I have ADD and I'm an impulsive shopper. How can I get better on track with budgeting?

Hi, I have ADD and am very impulsive when it comes to spending and buying things. As a consequence, my bills are a disaster! Is there anyone that can help me with this impulsiveness and getting myself on a better track?

Thank you,


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I understand perfectly! My daughter and I roller coaster emotionally and the. Binge shop in our manic phases to “feel better”.

We made up a rule, if it’s over $20, sit on it for two days before purchasing. Saved me from getting stuck with a car payment I did not want. And usually keeps us from buying too much anything.

When you do have to go shopping for groceries and such make a list of what you need and STICK TO YOUR LIST! I keep magnetic notepads on the fridge and write things down as I throw them out or use them up.

And if its just the need to look at and daydream my favorite time killer is “window shopping” online. I throw everything I want in the cart then see the total and shut the computer down, no purchases made!

Hope it helps!


If shopping is your passion, figure out how you can turn that around in your favor.

Ex. Become a buyer for your own online store. If your good at finding bargains and trending items, the energy you spend shopping for your business will deplete the energy you are using now to shop for yourself. Do what you love to do and make money!! And if you happen to buy one for yourself, call it a sample and write it off ?


@dstybttle Are you taking meds for your ADD? If your meds don’t work, you may want to ask your doctor for new ones. Think about your future. The more you spend now, the less you will have. That is important.


i hope some one can help you good luck

Have you been diagnosed with ADD or is this an observation you’ve made by yourself?


When shopping use a handheld calculator, calculator in your phone, or paper and pencil (round up to 25 or 50 cents makes it easier to add as you go along) and do not spend more than you have. The action of keeping track will keep your brain busy. And, there is nothing wrong with removing things from your cart and returning to the shelf you took it from. Sometimes I have to decide which item(s) to keep and which to put back. I take out cash for shopping and make sure I don’t go over. I pick up change I find on the ground and place in a soapy water dish and leave there until shopping day. (Not wanting to waste water even in a small dish that washing individual coins would waste water) I pay with the odd change amount then the dollars. Some months I spend $20 and some months I spend $100 (restock months) for us two. The months I spend less the difference goes into my savings account.

I’m saving for a down pmt for a house. My goal is $20K by November 30th. It takes a lot of dedication, but I ruminate on saving because my goal is so specific and keeps me focused on that goal. Every little bit I can add to it I make a game of the challenge.

Good luck to you.


I have ADD, and I also have OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). Sometimes not even a list, a calculator, or a wait period (waiting is out of the question) will help. On those days I take myself to the store where everything is $1.00. You would be amazed at how much satisfaction can be had by filling a shopping cart on $20.00. This method ends my buyer’s remorse, and I am able to pick up needed items such as greeting cards and gift wrap.

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WOWIE ZOWIE!! Thanks to all of you for sharing. I was beginning to think I was alone with the impulse shopping. I am ADHD. My need to shop spend, buy is dependant on my emotional mindset. I have noticed that if I have accumulated enough stress related to random sleep patterns, way too much sugar consumption, feeling sad, feeling overwhelmed by everything in general I need to shop and buy. I call this a knee jerk reaction. . Engaging in impulsive anything has two divisions for me. One is I am so overwhelmed and so tired of dealing with everything that I cannot stop the action once it begins. It has power over me. My other response is I engage with the impulse because I want to. It still has power over me. Here is a tip or two that I find helpful. $ store here I come. I shop. I want everything. Why not it’s only a dollar. At the end of each isle I take basket inventory. Being conscious of my behavior helps. Then I put what I Don’t need back. When I check out I only have what I need. I found that the $store, actually, made impulse buying, for me, worse. Another thing I do is: I find something I love to do, finish a chapter in a book, work on completing a project that has a deadline about due. Time passes. The impulse to shop, buy, whatever, is replaced by something that really does make me feel good. Regarding meds: I find that there is one thing that can lessen the effectiveness of meds, for me, that is light exposure. I have a light box it helps. I hope this helps.

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