When defining emotional spending, I usually look for signs of spending money during a period of heightened emotions. This could be things like stress, loneliness, anxiety, boredom or sadness.
The end result of emotional spending usually sees people buying items they don’t really need or didn’t even want.
Even worse, chances are after a negative buying experience they may suffer from the painful feeling of buyer’s remorse.
Buyer’s remorse is when you get that sinking feeling of regret after making a purchase – perhaps you spent money you never really had (putting it on the credit card) or you bought things you couldn’t afford.
Some common emotional spending patterns are feelings of jealousy, guilt, fear, anxiety, sadness, or recognition and acceptance.
If you find yourself wandering around shopping centres or browsing on shopping apps instead of addressing more important situations in your life, your emotions may eventually get the better of you and your budget could soon be out of control.
Sometimes people spend money to look good, or to be perceived as good as the person next door. That’s what we call ‘keeping up with the Joneses’.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t make sense to put yourself through all the emotional and financial pain. The trick is to feel good about yourself no matter what your outer circumstances may seem like.
In fact, most people are so busy focusing on themselves they hardly notice what’s going on in your world anyway.
Human emotions can trigger us in different ways. Boredom can lead to drinking. Anxiety can lead to smoking or drugs. Loneliness can lead to alcohol and late nights out. The list goes on.
A key point to remember here is that buying things to make you feel good in the moment won’t necessarily make you feel better over the longer term.
Curious to know if you’re an emotional spender? There are some signs to look out for.