2. It’s not you, it’s the dopamine deficiency

May 28, 2024

Episode Description

What the heck is dopamine and why is it controlling my life?? In this episode we will cover what dopamine is and how it affects your brain & bank account. You’ll walk away with some tangible ways to increase your dopamine levels naturally & a tool that helped me curb my impulsive spending and other dopamine-seeking behaviours.

Thanks for listening to Dopamine Dollars! If you enjoyed the episode, I’d love it if you could leave a review 💚

What You’ll Learn

  • What dopamine is and how it functions in your body
  • How it feels to have low, adequate, and high levels of dopamine
  • How dopamine is linked to our finances & ADHD
  • Ways to naturally increase your dopamine levels
  • How to create your own dopa-menu
  • & more!

Important Links

Get your copy of Keeping Finance Personal here.

Follow me on Instagram @ellyce.fulmore

Follow me on TikTok @queerd.co

Check out my website www.queerdco.com

Donate to Lina & Lubna’s Go Fund Me HERE.
The dopa-menu Google Sheets template.
The dopa-menu PDF template.
Watch the dopamine jar video(s) here & here.

Episode Resources


You need something to cope with the sadness, emptiness or stress, and dopamine can help you do that.

Hi friends and welcome back to Dopamine dollars, the podcast where we dive into the emotions, science and real life impact of managing your money and your life when you’re neurodivergent. I’m your queer, AuDHD host, Ellyce Fulmore, and today we are talking about the role that dopamine plays in our brain and bank account.

I have a few housekeeping things before we get into the episode. First off, I want to say thank you to everyone who has supported the launch of this podcast. It really means so much to me and every single time you comment on a post like it, share it, that helps so much. And I really appreciate everyone who’s also taken the time to listen to the first episode and even DM’d me their thoughts. That is just amazing and I am blown away by the amount of support I’ve gotten on the first episode. So thank you so much for that. If you have listened to the episode or if you’re planning on listening to the episode, if you would go on to either Apple or Spotify and leave a review and a rating, that would truly mean so much to me. Reviews are one of the biggest things that helps new podcasts grow and help them get an audience and find people that are going to like them. So just taking a few minutes to do that really helps me out.

The second housekeeping item I have is I just wanted to quickly mention that we are raising money for a family in Gaza who is being forced to leave Gaza and they are looking to raise money in order to be able able to go across the border. So this is a family that I was paired with through Operation Olive Branch, which is an amazing organization and Pass the Hat program which is pairing creators with these GoFundMe’s that Operation Olive branch has found. Now, this family has been displaced multiple times since October 7 and they had fled to Rafah, which was deemed a safe zone. And as many of you have probably seen on the news, that is no longer a safe zone.

If you would like to help Lina and Lubna’s family flee to safety, you can donate to their GoFundMe. I will link it in the show notes and according to the family, this money will help the family survive and stay in a safe environment, help with accommodation and living costs, and make their dreams come true. Thank you so much to everyone who has donated already. We have currently raised €5578. Let’s keep going and keep raising money and get this family a secure life away from the genocide that’s going on.

I’m really excited for this episode because obviously this whole podcast is called Dopamine dollars. So I thought it would be really important to give you a primer on exactly what Dopamine is, how it affects us, and how it ties in to our finances. I actually did quite a bit of research on dopamine for my book, and I did even more research for this episode. So I’m super excited, basically, just to give you a rundown of what we’re going to cover.

We’re going to talk about what Dopamine is in general and the role it plays in your body. So how it actually works. We’re going to talk about what it might feel like when you have low, adequate, and high levels of dopamine, and basically how we are hardwired to constantly seek out pleasure and seek out dopamine, and how that kind of impacts our life. And then I will go into specifically the relationship between dopamine and ADHD, and then how that affects our finances. And we’ll end off with some tips on how you can actually increase your dopamine levels naturally. And then I’ll also give you a tool that is hands down one of my favorite tools for basically helping you in situations where you’re turning to a source of dopamine that you don’t necessarily want to be. And it’s just like a really great tool for anyone, but especially if you have ADHD. And this is something that my clients love, so I’m excited to talk about that at the end of the episode.

