“Emotional Spender: Someone who spends money freely to satisfy his or her feelings at the moment.”
Whether the feelings or emotions are positive or not, letting these dictate your purchases may potentially lead to a disaster. Ask yourself, are you one of them? Another interesting characteristic that an emotional spender has is the regret after spending. This is sometimes due to spending more than one can afford. Fortunately, you can change for the better!
The first step you must take is to identify the problem by figuring out what emotions or feelings trigger your snap financial decisions. Then, use budgeting to guide you as you stop this nasty buying habit.
Here are some of the emotions that may affect your free spending:
Let us start the list off with Anger. Shopping while you are angry makes you more likely to take risks. This is because purchasing while you are angry can make you feel empowered. For example, if you are angry with your spouse, you can just grab your credit card (i.e., from your joint account) and not care about how much you spend on clothes. An expensive revenge indeed!
Solution: Making yourself feel better by filling the void inside you is not a good move. Instead, lock yourself in a room, play your favorite song, and write down what you feel. Do these things to help you simmer down and avoid emotional purchases.
Having too much time in your hands can make you spend more. Shopping, a very pleasant activity can keep you busy and make you feel occupied. So, it may act as a substitute for other fulfilling and productive activities. For example, if you work from home, it is natural to have a few hours to spare. As leisure, you decided to go on shopping trips since shopping is not only a boredom buster but also an activity you can do alone.
Solution: Find a fun hobby or activity to occupy you when you are bored. You may try cooking different pasta recipes or catching up on your favorite TV shows. Toggle.sg lets you watch episodes of your favorite shows at Channel 5, Channel 8, Channel U, Okto, Suria, and Vasantham – at no cost!
How can a positive feeling make you splurge your paycheck? Well, it is possible if you want to celebrate a milestone (e.g., promotion, raise, or graduation) in a grand fashion. According to research by Harris Interactive, 53% of people are guilty of celebratory shopping. This goes to show that shopping in a good note is normal but it may come with expensive price tags.
Solution: Celebrate a momentous event within your means. Having an intimate gathering of your closest loved ones is better than having a huge graduation party at a 5-star hotel. It is okay to indulge once in a while as long as you have money to spare. You deserve it!
Spending the money you either do not have or you can well spend elsewhere to satisfy your emotional needs only create more problems than solutions. If you set up a budget with a room for reasonable indulgence then, it is acceptable to spend. After all, that is how personal finance should work.