Emotional spending takes place when you buy something you really do not want or actually need. It happens when you are bored, stressed, feeling incompetent, unhappy or under-appreciated. There could be other reasons too for you to go off in an impulse to spend just to get that momentary pleasure of happiness. In fact, even when you are really happy, you go off on a shopping spree too- do you remember the last time you got an increment and ventured out to celebrate and shop?
There is absolutely nothing wrong with buying nice things for yourself once in a while. So long as your finances are on track and you can afford them. The problem arises when you go off on a shopping spree to buy things you don’t need and land up overspending. The results are financial hardships later on in the month. Moreover, if you swipe your credit card often, you soon will be in a mountain of debts that could be impossible for you to repay due to impulsive shopping.
Conquer the emotional spending impulse to shop till you drop with these simple 5 tricks.
1. Wait And Watch
When you get the urge to buy something- wait for 24 hours. This goes for both online and brick and mortar store shopping. The longer you make yourself wait before buying something, the sooner you will forget about it. Leave the store immediately when the pangs to buy something strikes. In case, the nagging impulse to spend lingers, wait for one week. Yes, it is difficult but practice makes you perfect and you will eventually tame your impulse to spend when emotions strike.
2. Unsubscribe To Product Catalogues
You should intentionally unsubscribe to product catalogues and other promotional emails from your favourite stores. You can download ad blocker software programs to stop internet advertising completely. In case, you have a really bad spending issue, unsubscribe to magazines as well. They are filled with product ads and can trigger the urge to buy items you do not need.
3. Restrict Temptation
If you frequently visit the mall and shopping plazas, limit yourself now. Just go for some times in a year. If you have a problem with shopping online, stop visiting them to control emotional spending on unnecessary things. Explore other online activities you can enjoy. Listen to YouTube content like songs, watch a movie on OTT platforms, learn a new hobby or skill online. This will curb your impulse to shop especially when you are bored and have nothing to do.
4. Hold Yourself Responsible
Create a list of your financial priorities for the month and place it in a place where you see it often. You can stick this list to your bathroom mirror or the door of your refrigerator. Keep a copy of this list in your wallet. Every time you reach out for your credit card or cash, you will be reminded of it. Are you hanging out with the right friends? Do they encourage you to spend recklessly? If yes, change your company. Put small sized sticky notes on your credit card as this will stop you from using it on an impulse. Finally, create alerts on your phone to remind you to save and stop spending on things you do not need.
5. Indulge in positive habits and hobbies
Regular exercise makes you feel good. Join a gym and make new friends while you exercise. You can even take a Yoga class membership and learn some breathing exercises to calm your hyper-active mind if you are prone to impulse shopping a lot. If you are fond of dancing, enrol a Zumba class. If you are fond of sports, join a club where you can practice it regularly or joing swimming. In this way, you can see an improvement in your emotions and the urge to spend unnecessarily reduce.
These tips will really help you stop overspending and regain control of your impulse and emotions. Practice makes you perfect so give yourself some time- you surely will come out of the habit with success- all the best!