So what exactly is dopamine? Dopamine is a neurotransmitter and can also act as a hormone. So a neurotransmitter is just chemical messengers that help your brain and the rest of your body communicate. And in its role as a neurotransmitter transmitter, dopamine is involved in bodily functions such as memory, attention, behavior, mood, sleep, learning, and reward and motivation systems, which is going to be what we are mostly going to focus on for this podcast episode. In its role as a hormone, dopamine is involved in blood vessel function, kidney function, insulin production, GI health, and your fight or flight response.

So, like I said, we are mostly going to focus on how dopamine plays a role in your reward and motivation systems, because this ties heavily into your finances. Whenever you engage in something you find enjoyable, whether that’s buying something that you’ve been wanting for a while, or sipping your favorite beverage, dopamine is released. It’s often referred to as the feel good hormone because, well, it makes us feel really good. And this release of dopamine is like a pat on the back that encourages you to keep seeking out those pleasurable activities. So whenever you do something that is enjoyable that releases dopamine in your brain, it acts as a type of reinforcement, basically being like, oh, that felt good. Do that more, like, let’s keep doing that activity.

And this is obviously not an issue, if the source of your dopamine is something like a cup of coffee in the morning, something that’s harmless, it’s not going to cause a lot of negative effects in your life. But we also know that there are a lot of things that give us dopamine that aren’t necessarily the healthiest for us or not necessarily something that we want to engage in all the time. So that’s where this kind of reinforcement can begin to harm us.

Now, your desire for dopamine hinges heavily on the current levels that you have in your body, and this is known as your dopamine baseline, according to the Cleveland Clinic. Here’s how you might feel with low, adequate, or high levels of dopamine.

If you have low levels, you might feel tired, unmotivated, unhappy. You might experience memory loss, mood swings, sleep issues, trouble concentrating, and a low sex drive.

If you have adequate levels, you might feel happy, motivated, alert, and focused.

If you have high levels, you might feel euphoric, energized. You might experience poor impulse control, trouble sleeping, aggression, and a high sex drive.

Now, regardless of your dopamine levels, any increase in your baseline feels good. That’s why things like chocolate, exercise, caffeine, sex and drugs feel so good and can be sources of addiction. As humans, we are hardwired to constantly seek out sources of pleasure and to avoid pain and pain in, like, the broad sense of the word. This could be physical, mental, and or emotional pain. Now, in order to achieve this pleasure that requires engaging in activities that release dopamine and make us feel good, while avoiding the things that bring discomfort, researchers often describe this pleasure and pain battle as a type of scale.

I actually read the book dopamine nation, and they use a little illustration of, like, a seesaw to kind of show what this would look like. And you can also think of one of those old school scales where you can, like, visually see when you put something on one side, how the other side goes up. It’s that kind of situation with pleasure and pain.

So a balanced scale is your baseline dopamine level, aka homeostasis. So when the scale is balanced, that’s your baseline levels. Although factors such as mental health challenges or chronic pain can result in an unbalanced scale to begin with, meaning that your kind of baseline level might be more naturally tipped toward pain rather than pleasure. Whenever we engage in something pleasurable, we get an increase in dopamine and tip the scale toward pleasure. And remember that we’re kind of hardwired to always want to do this and seek out pleasure. Just as humans, we naturally want to avoid any sort of pain or discomfort.

Now, avoiding pain and discomfort may not seem like a bad thing. That might actually seem like a positive thing, but any sort of growth or change in your life is going to involve a level of discomfort. You know, moving to your dream city, applying for your dream job, starting a business, buying a home, like any, whatever your goals are, those are going to involve some discomfort. So if we’re constantly seeking out pleasure and trying to avoid this discomfort, it’s not going to give us the life that we want. So that’s why this, like, constant hardwiring to seek it out can be an issue.

