Ever since I can remember I have had very little impulse control. I can remember being like 6 or 7 and sneaking cookies and snacks from the pantry, even when I knew DHut would be supremely pissed to find them gone. ME WANT FOOD!
I can remember being 11 or 12 and stealing my evil step-sister’s fabulously cool markers, because they were there and I wanted them. I can remember that one day I came home from school in high school, and suddenly decided that I wanted to pierce my ear cartilage. I went out and did it thirty minutes later. I hadn’t even been thinking about it.
Then there was last spring, when dandelions began to crop up in my yard. I hadn’t had dandelions before, and was thoroughly outraged. The moment I saw them cropping up, I headed off to Lowe’s to purchase $75 worth of weed killer, a seed spreader, and a couple of other things that I thought were cool. I got home and realized what a dumbass move that had been since a) I don’t believe in using pesticides on my lawn, and b) I didn’t happen to have $75 in my bank account. I immediately called DHut and confessed, and got back in the car and returned the items.
This trend has continued throughout my life. I don’t have poor impulse control to the point where I’ll just pull my pants down on the side of a busy highway to take a pee…ok, Malcom, I know I know…I do that. Actually, I don’t have a good example of “worst-case-scenario” impulse control, but it is likely that I have been in that scenario and I have not thought twice about buying/humping/eating/drinking/etc. impulsively.
Recently, I have been trying to curb my outrageous spending and eating habits. The key to all of the above is to never have access to money. When I moved back to this city from the big city (where my rent was never on time, I didn’t pay the utilities until there were shut-off notices, ran up huge phone and credit card bills, but lived a very glam life for a behavioral health tech making $9/hr) I hired a financial planner let my mom take over, since I was not able to control myself in this arena.
Thankfully, she agreed to told me she was going to manage my money. I have a budget now, and I’m pretty good about paying my rent, utilities, and other bills…because they are on auto-pay with my bank…and Mom set that all up, so I can really take no credit. It’s really something I have no control over. It’s the other categories of my budget that create issues. Namely, my “weekly money.” That’s right. I’m on an allowance. Proud of it, too.
Bottom line is that I am allowed $80/week to do whatever I want with. The majority goes to groceries. And, in the recent past (since about four days ago), to Sonic Drive-In and a host of other places. If I have cash or a debit/credit card, I will buy junk food. I will buy clothes. I will buy special pens and groceries I don’t need. I will buy dog toys, hair accessories, and candles. The list goes on and on. I will not stop until it is spent. AND I AM FULL TO THE POINT OF PUKING. So basically, I overspend my budget each week, with fair regularity.
I am working on it, though, and have been doing better the past week or so. I am allowed checks only, which are given to me “as needed” with the “To” line written on, so that I don’t use the check for something crazy, like apple fritters at the local gas station (I bet they wonder if I’ve died).
I put my impulse control in check today. In a most astounding, obnoxious way.
Walgreens owed me money. $10.30 to be exact. It’s a long story. The manager tried to give me cash back but I refused and said I wanted it put back on the credit card it came off of (that I have no access to). He said he couldn’t do that without the card, and I said, “fine, be back tomorrow.”
I should mention that this was in the drive-thru and the person in front of me had taken exactly ten minutes (I timed it) because the dumb pharmacy intern had lost the Rx she had dropped off an hour before. And I took about 11 minutes. No one honked. No one pulled me from my car and punched me in the face. I think I got lucky.
I sure would have kicked my ass.