Mixed Emotions and Familial Guilt

Hi all so I’ve come to terms that I am terrible with money. I spend what I don’t have and expect my family to bail me out.

I am an only child and have generally had things given to me because there was no one to share with. Don’t get me wrong, my mom did everything she could to not have me turn out this way, but as I got older I found severe joy in getting new things.

We were in no way rich, teacher & engineer, but lower/middle class. My grandparents had money and worked hard for what they had. But they were always there to bail us out or buy things we needed.

Seeing something new appear at my door step gives me this massive hit of dopamine. Its exciting and makes me feel good. My negative bank account gives me anxiety and someone will always bail me out.

Trying to move into a new and better house with my mother (she and I moved in with my nana after my grandpa died–when she passed we inherited a good chunk of money and the house were in doesnt work for us anymore) and shes worried that we won’t be able to afford due to my spending problems. I pay her my part of the bills and she ends up giving me $200 back to cover my ass.

It causes great tension between us and then comes the emotional manipulation. “I dont think we can afford to move because you wont be able to pay” so I say “then maybe we shouldnt move in together if all I’m going to do is cause you stress”. Is our relationship the healthiest? Absolutely not. But it’s something we’re working on.

Some of you might say well sounds like you shouldn’t live together/aren’t you too old yada yada. The city I live in in Florida is ridiculously expensive and on my teacher’s salary (even without debt) I couldn’t afford to live on my own. Make too much for the low income rent controlled type places and don’t make enough to afford something even partway decent.

Anyone have suggestions on ways to alter how my brain sees packages as a dopamine hit? Or advise on a good way to budget my money?

As a teacher your insurance probably covers therapy, utilize it, you can try to budget and plan and beat this and we have written several blogs on this topic, A Guide to Overcoming Shopping Addiction - #2 by ModeratorSG, but it is an addiction and finding the why behind it and the willpower to face it, often comes through therapy. We are huge believers in facing an issue with honesty and this is not just shopping for the heck of it, it is shopping to get a high, which you chase over and over again. Therapy and possibly medication, is key. All the best-SG

It must scare your mother that she is the one to help you and that she won’t always be there to do so, also, she is getting older and who will help you both if you can’t help her?