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Ep17: Money and Mental Illness – Abigail Perry

Episode #17: Frugality for Depressives – Managing Money When Dealing With Mental Illness – With Abigail Perry



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Abigail Perry HeadShotBio: After a rare neurological disease nearly killed her at 19, Abigail was left with chronic fatigue and depression. She shares her story and encourages others. Abigail believes that “Everyone has limitations, no matter what your health and income levels look like. Most of us have a near-infinite number of things we should do (or want to do), but an all-too-finite amount of time and energy. Every day we make mistakes or take shortcuts due to overcommitment, stress, health issues or simple exhaustion. That’s not a flaw or personal failing. It’s normal. It’s human. The sooner we can accept this, the sooner we can find peace and balance in our lives.”

Show Description: Abigail and I discuss the influence of depression and mental illness on finance, and some practical ways to cope with finances while not giving up completely. We discuss comfort spending, creating inertia, and automation in making finances easier. Many many more powerful skills and ideas are found in her book!

ShowNotes:

  • 0:53 – About Abigail
  • 2:10 – Budgets and Mental Illness
  • 5:15 – Finding What Works For You
  • 6:50 – Online Bloggers: Only Sharing Success. “Everyone has Foibles”
  • 7:40 – The Foibles: Breathing Room, and “The Dad Syndrome”
  • 11:11 – Comfort Spending: Making Room For Hard Moments (and Weeks)
  • 13:40 – Building Enjoyment: Planning and The Power of Anticipation
  • 17:21 – What You REALLY Want – A Reason For Spending Habits
  • 20:40 – A Flurry of Powerful Habits from Abigail for Depression and Finances
  • 23:10 – Abigail’s Money Maxim

Money Maxim

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“Celebrate Every Win, Big or Small, It’s Still Progress” – Abigail Perry

Action Items

Plan fun events 3-4 weeks out. Plan a vacation next fall, or next summer. Having an exciting event to build up to can keep you focused, empowered, and committed to a fun thing you can talk about, invite friends to, and help fight depression with. Plans create excitement, and a goal to work towards.

Realize when you’re expecting too much. And question why. Who told you that that expectation is required? Is it yourself? Or someone else who’s appearing perfect?

Create Buffer room in your Budget! If your spending plan doesn’t have extra money, or “cash nuances” or “fun money” you’re doing it wrong!

Share Your Wins! Share on FinancialGinger or In the Comments Below!

Contacts and Links from the Show

Buy Frugality for Depressives from Abigail Perry on Amazon! or from Barnes & Noble
I Pick Up Pennies, Abigails Blog. Her Facebook Group, Pinterest, and Twitter

Gift card granny is an aggregate site so you can check who has the best discount for the card you want. You can earn Granny Points when buying from certain sites, and you can trade those in for gift cards.

Unfortunately, Gift Card Granny doesn’t show results for CardCash though, which I also highly recommend. Every couple of months it offers an extra 3-5% sitewide. I get 16% off Walgreens or CVS gift cards.

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Guest Writer: The Envelope Budget And Running Away

From guest writer: Flia

Running away taught me a lot. It taught me a lot about trust. It taught me a lot about making my own decisions. It taught me a lot about budgeting my money. It taught me that what might seem like a terrible decision could be the best thing that I’ve ever done for myself.

WAIT! WHAT?

Back up a little bit!

It taught me about budgeting? Believe it or not, yes it did.

And that’s just what I’m here to explain.

I realize that most of you reading this do not know me and so a little background is necessary. Shortly after my 19th birthday, I ran away from home. I am not going to go into details as to why, because that’s not what I’m writing about.

Three days beforehand, I bought a train ticket from Indiana to Utah. That same day, I started cashing out my bank account. My specific bank would only let me withdraw $300 a day. Although you could get around this rule by also using an ATM that was not associated with a bank (such as an ATM at a Wal-Mart).

