millennial finance

EMOTIONS AND BAD SPENDING HABITS;How Emotions Lead To Overspending And How To Take Control

Do you do emotional spending? Do you even know when you do it?

Emotional spending is spending on stuff to sooth or copes with a situation. When you buy known brands you cannot really afford to feel good about yourself or spend on others to feel accepted, that’s emotional spending. Emotional spending to some is done once in a while to others it is an everyday behavior. Daily emotional spenders do not really like facing their habit head on. They do not really check how much they have used because they are afraid to know the consequences.

So you may be a spender who has read lots of articles on how to be a wise spender(including mine maybe) but they have not helped you in any way. Why? The logic of being a wise spender may not solve your spending problem because you are an emotional spender. Most of us are anyway, that’s why we should take our feelings about money into consideration. In this article, we are going to meet the emotions and the logic of spending in the middle. We’ll integrate the two for the spending recovery to be possible.

Don’t you understand why?

Look at it this way, a drug addict goes to rehab but then comes out and in a month starts using again. Mostly because he didn’t go through on why he started using in the first place.When you don’t know the reason for your actions, being responsible and coming clean may be difficult. So the best way to deal with bad spending habits is first identifying the reasons you are an emotional spender in the first place. If you know why you splurge you can be able to recover.

1.Guilt
This is so common. Let’s say you have a family you do not see much because you are a workaholic. You convince yourself that buying your daughter fancy clothes and giving your son every car he wishes will make them happy. You feel guilty for not being present and you think you can compensate for their unhappiness with nice stuff.

After you spend that much you feel you are not so bad after all. That feeling goes away in such a short time and the next weekend or two you come home with more expensive gifts to cover your guilt. The problem is your family or friends will never replace your presence with gifts and expensive treats. They feel lonely and you feel guilty so the spending goes on until the day you decide to change that feeling for good.

How to deal with guilt? First, you have to find ways to spend time with loved ones, it matters a lot. In other circumstances giving your money and other resources out to the unfortunate people will make you less guilty. Doing good with what you have mattered a lot to your happiness.

2.Boredom
When bored, what do you do? You just answered that question in your head…now figure how often and how much money you use to make your boredom to ebb away. The question is how much of the boredom does the activity take. Most activities we do convince ourselves that they reduce boredom, using quite an amount of money that we didn’t budget for. Then when it happens often it becomes a bad spending habit.

When Max was bored he mostly went to the bar to drink and chat with strangers as they watched a game. He wasn’t into the game but he felt like he needed human interaction. This eventually became a part of his life he couldn’t afford. He started drowning in debt and couldn’t go to the bar anymore. He was bored again and that’s when he discovered that, until he unraveled what caused the boredom in the first place, his financial problems ain’t going anywhere.

The first thing to do to deal with boredom is to find out what really makes you happy. Most of what makes someone happy is free or almost free. What Max should have done is to figure out what started the frequent boredom and try to solve it without straining his finances.

3.Need For Acceptance
”You don’t have to change a thing the world should change its heart..No scars to your beautiful”..Alessia Cara couldn’t say it better but some people can’t entirely agree.

Many of us try hard to be accepted in a certain society and most of it involves spending. Even when you can’t clearly afford it, you want your skin to look perfect, to be seen as pretty. You would rather drain your savings to have that really expensive skin product. In spite of the fact that you cannot afford it, you overspend on skin care to feel accepted. This is a tendency that will affect your financial future but you’ll convince yourself that what you are spending on is a need. Making purchases for others approval is not what will make you entirely happy, it only brings temporary happiness and pride.

You need to accept yourself first and be grateful for what you are. When you sit and think of things you are grateful for you’ll be amazed at finding what really matters. What matters is not approval from others by being who you are expected to be, it’s you being the real you. Some people will have a problem with your authenticity and those are not the people to impress. Live you and you won’t have to buy that Louis Vuitton bag to make someone like you because, at the end of it, you are the one to suffer financially.

4.Regret
Regrets can be the worst nightmare to your financials. Many are victims of regret spending including myself. Ever thought,”I should have started saving for that business idea early. Now it’s too late..” or anything related? So because you are full of regrets, you do not sit and think about how you can make something possible starting now. You go on and communicate your regrets by spending because ”it’s too late anyway”.

Instead of having a pity party because you regret a decision, you should instead sit and make plans because it’s never too late. If a regret is irreversible find something healthy that will help you move on, something that doesn’t involve overspending.

5. Embarrassment
You are taking that girl out and you take her to a fancy restaurant you can’t afford, then the rest of the week you have to eat cheap.
You are broke but a friend is in town and you told her you should catch up…You do not come clean about your finances and you splurge but you are thinking,”I can’t afford this”.

Yeah, there are many occurrences you can think of right now. Being embarrassed about our financial status makes us spend more than we can afford and at the end of it all, we are the ones to suffer.

Coming clean to a girl is the best option but if that’s too hard you should take her somewhere too many expenses are unlikely to occur. Maybe a drink somewhere nice but less costly can be a great idea. As you get to know her it can be easier to come clean. Instead of going to spend anyway, finding ways to spend less will be great.

6.Overconfidence
Over 90% of spenders are usually confident that things will turn out ”okay” when they are splurging. Optimism is good to keep you going but not when it crosses the logic line and turns to denial. You start withdrawing your savings for the latest iPhone and you are claiming that things will be fine in the end?Really?If you are ignoring the truth of your spending drain on your bank account, you are in deep trouble.

In spite of being hopeful, you should take the reality of your situation seriously. When you do not deal with reality now when it can be bearable, it will be too late.The reality of a situation is now or never, you make your own luck.
Transforming comes after knowledge of what we are..not what we are unaware of or deny.

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