Emotional spending is the act of buying something you do not need based on your mood at that current time. This impulsive buying behavior could be because you’re feeling stressed, bored, unhappy, underappreciated and so on. While people usually spend to improve their mood, emotional spending can also occur when you’re feeling happy. For instance, people tend to spend when they get a bonus or did well in something because of the “treat yourself” mindset. Treating yourself once in a while is completely fine, but if it happens too regularly, you might find yourself falling into bad spending habits.
If you find yourself impulse buying repeatedly, it’s time to put a stop to it. Here are five ways that will help you put a stop to this behavior.
1. Identify Your Triggers
To solve any problem, we need to get to the root of it. The same goes for emotional spending. Try to recall what emotions drive you to spend money unnecessarily. Do you spend when you’re happy to treat yourself, or do you spend when you’re feeling down to cheer yourself up? Sometimes, all it takes is for you to be aware, and you’ll be more cautious the next time you decide to swipe your card.
2. Limit Impulse Purchases
A great way to reduce your impulse shopping is to give yourself 24 hours before you commit to buying something, especially if it’s not a necessity. This waiting period will give you more time to think it through properly before you make a decision. Most of the times, once your emotions have settled down, you’ll find that you don’t really need the item after all.
3. Set a Budget
It’s good to give yourself a little treat once in a while, but constant impulse buys and spending beyond your means will lead to financial problems, especially if unexpected expenses come up. Setting a budget for your “wants” will allow you to buy yourself something nice without going overboard. Once you’ve reached that budget for a month, you’ll know not to spend further.
4. Count Your Money
Sometimes, you may not realize how much you’ve been spending unnecessarily. By calculating how much emotional spending has impacted your finances, it gives you a clearer picture of where your hard-earned money is going. Although you’re able to afford something, it does not mean you should buy it. The money you spend could be put to better use instead.
5. Seek for Help
If you’re a frequent impulse buyer who has gotten into the habit of emotional spending, it may be difficult to break the habit right away. Getting support from a professional and/or loved ones can help you get started on getting your spending habits on track.
When it comes to managing your finances, you can count on Singlife to aid you through our mobile-first technologies. We aim to help Filipinos be confident and in control of their finances. Later this 2021, Singlife will offer products that cater to planning your finances, so you can easily save and invest. Watch out for the upcoming Singlife Plan & Protect app. Sign up through our website to be one of the first to find out when we launch our app.