I've read a lot of self-help books about money management. I don't go into credit card debt, but I do have a nasty habit of spending any money that's not locked up in retirement.
Some of this is a result of a symptom of my bipolar II disorder. When I'm having a hypomanic episode, I shop. It helps the high I'm on during hypomania go even higher. That's usually when I'll blow any spare money I've had in my allowance. As soon as a reasonable expense came along, usually days later, I wouldn't have any money left. I'd go begging to the Chief Engineer and then I'd often spend some of "our" money on something I needed.
This seemed to stop when I went on my bipolar meds. For the first time ever, I'm almost at the end of the month and I have money left in my weekly allowance budget. I haven't gone on any shopping sprees this month.
But I'm far from cured of my poor spending habits. We spent an incredible amount of money redoing our kitchen and now need to be super duper extra careful with our moneys for a few months. But now I'm very restless. I want to go out and window shop. I want to think about what my purchases of fun stuff like hair coloring or a new shirt will be. But that needs to be put off for a while.
Now what? I used to always be planning some kind of big purchase, or setting a big goal for myself (I'd look great in a Tesla roadster....or not). I'm not going to go window shopping or kill time on Amazon.com.
So I'm feeling a little bored. That's what I wish I had been warned about when I read all of those personal finance books. You need to come up with activities to fill the time that you used to spend shopping or browsing. My eating disorder tells me that when I'm bored is a great time to eat. So I need a little help, need some ideas.
What do you do to keep busy instead of shopping, oogling, or planning to buy stuff?