Saving and OCD

Friday, January 8, 2016

The forever struggle

Saving and OCD
(via: lowohs' tumblr)

All my life, at least since I was a teen, I've struggled with saving. I had never known why, until I was diagnosed with OCD and it just clicked. I'm not trying to pull out an excuse or some sort of bullshit, but it was the main reason why. That doesn't mean I won't save ever, just that it's like hundreds of times harder than for other humans.

It all started with my first paycheck when I was 17. Up 'til that moment I had a savings account in which my parents and I used to put a bit of money each month so when I was an adult I had some money to spend and be more able to become emancipated. But then my first paycheck came and, as I had savings, I didn't mind spending it all in just shit. All sorts of crap I didn't need but wanted.

Over the years it became a habit, and I also started digging into the savings my parents and I had accumulated into my savings account. My obsessions grew without realizing, and from clothing to makeup to buying compulsively nail polish I eventually ran out of money. At that point I was 22 I think, I was working at my college and had a small salary, I was still living with my parents and I had almost zero responsibilities. I would be waiting for my paycheck to spend it all again in more and more nail polish, of which I only used - and got to use over the years - a really small fraction. Each month, for months, I would just desire to get paid so I could just order more and more online, and receive the packages, be uber hyped on the meantime thinking of all the packages that were on my way, and eventually got them on a box and never use them.

Nail polishes weren't always my obsession, but they were for a year or two, one of the most expensive and intrusive obsessions I've had. At that time I didn't really realize I was obsessed and that my need to buy desperately was unhealthy, instead I would just get upset if someone just opened their mouth about it. 

Over the years I've struggled with some other spending obsessions, and recently have learned that is a usual trouble for people with OCD. Some things that help me save, or at least not spend all my money at once is just leaving my debit card at home, hiding my credit card and  not being able to see it regularly, and withdrawing my monthly expenses cash every end of the month. In the beginning I had to have my bf carry my cards so I wouldn't be able to use them as I was scared of myself getting out of control. I asked him to change my paypal password so I couldn't use that either. Right now I'm at that better place where I can know where they are, I have full control of my paypal and my cards, but I just don't carry them. Carrying cash instead of cards is also such a huge help. When you have physical money it's so much harder to let it go! When I buy online it's so easy, I just have to get hyper and click some buttons and wait at home for a beautiful package to come to me, but with cash you touch the money, you get to see how much you're spending and what does mean.

All in all I would say learning how to save with OCD is a journey, a long ass journey, a necessary journey if you have spending compulsions. This doesn't sum up, at all, my journey. I've had so many ups and downs and in betweens it would take me posts and posts about it, but I think I draw the main idea. I want you to know, if you struggle with the same issue, that you're not alone, but it's essential that you are aware of it and try to take steps to improve.

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