The Emotions That Make You Spend Money

Have you ever stopped to consider why you spend money and why you purchase certain items? Do you spend out of necessity or emotion? Some emotions such as envy or guilt can result in retail therapy. Some emotions such as high fat foods can be based in self-comfort or love. Yes, I said it love. How many times have you indulged your children with a cake, ice cream or sweets because you associate treats with love?

How you feel about purchasing can play a significant part in how you spend your money. Reflect on what you purchase if you are feeling lonely, boredom, Stressed or excited?

Do You?

Spend a significant portion of your income on unnecessary items

Accumulate a large amount of consumer debt

Spend continuously despite resolutions to stop

Hide purchases from a loved one

Become excited about making purchases rather than owning them

Not use everything you buy

Buy a large number of things you don’t need

Experience problems in relationships due to your spending

Feel shame with your spending

Feel agitation or excitement when shopping

Identify What Triggers Your Spending 

If you’re looking to combat your emotional spending, identifying and diminishing the triggers is a great place to start. Consider the times you’ve overspent recently. Was it a life event such as a pay rise or job loss? Did you go on a spending spree to celebrate or commiserate? If you know your triggers and feelings that lead you to emotional spending, this will help you avoid it further.

Control Your Emotional Spending 

Next time you’re feeling prompted to spend, ask yourself the following questions: “How will I pay for it?” And “How do I feel?” Just pause for a moment and reflect. They will aid you to establish whether you need to purchase an item or whether it’s purely on impulse. It is worth considering other ways to react to the emotions you’re feeling rather than spending. Here are a couple of examples;

Consider are you seeking to purchase this item because you want to impress someone? If this is the case ask yourself why it is so important that you are approved of by this person and will a material possession strengthen this relationship?

If you are buying an item because it makes you feel more worthy, ask yourself why would you feel less if you didnt have it. Corporations sell us the belief that their items will heighten our social worth but ask yourself why you need to feel more socially valued and if material purchases is the way to achieve this ‘feel good’ factor. Material products may make us feel better for a short while but the underlying feeling of approval will remain until that emotion is confronted.

Get into A Habit of Saving

The next time you feeling the impulsion to buy something, pause and ask yourself, Do you need it or do you want it?

If you conclude the former than the latter, immediately put it in your savings account. It might not seem like much when you put it in, but after time, you’ll forget how much you’ve deposited, and you’ll be excited to see how much you’ve managed to save.

Once you’ve gained your momentum, consider taking another look at your budget and figure out saving opportunities that you might not have noticed initially. Consider setting up automatic transfers from your current account into your savings account – this will be easier if you have two accounts with the same bank. If an amount comes straight from your paycheck, you’ll be less likely to miss it.