Tried and Tested Ways to Stop Emotional Spending

Stop emotional spending

Emotional spending; that one weakness that guarantees you whip out your credit card quicker than Usain Bolt can run 100 metres.

Maybe it’s grabbing a takeaway on your way home from work because you are tired. Bright shiny object syndrome – the latest outfit, shoes, handbag or flash sale. Or believing your well-paying job means you deserve the latest fashion.  Any on these are likely to rock your budget and potentially run up your credit card debt.

These 7 tried and test ways may help you to stop the emotional spending.


Feelings, Emotions, & Triggers

Understand the emotions and feelings that lead to emotional spending.  Identifying the ‘why’ is super powerful.  Get clear on the outside influences that can trigger the emotional spending.  Do you spend too much time on Instagram and are trying to replicate a ‘perfect’ persona or lifestyle? Maybe it’s an email flash sales at your favourite store that pull you in?


Stop for a minute and try to really understand why you want to make a purchase.

Why am I here? Do I really need this? Or is it a want? How do I feel? What if I wait? How will I pay for it? Is this purchase more important than your long-term goals?  Will this purchase matter in a month or six months?

Click the Unsubscribe Button

I understand.  You love a brand and the fear of missing out on the latest thing is real, or a flash sale keeps you subscribed to their newsletters.  Any promotion by a store or brand you love when you are feeling vulnerable is going to result in an emotionally driven purchase.  Time to be strong and limit those temptations. Click the unsubscribe button today! Sales and emotional spending

Set a Treat Budget

Including an amount of money for treats each month is a great way to spend in a more controlled manner. Why not try putting your treat money, as cash, in a separate envelope in your handbag.  Once its spent – its gone.  Dipping into the envelope can make you more aware that you are treating yourself, and more conscious about the treats you choose.  Budgets are not about being boring and limiting. No guilt purchases and you can stay on track with your budget.

Online Shopping

If it only takes one click to complete an online purchase, you’ll be a lot more likely to checkout.  Never save your credit card information on websites.  Taking those few extra minutes to think over a decision or having to move and get your bank card may be enough to question if you really need to buy the item to begin with.

Implement the 24-Hour Rule

Putting some time between the desire to purchase and physically going ahead and buying is a really good way of keeping emotions in check. Sarah took this much further, you can read her interview here.

Be kind. Learn. Keep Moving forward.

Purchased another new pair of shoes?  Life happens. Try and understand the ‘why’ behind your purchase. Identifying the triggers, getting clear on your finances, helps us to move forward and curb our mistakes.  The single most important thing with your budget is to be aware that there will be times, for whatever reason, you don’t manage to stick to it.  This doesn’t mean you are not making progress.  Practise makes perfect. Now is not the time to give up.

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