By the time I got on the train and left Indiana, I had about $1,500 in cash, my backpack, and my duffel bag. And I had a 48 hour train ride to figure out what to do next.

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Forty-Eight hours on a train

About six hours into the trip I was really bored and hanging out in the snack cart where I knew I would be left alone. Because of how bored I was, I was starting to become delusional. That was the point that I decided to budget my money.

It’s not that I’d never done any budgeting before, but all of my previous budgeting had been done on electronic day planners and such. I didn’t have any of that with me so I had to do a little creative thinking.

The first thing I did was brainstorm and write down a list of everything that I would need money for. My list ended up something like this:

  • Travel & Gas (for whoever would be picking me up at the train station)
  • Food (on the train)
  • Food (elsewhere)
  • Lodging (hotel or staying with a friend)
  • Non-Food Necessities (toiletries/clothes/medication)
  • Emergency/Extra

After I had categorized everything, I began to determine about how much (or what percentage) of my money needed to go towards what. Things such as gas money for the friend that picked me up at the station was relatively easy. I looked up the number of miles between his place and the station and back. Then I determined the average miles per gallon on the specific type of truck that he had, and figured in the average price of gas in the area. After I knew how much gas the trip would have taken him, I could effectively reimburse him. All of that math was probably not necessary, but like I said, I was delusional.

Every other category followed similarly.  Food on the train is ridiculously expensive, even the prepackaged snacks. I found the cheapest food with the most nutrients (which was kind of a joke by the way-it is a snack cart-it’s all garbage) and rationed that extremely carefully. Also, because I had spent a majority of my time in the snack cart, I ended up befriending the guy that ran it. He’s a pretty neat guy. And I ended up getting some free snacks out of it too. That was a bonus!

After I had figured out each of the categories and how much money I would allot to each one, I had to figure out how to separate the money physically. It would be much easier to spend responsibly when I could actually have a visual.

NOTE CARDS!

budget20-20istock_000041295790_largeI had a package of note cards in my purse! I never leave home without them. Each budget got one note card. I folded it in half, lined side inward, and on the outside wrote which category it was. The lined inside would serve as a ledger. Every time I spent money from that card, I would subtract the amount that I spent and write in the new total.

And I am not quite sure why I just explained that because you really should already know how to use a ledger.

Any leftover money that did not get spent would go into my Emergency/Extra fund. This money was kept in an entirely separate compartment of my wallet.

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Out of Sight, Out of Mind

Out of sight, out of mind. It would be used in case of emergency, depleted funds, of on something necessary that I would inevitably forget about. For instance, I had no cell phone. I ended up shelling out a little less than $25 for a burn phone and some minutes.

Although I was not out in Utah very long before continuing on to my next place, I still use this method of budgeting. I get paid through a paycard (a bank less debit card) and cash out 85% of my earnings every payday. Savings go into a tin under my bed (out of sight, out of mind) and everything else is separated into neat little note cards in my wallet.

So yeah, I guess you could say that running away taught me about budgeting.

Thanks to Flia for the guest post! The envelope is a basic budget that really gets stuff done. What do you do to keep track of your money? What is your story?

I always love to hear your money ideas, so email me at [email protected]

Flia is a college student studying forensic biochemistry. She is an avid artist and is currently working on multiple commissioned pieces. Although she is now residing in Kansas, she has lived a little bit of everywhere and isn’t overly attached to one particular place. In her spare time, Flia likes to read, practice new art techniques, and baby-sit for family-friends.

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Publications from Searcy

While I was at Searcy Financial Services. I had the chance to publish several articles for Allos Investment Advisors. Here are some of the works!

I hope you can find people that could benefit from these to share them with! Please let me know if any of them catch your eye and your stories!

intern-insight-1-cheshire-catintern-insight-5-experiences-vs-numbersintern-insight-6-ups-and-downsintern-insight-7-save-now-thank-laterinterninsight-2-budgetinterninsight-3-start-now-to-retireinterninsight-4-habits-start-smallSFSJacob (4)