themighty logo

19 People Share The Worst 'Money Mistakes' They Made While Depressed


Money mistakes, financial regrets, cash qualms… We all have them from time to time.

Though it’s true we all sometimes spend money on things we wish we hadn’t, when you’re struggling with depression, fighting the impulse to overspend can be that much more difficult. While depressed, it’s all too easy to look to material things to fill the void we feel.

Maybe you dropped too much money on a pair of shoes you didn’t really need. Maybe you purchased yet another video game that didn’t give you the happiness you thought it would. Or maybe you overspent your hard-earned cash on gifts for other people — hoping their happiness would bring you some as well.Β But unfortunately for us, the things we purchase are pretty much never the “cure” to depression.

If you can relate, you’re not alone. There’s no shame in struggling with your mental health, your finances or both, and it’s important to remember we all need a little bit of help sometimes.

In order to decrease shame about “money mistakes” made while depressed, we can’t keep sweeping them under the rug. We wanted to open up this conversation to decrease shame and let people know they’re not alone, so we turned to our Mighty community to share their experiences with us. Below you can read 19 people’s real-life money mistakes they made while depressed. Let us know if you can relate by sharing your experience in the comments.

Here are the “money mistakes” our community shared with us:

  1. β€œI am a walking poster child for the tattoos you’d later regret. I currently have four. I had five but was able to get one covered up. I wasted so much money on them and now am stuck with them.” β€” Kimy B.
  2. β€œI buy gifts for people when I’m depressed because their happiness makes me happy. My mom’s birthday I spent about $100 on a new purse and flowers and getting her nails done — I hardly had money to get through the week or to get gas.” β€” Kat M.
  3. β€œFood. I’m usually happy enough when I eat cheap meals at home but sometimes I give in to spending 15 times as much on pizza. … My bank account is suffering for it now.” β€” Nina F.
  4. β€œClothes that I end up never wearing or wearing once. Depressed because I think it’ll make me feel better. Manic because I think I look good in everything and β€˜I will figure the money out’ basically.” β€” Brittany B.
  5. β€œWeed. I will buy any amount if I have the money without thinking twice. I hate it so much. Because it’s not something I need my money to go to. But I can’t help it.” β€” Cierra H.
  6. β€œA [multi-level marketing] business start-up cost. I was in a tough season of life financially and emotionally. I thought selling these products would bring me the extra money and confidence boost I needed. They didn’t. I didn’t sell a thing and alienated my friends and family in the process.” β€” Lindsay O.
  7. β€œI impulse-bought a deck of magic cards when I had no money to. I bought a deck for 660 dollars (Canadian), and it was an impulse buy in retrospect. I still regret it, even though it’s been a good deck to me. I bought it to make myself feel better in times of stress.” β€” Kyle M.
  8. β€œIt may sound weird, but dating apps. I know a lot of them are free, but I’d get the in-app purchases that allowed you to do more and I was so depressed (wanting to hurt myself, wanting any kind of connection).” β€” MK K.
  9. β€œTakeout. I find comfort in food because when I’m upset/depressed, I just wanna feel good. Feel better. For me, takeout does it because it’s nice and hot. My exes used to yell a lot and point out so much wrong with me. Food would (of course) never yell at me or feel disgusted with myself. It was like a warm blanket for me.” β€” Jen B.
  10. β€œConventions and trips make me happy. I’ve spent over a thousand dollars on a last-minute trip to Disney just to get that temporary happiness and escape from reality. I love Disney, but that thousand dollars could have helped pay down some debt.” β€” Larrissa L.
  11. β€œI impulse-spend when I’m depressed. I bought a car and returned it for a newer one, which I couldn’t afford. Had it repossessed, then did it again. My credit is horrible. I buy clothes I don’t need, all things I don’t need really.” β€” Taylor K.
  12. β€œI moved to a new city for graduate school and immediately fell into deep depression. I spent a lot of money decorating my new apartment to make it a place I’d actually want to live. Unfortunately it didn’t work and I ended up having to take medical leave anyway.” β€” Becky A.
  13. β€œAn $80 pair of 6-inch heels. Don’t wear heels and can’t walk in them!Β Ended up giving them to my sister.” β€” Tyler Z.
  14. β€œHad a breakdown, sold my house, used money to buy a cafe, couldn’t deal with stress, walked away and lost everything.” β€” Vicki S.
  15. β€œI have a library of 1500+ games on my PC… and when the depression gets really heavy, I will buy more and yet almost never play them. I’m still not sure why.” β€” John B.
  16. β€œJunk food or alcohol. Both make me feel physically bad, which makes me more depressed, which makes me feel more physically tired… it’s a vicious cycle.” β€” Jacinta M.
  17. β€œHair dye. I got depressed and dyed my hair trying to feel better and it turned out horrible and made me feel worse because my hair doesn’t hold dye.” β€” Des S.
  18. β€œFast food. Whenever I’m depressed, I don’t have energy to cook or plan a meal, so I buy food. Plus, I learned when I was younger that eating good food made me feel better, even if only for a little while. So I have spent way too much money on food when I’m depressed.” β€” Miranda C.
  19. β€œI tend to buy makeup to makeup when I’m depressed. I have probably 8 or 9 pallets to go through now. I’ve decided I have to hit [the bottom of the makeup] pan before I can buy another one.” β€” Alicia Y.

If you’re struggling with finances due to your mental health, you’re not alone. If you’re looking for a community to keep you accountable on your purchases, you can count on The Mighty. Give and get support to people who’ve been there by posting on The Mighty with the hashtag #CheckInWithMe.

For more on mental health and money, check out the following stories from our Mighty community: