How impulsive are you?

Growing Tree of Life newsletter
Issue number #033 
31 August 2023 
Reading time: 3 minutes

I’ve got two things on my mind today.

Firstly, I’ve posted my first YouTube video, testing an AI tool to create videos and figure out the feel of my content. If you could watch it and share your thoughts, that’d be grand.

Now, on to today’s tip.

Impulsive or thoughtful?

As someone with bipolar disorder, I struggle with allocating resources like time, willpower, energy, and money. But this problem isn’t limited to people like me; perhaps you’re struggling with some of them too.

My biggest issues are time management and money management.

Today, let’s talk about money.

After my bipolar diagnosis, I discovered why despite earning well, I was deep in debt. It was because of impulsive buying and not tracking where my money went.

To combat that, I created a cool-off period for myself back in 2018, and it works wonders.

How? Simple: I have a table in my journal with columns for

  • date,
  • item,
  • price & discount timer,
  • why I want it,
  • two-week column,
  • one-month column, and
  • final decision.
Purchase decision table; Journal Lubo 2019
Purchase decision table; Journal Lubo 2019

Whenever something catches my eye or feels like an urgent need, I write it down with the date and price. And, most importantly, I write an explanation of WHY I want it.

Then comes the waiting game: two weeks before even considering buying it. If after two weeks I still want it, I tick the column and wait another fortnight.

After a month of deliberation, if it was just an impulse buy, I cross it off and mark it as “not important”. Otherwise, I make a decision: buy now or wait for a sale.

This method combats impulsive buying – the biggest threat to financial security.

In bipolar highs, I’m prone to making rash decisions; these peaks rarely last longer than two weeks. By waiting a month before purchasing anything on my list, that dopamine-fueled urge for immediate reward subsides and rational decision-making takes over.

So here’s my tip:

If you have a problem with impulsive spending, create a table to track potential purchases and give yourself a cool-off period.

Stay awesome and have a great week.


P.S. If you would check out my video, leaving a comment or sending me an email with your thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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