Emotional spending has two basic components. One is when
you spend money on things that are not needed or really wanted. The second is when you spend money because you
are unhappy or stressed out. Uncontrolled emotional spending can lead to
financial ruin. To make better financial
decisions, it is important to understand and manage our emotions.
Emotional triggers come from external and internal sources. External influences like advertisers spend
millions of dollars appealing to your emotions so you will buy their products. Manufacturers have influenced our society by
promoting holidays and all kinds of reasons to spend money. Holidays like Valentine’s Day (to prove you
love someone), Easter, Christmas and even back to school have become commercialized
for big sales days. Today more women
work outside the home and we are made to feel like we must compensate for not
being there. So we buy our children
things. These factors increase emotional
spending by making us feel ‘bad’ if we don’t.
We can limit advertisers influence on our spending. Here are a few things you can do:
Stay out of the Malls
Opt out of credit card offers
Sign up for the Do Not Mail Registry
Install an ad blocker on the computer
Unsubscribe to emails from stores and catalog mailings
Block TV sites like QVC, the Shopping Channel, etc…
Internal factors and tips for women who are
esteem issues- not feeling special. When you don’t get the respect and
recognition from others you feel you deserve, you decide to give it to yourself
by shopping. When you take care of everyone
else and don’t take care of yourself on a regular basis, you then feel like you need to do something for yourself even if the item purchased
is not needed.
Tips – Get in touch with your feelings. Just before you spend money ask yourself; Am
I feeling less than? Often women don’t
ask for what they need from others.
Getting better communication skills and managing your environment will
give you a sense of control and power. When
we have control we become powerful and will make good decisions in our lives
and our finances.
We all react to stress differently.
The brain and our hormones play a big part in how we feel and react
to stress. There are actual changes in the brain that occur when we spend
money. The elation we may get from shopping only provides temporary relief
to stress. We must deal with the cause of the stress and find other ways
to deal with your emotions. Do a
check up from the neck up!
Tips – Understand
how you react to stress personally. Try
replacing spending money with other things you like to do. Exercising, dancing and spending time with a
friend or family. Do things that don’t
cost money. Go to a park. There are plenty of free resources. Seek them out! Watch out for emotional triggers. Ask
yourself, am I angry? Stressed? Lonely? If
so handle that emotion before spending money!
You go in the store for one thing and then purchase five other
things. These impulses can wreck a
budget if you’re not careful. Rationalization
is part of impulse buying. You tell
yourself “If I don’t buy it now I will not get the opportunity again”. Purchasing
things that you know you can’t afford.
The use of credit cards allows this reasoning to flourish.
Tips – Go to stores with a list. Stick to it!
Take a friend with you who will hold you accountable for what you say
you are going spend. Make a decision to
give yourself at least 24 hours from the point of looking to the point of
buying. Leave credit cards home and
carry only the cash you mean to spend.
Have a budget and follow it. Budget for
necessary expenditures and a little emotional spending. If you can’t
afford it, don’t buy it! You don’t want to incur excess debt. Keep track of
your spending. $1 here and there adds
up. Too many small bills can go
fast. Did you ever notice what happens
when you break a $20?
I want women to live
smarter not harder. Emotions influence the way women spend money. By taking
control of your environment and your feelings you can pay your bills and exercise
power over your finances. With this
information we will create a better future for ourselves and our children. It’s all about financial intelligence and being