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Spending and Emotions

Posted in Financial Tips

Most of us would agree that we want to have a financially healthy lifestyle. A big hindrance to this is not having a budget or if you do have a budget, exceeding your spending limits.

Have you ever considered the impact emotions have on your spending? Emotions are a part of life and cannot always be easily excluded from financial decisions. Perhaps you can identify with one of these emotions and recognize an opportunity to take better control of your spending.

  • Boredom. A common cure for boredom… shopping! Your initial plan may be to window shop or scroll through online sales, but you may find yourself pulling out your credit card to purchase unneeded items. 
  • Sadness. You have heard the saying “you can’t buy happiness”, but that doesn’t prevent some from trying. Emotions like sadness are intense and we may often try to buy things to make us feel better.
  • Anger. You may be angry or frustrated about your financial situation – thinking there is no way to get ahead, so why not buy something like a TV, clothes, or shoes.
  • Envy. “Keeping up with the Joneses”, or envying what others have, can cause you to purchase expensive things that you don’t want, don’t need, and may not ever use.
  • Happiness. That’s right – even happiness can be a trigger to spending money that you may not have. We could be celebrating great news, but leave our logic behind and spend without thinking of the long-term effects.
  • Love. When it comes to someone we love, we want to do everything we can for them, right? For parents, it may be difficult to say “no” when your kids beg for the latest toy, game, or clothes. Remember that love does not equal expensive gifts and it does not have a price tag.

Buying something to make you feel better – no matter the driving emotion behind it – is a temporary fix. Even if you have wiggle room in your budget, impulse buying is a temporary cure that affects how you handle your money and ultimately how you take control of your finances.

If debt has been holding you back and preventing you from becoming financially healthy, we invite you to attend our Managing Your Debt webinar on Thursday, September 23 from 5:30-6:15pm with special guest Daryl Mangeri. If you cannot attend the live session, we will also have a recording available on our Webinars page.

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