourselves from on our own.

One of the major issues in my relationship is my money management. And honestly, this financial hell is a huge part of my shame and self loathing. Why? Because regardless if I can remember them or not, I have two, TWO, degrees in accounting. Of course having a degree in something doesn’t protect you from the struggles of your brain and it has gotten much worse since my brain injury and resultant cognitive decline and executive dysfunction.

But am I slave to my executive dysfunction and my brain injury? Sure, some days it definitely feels that way. It’s an excuse. Just like, but every uses credit cards is an excuse. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not. It is still an excuse for me to not flex my muscles and regain control.

This is not easy. I’m going to fail. And I’m going to need encouragement to get back on the no spend and budgeting wagon. Have you considered doing a challenge as such? I’m horrible at moderation or just basic control because it’s not an extreme that can hold my attention. I need the extremes. I live off them. One day maybe I can focus on changing that, but right now, my focus will be money, budgeting and my #nospendchallenge.

I’m going to start small. 3 days. No spending for three whole days. Which means I have to use current groceries. All the cars have gas, and when I go out tomorrow or this weekend, then I have to find myself over and over I can live without. Plan ahead. Which we all know how much I suck at planning and sticking to it.

So far, I’ve managed to do Day 1 fine, so far. 😉

I’ll let ya know how days 2 & 3 go!

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