What is emotional spending? -
Often described as retail therapy, emotional spending is when you make a purchase that is guided more by your emotions than your need for that certain product or service.
Dopamine release -
Research has found that shopping releases hormones like dopamine, which makes us feel happy and boosts our mood.
Emotional spending isn’t always a bad thing - While it's not always a bad thing, it can become an ongoing habit that can strain our bank accounts.
The good feelings don't last -
The rush of good feelings after buying something typically doesn't last long, and the feelings of unhappiness quickly return.
Emotional spending vs. compulsive buying - Emotional spending isn’t a disorder, but sometimes it can cross the line into one.
Compulsive buying -
However, compulsive buying is considered a psychological disorder, where the person is unable to control their impulses.
An addictive behavior -
Also, compulsive buying is an addictive behavior that can have a negative impact on one’s life and well-being, including problems at work and/or school.
What causes emotional spending? -
If you want to decrease your emotional spending, the first step is to know your triggers.
When someone talks about their nice vacation or new car, you may have the urge to buy something or go somewhere, too.
We've all been there. You've had a bad day, so you spend money to feel better. However, retail therapy can do more harm than good.
Remember when people bulk-bought toilet paper at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic? Well, fear can lead us to overspend.
If someone in your family graduates or announces their engagement, you want to get them a gift. But we all know how quickly money can disappear when celebrating takes over.
Season fever -
You might want to buy Christmas decorations for the house, or go all out on wreathes and hay bales for autumn. But the excitement can be too much!
How to overcome emotional spending - Luckily, there are some steps you can take to gain more control of the habit, and decrease your impulse buying.
Use the 48-hour rule -
This is a simple and effective way to deal with spending temptations. Wait 48 hours to think about a specific purchase decision and how it impacts your monthly budget.
Remove spending apps -
Removing shopping apps from your phone, or even unsubscribing to retailer emails, can help you fight the emotional spending urge.
Learn to enjoy saving money-
Deciding that you're going to set aside a certain amount of money each month, and then watching it grow, can produce some of those same "feel good" feelings as spending it.
Write in a journal -
Journaling is an amazing tool to improve one’s emotional intelligence and mental health. Recording events, such as impulsive shopping, can help fight emotional spending.