Like I said, if we do something pleasurable, we get this increase in dopamine. The scales tip toward pleasure, but our brain is always trying to bring us back to homeostasis, back to that baseline. So your dopamine levels will actually drop following that surge, which will tip the scale back toward pain and basically level out to your baseline. So this is your come down from that pleasurable feeling. And whatever your source of dopamine is, we’re all aware of what happens next. We have the craving for more. This is why it’s hard to stop watching your favorite tv show after just one episode, or limit yourself to one scoop of ice cream or exit out of TikTok after five minutes. It’s easier to keep going than it is to stop.

Now, when our dopamine levels are low, we turn to pleasurable activities to cope with the negative feelings that arise. Some examples of how this might manifest is, you know, you’re struggling to get out of bed during an episode of depression, so you’re ordering takeout every day in order to kind of get that hit. You come home from work feeling stressed, so you plop down the couch and binge watch tv to turn off your brain. You need something to cope with the sadness, emptiness, or stress, and dopamine can help you do that. It’s not the behavior itself that you’re attracted to. It’s the addictive dopamine release that comes with it.

“Giving in to every craving I have is the enemy of happiness because it ends up wearing out your dopamine or pleasure centers in your brain. And I always talk about, you want to drip dopamine, don’t dump it, because when you dump it with the fries and the alcohol, the porn, you don’t have much left. And so then you have to go back and do it again. And all of a sudden, chemicals are controlling you rather than you are controlling you.”

Because I have ADHD, my dopamine baseline is below average, which means I’m hardwired to seek out more. If you have adequate levels of dopamine in your body, you won’t necessarily feel the same need to chase dopamine. You’ll still crave any sort of increase, like all humans were hardwired to seek out this pleasure, but it’s not to the same extreme degree as someone with lower baseline levels to begin with. Now, because folks with ADHD tend to have lower levels of dopamine, it’s very common that we will engage in dopamine seeking activities very often, in order to find a source elsewhere. In your search for dopamine, you may turn to spending money, because that is a source that is easy to access. And what’s actually interesting about dopamine in general is that sometimes the craving or anticipation of the pleasurable task actually produces more dopamine than doing the thing itself.

And shopping produces dopamine before, during, and after the task of shopping. So thinking about spending money gives you dopamine. Actually shopping for something gives you dopamine. Swiping your card gives you dopamine. And if you order online, the anticipation of waiting for a package gives you dopamine. Or if you buy something in person, it’s the anticipation of using or consuming the thing you bought that also gives you dopamine. So as you can see, it’s like there’s so much dopamine in the whole process of spending money.

Now, another thing that happens with ADHD and dopamine is that the low levels of dopamine can encourage more impulsivity because your brain is actively trying to seek out a dopamine rush. High levels of dopamine also cause issues with impulse control. On top of that, folks with ADHD tend to overvalue immediate rewards and undervalue delayed rewards, a concept called delay discounting. Impulse shopping then becomes the ultimate temptation because it delivers an immediate reward.

This is something that I personally have struggled with a lot, and I’ve shared my story quite a few times online of my impulse spending and how I racked up $15,000 of high interest debt because of it. So this has definitely been a big struggle of mine, and I also really have felt the impact of delay discounting. And this shows up for me specifically when it comes to saving for things, especially long term goals. Because basically, if I’m trying to save up for something that’s going to take me like six months or a year or two years to save up for, that’s not giving me a lot of dopamine along the way, right? It’s not exciting to save up for something that’s really far out. And if I became tempted to buy something that I could then buy immediately, I would almost always opt for that because I overvaluing that immediate reward and thinking, oh my God, this is going to be so amazing. And I almost forget the value of the delayed reward.

