How to stop emotional spending today!
We’ve all been there. We had a hard day at work. Life is feeling stressful. We are looking for something, anything to take our minds off of the worries of the world. Soooo….we turn to shopping. Anyone else see themselves in this scenario??? Just me??? It has taken me years to learn how to stop emotional spending, and now I get to share what I have learned with you.
If you are unsure if you are an emotional spender or not, take a quick look at the list below.
You Might Be An Emotional Spender If….
- You shop because you are bored.
- Spending makes you feel fulfilled.
- You feel guilty after shopping.
- Shopping makes you feel happier.
- You go over budget regularly.
- You hide purchases from family members.
Do any of these sound like you?? Well, the good news is that you can kick this bad habit to the curb. It is possible to cure your emotional shopping! Today I am sharing how to stop emotional spending!
How You Can Stop Emotional Spending
1. Identify Emotional Spending Triggers.
The first step to stop emotional spending is to find out what emotions are causing you to shop. Once you can pin point the exact emotion, you will be closer to overcoming it.
The easiest way to identify your emotional spending is to pay attention to the feelings you have while shopping. Are you shopping after a disagreement? Do you feel jealous of someone and are trying to buy items to keep up?
Take notes of the feelings you find. Write these down and start paying attention to the actions that follow each of the emotions. When you find yourself at the store after feeling one of the emotions that you wrote down, stop yourself. Remind yourself that what you are feeling will not be cured from spending.
2. Shop With Cash
My number one secret to avoiding impulse shopping is to leave your debit card at home and shop with cash envelopes. If the cash is gone, you can’t buy anything.
Cash envelopes can really help with emotional spending as well. When the emotions start coming you might find yourself tempted to start shopping, however, if your debit card is stashed away and your cash is gone….you will have no money to spend! Try it!!
3. Stick to the List
Start getting into the habit of making a shopping list. If you shop with a list you will be much less likely to impulse buy other items.
The next time you want to go shopping, stop yourself first and make a list. Write down exactly what you need to buy (need is the key word here).
Commit to only buying what is on the list and nothing else. If you are feeling emotional this might be difficult to do, but stay strong. Promise yourself a reward (free reward) if you can stick to your list all month.
4. Find a New Coping Mechanism
We already identified your emotional spending triggers in step 1, now it’s time to find new ways to cope with these feelings.
If you are shopping because you are bored…..find a new hobby. Something that will keep your mind simulated and busy. Maybe this could even be a hobby that will earn you money with these side hustle ideas.
Or maybe you shop when you are feeling a lot of stress? Find a new stress reliever. This might be exercising or a warm bubble bath.
It doesn’t matter what you choose to help you cope, as long as you are finding something that doesn’t involve spending money.
5. Make it Hard to Spend
Stores are really great at making it easy for us as consumers to spend money, which is great…..except for if you have a spending problem! Go through these few easy steps to make it harder on yourself to spend money.
- Leave the Debit/Credit Cards at home.
Just don’t even bring your cards with you. If they are at home, you can’t use them….making spending much harder!
- Delete Debit/Credit card info from store websites.
Take all of your saved credit or debit card info off of store websites. Having to manually enter in the information each time you want to make a purchase gives you that extra moment to pause and decide if you truly need to buy it.
- Keep your savings in a separate bank.
Transfer your money into a separate account or bank and make it harder to touch. Keep your budgeted spending money in your checking account, while putting the savings and sinking funds into an account that is not connected to your debit card. This makes getting the money out that much harder.
6. Unsubscribe from Store Email Lists
There was a time when my email inbox was full of “50% off at this store” ads. These sales were a huge spending trigger for me. Especially during times when I was bored. I would often find myself spending hours browsing this sale and that sale and before I knew it I had spent to much.
The solution? I started unsubscribing from every store email I received. It was no longer in my face tempting me during my boredom moments.
If you find yourself consistently spending through these sales emails….try unsubscribing. It is so freeing! If you don’t know the sale is happening, you won’t feel sad missing out on it!
- Related: 10 Tips to Stop Impulse Shopping
7. Distract Yourself
Find something to do that will distract you from emotional spending.
You might want to sign up for a class, read a new book, or find a hobby. Choose something that will peak your passions and help you focus on something other than spending.
Starting this little blog has been a great distraction for me. I am so busy typing and learning that I rarely have time to shop. My bank account (and husband) thanks me….and all of you readers!
8. Use the 48 Hour Rule
The 48 Hour Rule has saved me time and time again. It’s simple to follow really. When you find something you want to buy, but it is an unplanned purchase, WAIT for 48 hours before buying.
The 48 hours gives you time to decide if you truly want to buy the item and time to research if you can find a better deal somewhere else.
9 times out of 10 I realize I actually did not want to buy it in the first place. But, sometimes, after 48 hours I go back into the store and buy it…..and there is nothing wrong with that!
Start living by the 48 hour rule….I promise you will thank me later!
9. Find a Support System
All emotional spenders need an accountability buddy! An accountability buddy will call you out on your spending mistakes, encourage you to stay strong and be there for you when you are feeling tempted.
When I have used an accountability partner we committed to calling each other whenever we were tempted to spend money. This friend would then talk to me about the emotions I was feeling and help me find a different way to cope. And, I would do the same for her.
I honestly never wanted to both her…..so I really quit spending!!! It worked like a charm!
Having someone who you will hold you accountable will help you stay within budget and stop unnecessary spending.
You can kick your emotional spending to the curb. Pick a few of these suggestions and start implementing them today! The sooner you begin working through these steps, the sooner you will have more money in your wallet!
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You can stop emotional spending today!