What Is Emotional Spending and How Can It Be Stopped?

What Is Emotional Spending and How Can It Be Stopped?

Often, when everything feels like it’s going downhill, many of us pick ourselves up by purchasing something new. This way, our negative emotions are lifted as we have something nice to focus on. Having the desire to purchase something new, or perhaps just generally splash the cash, is often known as “retail therapy”. These impulsive purchasing decisions commonly supply a quick boost of happiness and offer a short-lived sensation of fulfilment. However, this only lasts until you check your bank account and realise you may have spent too much. The correlation between emotional spending and impulsive spending doesn’t always go hand-in-hand. Although buying new things makes us feel great, the financial stress is often much greater than the strain felt beforehand. So, what exactly is emotional spending, and why do we do it?

At What Points Do We Emotionally Spend?

Unfortunately, when it comes to emotional spending, there is no exact timeframe as to when it occurs. In fact, many people associate emotional spending with boredom, whereas others prefer to link it to celebrating success. However, regardless of the emotion triggering the purchasing behaviour, one thing that commonly occurs following the process is a disruption within an individual’s budget. Whether you’ve made frequent small transactions or one larger one, any purchase outside of your budget can soon cause financial problems, leading to a potential debt. Therefore, it is important to ensure that your spending does not exceed your disposable income; otherwise, you may find yourself opting for a payday loan.

How Can I Stop Emotional Spending?

Controlling your emotional spending is not an easy task. However, the techniques listed below could prove useful if you want to control it.

Avoiding Impulsive Decisions

Impulsive purchases can occur at any time, no matter where you are. An impulse purchase is one that you make if you hadn’t planned to before entering the store. These kinds of purchases can soon pile up, and you’ll find yourself questioning where your money has gone. Although they’re hard to avoid as they’re often small, perhaps it is time to spend some time considering the transaction beforehand to avoid going over budget or emotional spending.

Stay Away From Social Media

With online ads increasing and marketing efforts improving, it’s becoming much more common to find yourself receiving new parcels every day. The online world is making it much harder to stay on budget. In fact, ads are often specifically targeted to appeal to our individual wants and needs, making saying no even more difficult. In fact, research shows that 76% of online consumers have purchased a product they saw on a brand’s social media platform. So, by reducing your screen time and overall ad interaction, the temptation to make emotional online purchases will decrease.

Figure Your Triggers

Often, you may spot patterns in your emotional spending behaviours, making it much easier to pinpoint why you’re shopping or spending money. Once you gain an understanding of why and when you emotionally spend, you can begin asking yourself whether you really need the things you’re buying, or whether you’re just spending to make yourself momentarily feel better. This way, you’ll save a huge sum of money in the future.