So let’s say I’m like saving up for a vacation, right? And it’s, I need a couple thousand dollars. It’s going to take me a while to save up for it. I’m really excited about that vacation. Like, I love traveling. I want to do this thing. But then let’s say I suddenly get a new hyper fixation on a hobby and I’m like suddenly really excited about this hobby and I’m getting a lot of dopamine, thinking about the hobby, planning the hobby, looking at supplies to start this hobby. Then what happens is I’m going to overvalue the immediate reward of buying this stuff for the hobby and starting it and use that money I was saving for a vacation to put toward this hobby and get rid of all those savings I had done because I’m undervaluing this delayed reward. I basically am, like, forgetting how much I want this thing because it’s so far away that I can’t feel the excitement and the dopamine from that. But I can feel the excitement and the dopamine of this, like, new novel hobby that I want to start. So that’s an example of how delay discounting can kind of affect your financial well being.

Now, this impulsivity and craving for dopamine shows up a lot with our money. It might mean that you spend your paycheck immediately after getting paid or feeling the need to buy something right now. So you put it on your credit card instead of waiting till you have the money or not doing research before making a decision, like which type of investment account to open, for example.

Now, we also know that not everyone with ADHD struggles with impulsive spending, and you might have other sort of dopamine seeking behaviors that you indulge in, such as speeding, substance abuse, scrolling on your phone, and overall just kind of risky adrenaline producing activities. These behaviors may not seem like they’re directly linked to your finances, but they’re actually all connected. For example, if you’re constantly speeding to get that kind of adrenaline hit, that might land you an expensive ticket. Substance abuse can drain your bank account and increase the likelihood of poor decision making, which again, could result in future costs. Scrolling might lead to more impulse shopping, and risky behavior might lead to injuries and medical bills down the line. Those are just a few examples, but there’s a ton of ways that these actually can impact our financial health. And it’s not just the things that obviously have to do with money that actually impact our finances. We have to kind of think outside the box here.

Any of these dopamine seeking behaviors can easily become a coping mechanism for you, a way to increase your dopamine levels that turn into a habit over time. I personally often experience understimulation, and in order to stimulate myself and get some dopamine, I used to always turn to online shopping. And basically as soon as I bought something, I would feel good. I would feel that stimulation. Then the next time I found myself bored or understimulated, I would immediately turn to shopping because subconsciously I knew that it gave me the dopamine hit my brain was craving. And that’s what begins to happen when we are constantly seeking out more dopamine. We kind of subconsciously create these habit pathways in our brain so that immediately we’re turning to that thing without even really consciously thinking about it.

Another big impact of dopamine when it comes to managing your money with ADHD is how it influences motivation when it comes to creating a budgeting system or achieving a long term savings goal. You can likely dream and plan out these things, but the execution is where you fall short. Part of the reason for this is dopamine. You get dopamine from setting up a new budgeting app or writing down your financial goals in a bullet journal. But then the follow through requires motivation that you just don’t have. I recently saw a TikTok from a creator with the handle key Limelanna. I’m going to play a short clip for you.

“I’m sorry, but one of the most annoying things about ADHD has to be the fact that you get more dopamine from thinking about doing something rather than actually doing it. This is the reason why I have a million ideas and a million plans and a million goals. Of things that I want to complete and none of them are complete. I will spend way more time maladaptive daydreaming about this thing that I really want to do instead of actually like, spending that time doing it. It’ll be just the coolest scenario thought up in my head and like, I’ll have all this steps. I’ll have like, done all the research for it, too. I just literally don’t do it because my brain says, oh, I’m not going to get enough dopamine from that. Oh, here’s your delivery of zero motivation, the opposite of what you asked for, because we’re sensing that this is not going to give us enough dopamine in a quick amount of time. So, yeah, sorry, tough luck, buddy.”

I strongly resonated with that video because I am someone who does this all the time. I always have new ideas, I always am planning things, and I do get a lot of dopamine from the planning stages and I do struggle with the follow through. Now, I personally take stimulant medication for my ADHD and it’s helped immensely with my impulse spending and overall my ability to kind of complete tasks. But I was curious and wanted to learn more about how medication can actually help when it comes to dopamine and motivation with someone that has ADHD.

