We know how much of an impact our emotions can have on other parts of our life, so it only makes sense that they can play a factor in impacting our spending too. When we’re happy, we celebrate with spending. When we’re sad, we try to make ourselves feel better by spending. When we’re angry, we spend. I’m sure you get the picture.
Sometimes, spending is a subconscious reaction.
It can be a way for you to try and regain some control and rebalance the power that you may have previously lost (maybe you got in an argument with a spouse or teammate, maybe you lost a client, etc). But, when things are out of our control, we’re eager to find a way to regain it. The problem with spending is that you’re not really regaining any power or control because you’re still going to have to deal with the consequence of your spending (and if you’ve overspent, you’re back to where you started with feeling a loss of control when you can’t make ends meet).
When you let your emotions drive your spending habits, you end up in a vicious cycle of emotionally triggered over-spending. To stop this cycle, you need to recognize that you’re in it. Then acknowledge what triggers your spending and try to replace it with a different outlet. Putting your music on and heading outside for a walk is a great alternative that I practice myself and recommend to my clients. You get fresh air, it boosts your endorphins, and you’re doing something good for your body (and your budget too). Other options that some of my client’s practice are meditation and journaling. Both are also great options that protect your budget.
Changing your habits doesn’t have to be perfect, but every small step you make towards change is a good step. Every time you choose a walk (or journal or meditation) instead of spending, it is protecting your budget. Remember, emotional spending might feel good at the time, but that good feeling isn’t going to last forever. Eventually, the end of the month will come and your spending will catch up with you. By making these small changes, you too can have sassy and sexy money.