Emotions can be tricky. Sometimes they are hard to deal with, and we try to find ways to cope with our negative emotions. I use to be a firm believer in retail therapy. Every time my emotions seemed a little overwhelming, I would go shopping. I failed an exam; I bought a new pair of shoes. When I would get into arguments with my family, I would buy food. Regardless of what I bought, emotional spending was not a healthy way to cope with my emotions. There are a lot of people, who waste money on things that they don’t need when they are emotional.
Emotional spending can create serious problems for your finances. It can actually make you feel worse than you did in the beginning. You may feel fine when you are spending money, but the natural high that you get when you swipe your credit card will eventually go down. Reality will eventually set in when you are late on your rent or when you find yourself in major credit card debt. Don’t worry if your emotions are hard to control. There are some ways to beat the habit of emotional spending.
One easy way to keep your emotions on a budget is to avoid impulse buying. I used to feel like I had to buy something every time I went into the store. I am not saying that you should avoid buying a piece of candy while you are in the checkout line at a store. If you are in a bad mood or if you feel like you have to spend something don’t buy it. You should wait a few days until you can make a decision about purchasing that item.
Try to do other things to pass your time. For example, talk to a friend about your feelings or watch a movie. Wait until you are able to make a clear decision about purchasing that item. Then wait a few weeks or months to buy it. If you still feel like you need that product, put it on your Christmas or birthday list. Give the list to your family and friends. You will feel better knowing that you will get the product as a gift.
I conquered my habit of emotional spending by finding something else to do with my time. If you go shopping for a distraction from your problems, try taking a back road to your house instead of going pass a mall. Try coming up with more constructive ways to handle your emotions. For example, if you have had a rough day at work and you feel like buying some junk food, call up a friend to do something nice with them. If you are stressed out, try exercising or doing some type of arts and crafts. Finding another way to channel your frustration can help you make wise spending choices.
Finally, take responsibility for what you spend. You should hold yourself accountable for your purchases. It may be hard to control your urge to spend money when you get emotional, but your financial responsibilities come first. One of the things that have helped me when I would overspend is to write a list of my financial responsibilities. I carried it around with me so when I had an urge to make a purchase I could remind myself that I need to spend my money more wisely. One of the worst things in the world is to be in credit card debt. Leaving your credit card at home can also help you with your emotional spending habit. Only carry the money that you need with you in cash.
Keeping your emotions on a budget can be very challenging, but with some effort, you can do it. You can enjoy life and buy the things that you want but make sure you are in the right mental state when you do make a purchase. Becoming more aware of your spending habits can make you more financially stable. When you are in control of your emotional spending, you will feel good about yourself knowing that you can handle your emotions9 in a healthy way.
About the Author
Jacqueline Mayfield is a freelance writer and poet. Her goal is to inspire people through her writings. When she is not writing, she is spending time with her family and enjoying the outdoors.