How to Manage Finances With BPD

Woman in bank filling out banking slip on counter

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It's not unusual for people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) to struggle with financial issues. The challenges you face may be made worse by a chronic lack of money. Creditors may even be calling, which can feel like verification of your worst thoughts about yourself.

Personal Finance Problems

BPD can cause all sorts of problems that can harm your finances, including:

  • Impulsive behaviors like excessive spending: One of the diagnostic criteria for BPD is impulsive behavior that is potentially self-damaging. Many people with BPD spend money excessively, triggering emotional reactions and worsening symptoms.
  • Alcohol and drug use may also result in cash flow issues: If you struggle with BPD, you may be tempted to self-medicate or soothe your symptoms with drugs or alcohol. While these substances have many harmful physical effects, they also can be very expensive. Impulsive desires to self-soothe can lead to overspending.
  • Medical and mental health costs: Medical and mental health treatment can be expensive. In addition to the cost of treatment for borderline personality disorder, many of those with BPD also experience other medical or mental health issues that require medical intervention and result in additional costs. This is a sad reality but it does not mean that anyone should cut corners when it comes to health.

It may seem difficult, but ignoring your financial situation only makes it worse. Addressing your finances honestly is a first step to improve your situation.

There are no quick fixes, but consistent changes can produce great results.

Put Together a Budget

Budgets do not have to be complicated; you don't need special software programs or ledgers. A simple piece of paper will work just fine. It is important to be realistic in your planning and not set yourself up to fail.

Confront Your Bills

Stop piling the bills up or sticking them unopened in a drawer. Open the bills to find out what is due and the terms of payment.

Lifestyle Choices

It may be necessary for you to make some lifestyle changes. If substance use or spending habits are keeping you from getting ahead or preventing you from breaking even, then making some changes can impact your finances. A couple of places to start are to quit smoking if you're a smoker and quit drinking.

Communicate With Treatment Providers

If medical and treatment costs are an issue for you, discuss the issue with your providers. Medical costs can often be negotiated down or lower-cost medications can be prescribed. Some therapists operate on a sliding scale, meaning the treatment may be cheaper based on your financial situation.

Borderline personality disorder can make managing money difficult, but with continual therapy and a focus on managing your finances, you can create a solid foundation.

2 Sources
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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By Erin Johnston, LCSW
Erin Johnston, LCSW is a therapist, counselor, coach, and mediator with a private practice in Chicago, Illinois.