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Breaking Free from Emotional Spending Part 2

emotional spending

Welcome to the post-holiday season.  For some of us, the holidays were a joyous time with our families and friends; we received gifts, made beautiful memories and perhaps ate a bit too much. Others of us heard Visa, Mastercard, and Amex calling our names and our available line of credit proved to be a temptation to spend money we didn’t have.  The January bills are starting to arrive in the mail (or in our email) and as we open them, we may feel a little faint. With a shock, we realize our emotional spending or overspending didn’t start with holidays but have been a lifestyle for far too long.

Just like getting on the scale after weeks of wonderful food, it’s important to have a moment of clarity and realize we didn’t gain fifty pounds from just holiday feasting. To suffer a setback is completely human. None of us are immune to financial difficulty, but we can learn to overcome emotional spending habits. We can recover and overcome money habits that don’t serve us well just like we can overcome eating habits.

Our money is an extension of ourselves— it is not a separate entity that floats around on its own. In the same way, we have control of our limbs, we have control of our money and that’s a wonderful thing. By knowing ourselves we can gain insight into how and why we handle our money the way that we do.

Questions to Ask Yourself About Emotional Spending:

Here are a few questions to consider that may help you get to the root of your emotional spending habits:

  • Do you overspend because buying yourself things makes you feel like you’ve arrived? Do you consider it a boon to buy yourself things you may have felt deprived of when you were younger?  Consider this: you are a human “being” and not a human “having”. Your treasure lies in who you are and not in what you have.
  • Is the debt you’ve accumulated the result of giving to others? Do you think people will only like/love you because of the things you give to them?  This trap of “people-pleasing” puts a burden on us to perform but remember this; you are a human being and not a vending machine. Your value lies in what you give of yourself—your company—your insight—your thoughts—your moments of being present, and not the “stuff” you give to others. Value your inner treasure and the need to please others with things will dissipate along with your credit balance.

I recently passed by a store that rents cheap (and I don’t mean inexpensive) items by the week. In the window, I saw purses that were simply made with poor quality materials BUT they had a huge medallion of a coveted designer. Why would a person choose to rent a purse they could not afford? At ten dollars per week rental, one could save forty to fifty dollars each month to be used towards other needs.  Is it more important to be an authentic person who uses their money wisely or be a person who cares more about what others think? Using money to gain status in the eyes of others is a dangerous habit that can lead to debt. People will forget about what you wear, what you drive or what you have moments after leaving your company. Don’t be tricked into thinking others will care more about you because of the labels you wear.

Use your money as a tool to secure your future, give you joy, and experience a wonderful life, and you’ll be well on your way of breaking free from emotional spending!

The team at CESI is committed to helping you make wise financial decisions and to helping you understand how to get out and stay out of debt all year long.  For a free debt analysis, contact us and find out how we can help.

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1 Response to Breaking Free from Emotional Spending Part 2

  1. Diane Powell says:

    Great information and very useful.l was a family ATM. Once l acknowledged that l became more concious of my spending.

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