If we are ever feeling down or a bit under the weather, a bit of retail therapy can give a sense of relief. We often feel excited and confident when we purchase new items, taking our mind off our previous emotional state.
In fact advertisers spend billions of dollars annually making us feel this way, and convincing us that products can make us feel a myriad of emotions such as successful and attractive. They can also convince us that new products can heighten our social status, prevent us from being bored and lonely and even attract the opposite sex.
As a result, we end up buying many items that we don’t need or use only for a short period of time and although this purchasing may feel like an anti-depressant, in fact, it can make us feel the exact opposite in the long run. Emotional spending is never a good long term solution and can wind up putting us under a lot of financial stress.
Life is full of challenges but we cannot go on a spending spree whenever we are feeling down and out. There are many ways to tackle life’s challenges without increasing your debt. So before you go on an emotional spending spree, bear in mind these ideas to prevent financial disaster:
Play The Waiting Game
The main reason for emotional spending is our lack of thought or decision making processes, so we often make spur of the moment decisions. If you see something you really want, keep it in mind but wait 24 hours before you purchase it. In most cases, after 24 hours your want for that item will have decreased as well as the excitement of buying it!
Distinguish Between a Want and a Need
A want and a need can very easily be confused. A need is something we actually need to live our lives; such as a home, food and water, health care and hygiene products and enough clothing to be comfortable and appropriately dressed. A want is more of a luxury, something we can happily live without. Before you buy luxuries such as branded clothes or the latest technology, ask yourself do I really need this? In saying that, you should treat yourself every now and then but keep the wants to a minimum.
Do Something Else
If you’re feeling down or stressed and you find yourself heading to the mall, a good idea is to choose a different activity to cheer you up. Call up a friend and spend some time with them or get out and do some exercise to relieve some of your stress. If you go to the mall, take a responsible friend with you who will remind you not to spend all your money!
Don’t Carry Credit Cards
Carrying your credit card is a dangerous hazard! It is very easy to spend money you don’t have, by simply swiping a credit card. You may feel as if you deserve new things but over time you could find yourself up to your ears in debt! Leave your credit card at home and use it for extreme needs or emergencies only. Carry your eftpos card or better yet, cash. Carrying a budgeted amount of cash means you cannot spend more than you need or intend.
Disclaimer: The above information is general in nature and not intended to be financial advice. You should consider seeking professional advice before following any suggestions in this blog/website.