And I found this study from a team of researchers at Brown University who assessed the role that dopamine played in motivation for folks with ADHD and how medication might alter those results. So in this study, there was 50 people that participated and they were ages 18 to 43. So we’re looking at adults with ADHD now.

First, researchers measured the natural levels of dopamine in each of these people. So without them being on any medication, what were their kind of baseline levels then? Participants were asked to choose between a number of different memory tasks, which had varying levels of difficulty. The tasks that had a higher level of difficulty were rewarded with more money. So basically, the more challenging activity that they chose, they would get more money as a kind of incentive.

The researchers found that those with a higher level of natural dopamine were more likely to choose tasks based on the benefits. So in this case, the money, and therefore chose the more challenging mental tasks, while those with lower levels of dopamine were more likely to choose tasks based on the costs, which is the task difficulty in this case, and therefore they chose the easier task.

For the next stage, participants were given either a placebo or a type of medication. ADHD medication essentially helps you access more dopamine. And researchers found that participants with low dopamine levels that received a medication that increased their dopamine levels were more likely to switch to choosing the more difficult tasks. Now, this was a very brief overview of the study, but essentially the findings suggested that Ritalin and other stimulant medication may work for folks with ADHD by actually having an effect on motivation, not cognitive function. So the medication helps folks focus more on the rewards rather than the costs, and therefore increase their willingness to try more challenging tasks.

Lead researcher doctor Michael Frank said, quote, people tend to think Ritalin and Adderall help me focus, and they do in some sense. But what this study shows is that they do so by increasing your cognitive motivation. Your perceived benefits of performing a demanding task are elevated while the perceived cause are reduced. This effect is separate from any changes in actual ability, end quote.

If we go back to our pleasure and pain scale, the cost would be that discomfort. So medication can actually help you focus more on the outcome, the reward that you’re going to get, rather than getting hung up on the discomfort or pain or costs that are going to come along the way.

Okay, so we’ve talked about how dopamine can affect your money as someone with ADHD now let’s talk about some solutions. I think overall it’s just really challenging when it feels like your life is essentially controlled by dopamine. I don’t know about you, but I feel like I am so addicted to dopamine that it’s become hard for me to really complete any task without stimulation, like even something as simple as answering emails. I need to, at the bare minimum, have music playing, but usually I need something more like a tv show or a YouTube video playing in the background that’s giving me some sort of source of stimulation. Regulating my own dopamine levels has been something that I’ve personally been working on and I want to share some of the things that I found helpful.

Although there’s no test to measure your dopamine levels, you can pay attention to how you feel throughout the day and test how changes you make impact the way that you feel. All of these tips are ultimately going to do good. They’re all going to be beneficial in some way, so it’s worth it either way. So, like, even if you’re not sure if it’s impacting your dopamine levels, they’re beneficial things to do, so there’s no harm in doing them.

First, I’m going to cover some ways you can increase your dopamine naturally and then talk about something called the dopamenu which is one of my all time favorite tools. You can increase your dopamine levels naturally by eating a diet that is high in magnesium, vitamin D, omega three fatty acids, and tyrosine. Foods rich in tyrosine are especially important as this is an amino acid that is a building block for dopamine production. Some examples of tyrosine rich foods are eggs, chicken, tuna, apples, bananas, leafy vegetables, lima beans, almonds, and cottage cheese. This is not an exhaustive list, and you can also just take tyrosine supplements as well.

Now, especially when you have ADHD, it’s important to focus on getting the proper nutrients each day, because not only does this help with, like, dopamine production, but it also really helps with how well medication is working, if you are taking medication, and just overall how we feel throughout the day, because our brain is already kind of struggling, right? So anything we can do to help it along is going to be really beneficial. I know this isn’t always possible based on, like, your grocery budget or your capacity, but as many small changes as you can do and focusing on the things you can do that are most accessible to you are going to have a positive change.

