I once was in a band with a manic drummer.
I don't mean just a bit wild, excited or energetic — Josh had full-blown bipolar mood swings. When he was a bit "down" he could hold it together steadily, but when his mood swung "up", all sorts of things could happen on stage.
He would continually experiment. It was as if his mind was an endless string of "Check this out. How about this? Let me try this instead. I hadn't noticed that; let me try it." So exhausting... and fascinating all at once.
Making decisions with money can get a bit manic sometimes. And those like Josh who are affected by real mania can get into extreme difficulty because of their impulse spending on the fly.
Thankfully therapists have discovered strategies that help. Anyone can use them if their spending gets a bit manic.
The first is the 48-hour rule of thumb. For any purchases over a certain amount — say $20, $50 or whatever level works for you — the idea is to take a couple of days to think before pulling the trigger.
Waiting works — it helps to guarantee that a given expense fits our plan and is really what we want. Our brains have two speed settings, like the Ant and the Grasshopper, and pausing helps us get into that slow, deliberate thinking mode we need to make good money decisions.
Of course, 48 hours is a bit arbitrary; I've heard of people having a 24-hour rule or, at the other extreme, a 30-day rule. We all may need to vary it depending on the dollar amounts and the impulse spending patterns we're hoping to avoid. (The 30-day rule may help for impulse car buying, for instance.)
The second strategy, instead of involving two days, requires two people.
The idea is before making major money decisions to talk to two people about them first. By bouncing our ideas off trusted people we're close to, we can have the sounding boards we need to make good choices. And many times it's not the advice they give us that helps, but rather the realisations we make ourselves as we're explaining what we're intending to do with our money.
(And there's the waiting again too, since it typically takes a bit of time to track down those two people.)
In many types of music, the beat is like the foundation of a house — you build upon it. As you probably can imagine, things got unpredictably shaky sometimes in that music group with Josh.
Our money decisions lay the foundations for our lifestyles, too. The more we make choices that get us ahead, the more options we'll have to positively shape our futures.
We all can be on the manic spectrum at times. Once, during a rehearsal, it was Josh who had to tell me not to get too happy! Seems that when I did, I ended up rushing the beats.