While it may not seem like that, emotions mean a lot to us. They influence our decisions, perceptions, ideas, thoughts, and even experiences. Many of us are not vulnerable enough to admit it but the truth is emotions, both positive and negative, can lead us to make poor decisions such as spending more than we planned to.
Emotional spending is when you buy something you may not need to ease your emotions. Sadness is one of the emotions that increases the amount of money we’re willing to spend and makes us impatient, Harvard University researcher Jennifer Lerner and her colleagues found. When we’re sad, we’re more likely to give up a larger future benefit to have a smaller benefit right now. Other emotions that make us spend beyond our means include achievement, fear, guilt, or even jealousy.
1. Figure out your triggers
What circumstances make it easy for you to spend more money than you had planned to? Figuring out what emotions trigger you to do so will go a long way in dealing with the issue. Next time you’re out shopping, ask yourself, “why am I out shopping?” You may need to pick up some socks since your old ones have holes in them. Or, you may be browsing stores for an endorphin rush. Purchasing a new pair of shoes may put a smile on your face now, but impair your financial goals later.
2. Delete your shopping apps and unfollow all business pages
The internet has made it a lot easier to spend emotionally. Why? Because you can now get your goods delivered to your doorstep. You don’t need to hustle. What’s the solution? Delete all the apps and unfollow all the business pages. Eliminate your temptations and life will be a lot easier for you. You will find that the extra work it takes to redownload and log in to an app for an impulse purchase may be too much.
3. Find healthy coping mechanisms
What are the alternatives to emotional spending? What tangible goods would make you even half as happy as retail therapy? Well, you can treat your future self by putting money into your emergency fund or sinking fund. 6 Benefits Of A Sinking Fund
You can meditate, take a walk, or even write in a gratitude journal. Some people tend to buy things whenever they are feeling lonely. However, you must remember that spending money to feel better will not last. The problem is still there, but your money is gone.
4. Keep your credit card at home
One of the reasons why we overspend is that we have access to the money in the first place. Cards and having a lot of money on your phone can be your financial downfall if you are not careful. You will spend and spend without realising it, then you will end up in trouble. To deal with this, go cold turkey. Keep those cards at home. Consider taking the right amount of cash you may need, and nothing more. Every step towards your goals is a step in the right direction.
5. Avoid impulse buying
Impulse buying is when you purchase goods and services without planning. To avoid emotional spending, make good use of budgeting tools so that you know what to allocate in your budget. If it’s not in your budget, you must strictly not buy it.
Stop and wait before buying it. Later, you might realize that you don’t really need it. In addition, you might list down the items that you avoided buying, and later check this list out to know if you could already afford to buy it.
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6. Eat before you leave the house
Another way in which we spend due to our emotions is when we buy food from restaurants or cafes. To avoid this, make sure you are well fed before you leave the house. Stick to your grocery list. Don’t be tempted by the sweet scents of the bakery if you have no items to buy from there. That is the simplest and easiest way to not overspend at the store. Even if you do end up buying something, it will probably be a small snack since you will already be full.
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7. Have a celebration fund
What do you do when you receive some big good news? Maybe you land yourself a new job, or even accomplish a hard task successfully? Many times, we dip into our savings to celebrate such occasions because they are usually unplanned.
The solution is to have a celebration fund. We all love to celebrate – birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, wedding engagements, or other occasions. But then, you might also have realized by now that money can quickly disappear with uncontrolled spending habits during a celebration. A celebration fund will help you to sort this out.
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