Other ways to increase your natural dopamine are exercise, which helps your brain metabolism. It increases blood flow and gets basically more nutrients to your brain. Also getting adequate sleep. Your body does repairs on these neural pathways when you’re sleeping, so that’s really important as well. And engaging in activities that make you happy and relaxed, such as meditation, yoga, massage, walking in nature, or reading a book.

Another thing that I found really helpful, specifically for my kind of ADHD symptoms, for lack of a better word, is trying to reduce the amount of dopamine that I’m getting in the morning. So this is often referred to as like, a low dopamine morning. You might have seen this before, but basically it’s like resisting the urge to go on TikTok first thing in the morning, trying to stay off my phone as much as possible. I will be honest, like, for me personally, I just am not the type of person that can completely not look at my phone for an hour after waking. I do, like, look at my phone pretty much first thing, just to see if there’s anything important, like just part of being a business owner. It’s something I do. But I have gotten really good at not scrolling on TikTok in the morning and instead trying to read my book or do my bullet journaling or do something else like that as like, my kind of relaxing morning activity. And that has really been helping.

Next, let’s talk about a tool called the Dopamenu. You may have heard me talk about this before, I also mention it in my book, but I am just obsessed and I need to share more about it. I feel like everyone needs to know about this. Earlier we explored how the lower levels of dopamine that folks with ADHD tend to have can fuel dopamine seeking behavior that end up becoming a habit. And sometimes that behavior is harming us. For me personally, I ended up in that $15,000 of high interest debt because I couldn’t stop impulse spending. And like I said, whenever I was bored or understimulated, I would immediately turn to spending. My brain was just set on autopilot to do that. Now I learned about an amazing tool to help with this dilemma from Jessica McCabe’s how to ADHD YouTube channel on a video that featured Eric Tivers. And here’s a clip from the YouTube video that discusses the importance of this tool.

(Jessica) “ADHD brains need a lot of stimulation. Unfortunately, the quick and easy sources of dopamine we tend to turn to often aren’t enough to actually satisfy that need. The obvious solution here is to do things that do give us the level of stimulation we need, that do fill our buckets. But making different choices requires is figuring out what those choices are, weighing those choices, figuring out the steps involved, then initiating them. And because the more satisfying dopamine choices usually take longer to set up, being able to tolerate the distress of being bored in the meantime, which, when we’re already low on dopamine, has a possibility scale ranging from maybe to nope. Just like it’s really hard to make good food choices when you’re already hungry, it’s really hard to make good dopamine choices when you’re already low on dopamine. One way we can make it easier is to separate the planning from the choosing. Or as Eric Tivers puts it, don’t try to do all the executive functions at the same time.

(Eric) “One of the challenges that we come across is that we are looking for something to stimulate ourselves. At the time when we need to stimulate ourselves. We can create a dopamine menu or a dopamine for things that excite us. So when you’re like, I’m so bored, grab the menu. I feel like not doing that is almost like going to the grocery store hungry.”

(Jessica) “Yeah, without a grocery shop. Without a list.”

(Eric) “Without a list. Right? Without a list. Whatever is the fastest, easiest, like I want to eat this thing now.”

As Jessica and Eric mentioned, it’s not easy in those scenarios to think of an alternative way to get dopamine. Your brain wants to take the path of least resistance. So instead, what we can do is basically try and remove as many barriers as possible and reduce the friction involved in making a different decision. This is where the dopa menu comes in. The dopa menu is essentially a list of sources of dopamine that you can easily turn to in a pinch, but they are categorized just like items on a menu.

So first up we have appetizers. And these are quick and easy activities that will give you a hit of dopamine but won’t suck you in. So you want to aim for things that take no more than ten minutes to execute. And again, they’re not going to be like a hobby that’s going to pull you in for hours. So some examples might be doing a couple minutes of deep breathing. It might be going for a walk, singing a Taylor Swift song, reading a couple pages in a book, making a coffee, drinking a nice tea, etcetera. It’s going to look different for everyone.

