We’ve all been there. You had a bad day at work and those shoes you’ve been eyeing for some time seem like just the thing to make you feel better. This is often referred to as emotional spending aka buying something you don’t necessarily need in an effort to make yourself feel better. While this may seem like a great idea in the short-term, in the long run, it can seriously affect your budget. Here are some tips for stopping emotional spending.
Instead of heading to the mall, grab your phone and head out on a walk to listen to your favorite podcast. Take a warm bath. Watch a few episodes of your favorite TV show. We can find joys in other ways that don’t involve reaching for your wallet.
DO THE MATH
Before pulling out your credit card, stop and do the math. Say you want to purchase something that is $80 and you currently make $25 an hour at your job. That’s a little over three hours of work time. Is it really worth it? Putting anything you buy in terms of what you make instead of how much you save will make it less likely you’ll buy something you don’t really need.
TALK IT OUT
Seek out a friend or family member that you can talk to. Often times, just having an ear to listen can help you sort out whatever emotions you are having. If you feel your issues run a little deeper, it may be helpful to reach out to a professional.
If possible, try to time your shopping trips to when you’re in the right state of mind. We’ve all heard the advice to not go grocery shopping when hungry and the same can be said for emotional spending. If you absolutely need to go somewhere, make a strict list of what you need to buy and hold yourself accountable to it.