Then you have your mains and these are the activities that are longer and more fulfilling, and they may take more time and energy, but they’re going to give you more dopamine. So these are the activities that might suck you in. Some examples might be meeting a friend for coffee, working on an art project, going on a date, exercising, etcetera. Then we have your sides and these are things that you could easily add to other activities to make them more fun and enjoyable. So basically, sources of dopamine that you can do on the side of something else. Some examples might be listening to music or a podcast, having your favorite beverage, wearing your favorite comfy clothes, or body doubling with someone else.

Lastly, we have our desserts. These are the activities that are your typical go tos for dopamine, but they’re activities that you ideally don’t want to engage in all the time. Now, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t engage in these activities or that these are, you know, quote unquote bad, but rather that you’re recognizing that you have a tendency to overindulge in these things.

Now, the examples for these are going to vary heavily because it really depends on what you personally overindulge in. But some examples for me are watching tv, scrolling on my phone, playing video games, and shopping online. Sometimes these things might be your only option when you don’t have the capacity for much else. But overall, we want to make sure to eat dinner before dessert.

To make your own menu, start off by brain dumping a list of activities that excite you and make you feel really good. You can then plug these into your dopa menu under the appropriate category. Now, when you’re coming up with your activities for the dopa menu, you want to make sure that you’re specific about what those are. I gave broad examples like watching tv, but you don’t want to just write watch tv. You want to actually write down the shows or, or the movies that you’re currently watching or that you’re excited to watch. Because remember that we want to eliminate as much of the decision making as possible.

If you’re in that autopilot state where your brain’s just like, go spend money that will give you dopamine, and you’re like, I’m going to look at the dopamine menu and try to do something different and you just see watch tv. That involves you being like, okay, what streaming platform I going to use? What thing am I going to watch like? It involves more decisions and we just want to cut that out.

You also want to go through and remove anything on your menu that isn’t realistic or feasible for you to do. For example, don’t include painting on your menu if you don’t currently own any painting supplies. And on that note, I recommend keeping your ingredients prepped, meaning create little kits with everything you need for activities so that it’s all just easy to grab. I personally have mentioned bullet journaling a few times in this episode because it’s something that I have really started loving over the past kind of year, I guess. And I have everything in like a little basket with a handle. So I have all of my markers like pencil, crayons, pens, my journal. I have like scissors, tape, like anything I would need for it in this little container and I can just pick it up and move it around the house. And that makes it so much easier because I don’t have to search around for these things every time I want to bullet journal.

Lastly, you want to put your menu somewhere that you can easily see it so that you reduce another barrier. So this could be hung up in your office or on your fridge. You could put it as the background or lock screen on your phone, like somewhere that’s going to be really easily accessible. And that’s the Dopa menu.

I have a free dopamenu template that is available in both a PDF and Google sheets format that you can download. And I also have turned my dopamenu into a dopamine jar, which makes the act of choosing something even more exciting because basically I have popsicle sticks in this jar with my dopamine task activities on them and then they have different colored stickers to correspond to the different categories. But the exciting part is that but I don’t know what I’m going to choose, right? So I go into the jar, I can pick which category I want based on the color sticker and I just pull something out and it’s at random. So that kind of adds an extra layer of excitement to that.

I will include the link for my template and also for the video tutorial of my dopamine jar in the episode description. If you’re interested in checking those out. I hope you try it out because it is a really awesome tool and I’ve gotten really great feedback from clients who have tried it out. If you do try it out, I would love for you to post it on social media and tag me so that I can see it because I just seeing what other people use for their menu and the ideas that they have.

I hope that you’re walking away from this episode with a greater understanding of dopamine and some ideas on how you might start to reset your relationship with Dopamine. I will be talking more about dopamine in future episodes, but I want you to have a good primer of the role it plays and how it impacts our finances.

All right friends, that is it for this episode. Thank you so much for listening to dopamine dollars. And remember, you’re not bad with money. Your brain just needs more dopamine.