Emotional spending gets to all of us at one time or another. You walk into a store merely to window-shop and walk out feeling like Santa Claus! Those red shoes were just so pretty, or that cordless toolset too cool to miss. An irresistible sale beckoned, or, you needed a little emotional boost that day. We all can identify with that. The flurry of excitement doesn’t always last, changing to a feeling of regret. If you are struggling with impulsive buying, here are some keys to tackling it!
1. Does this fit my budget?
Before anything, you need a budget to decide what you need and how much you are going to spend. Start with only the essentials and remember to allow for some spending money just to have fun. The most important thing is to stick to your budget! Keep temptation at bay by carrying only the amount of cash you need, or pre-load a grocery card with a fixed amount. Moreover, a grocery card can earn you cash-redeemable points on every purchase. If you choose to use credit, do so wisely and only as a convenience and pay early so you are not charged interest charged on your purchases. If you tend to shop online, you may wish to set aside a pre-loaded cash card for this purpose.
2. Do I need it right now?
Make a list of items you need before you go shopping. While in the store, stick to the list, but don’t miss out on any comparable items or alternate brands on sale, that can stretch your budget further. And don’t forget those coupons and gift cards long forgotten about!
3. Did I remember to write it down?
Keep a note of every dollar you spend, so you know where your money is going. Otherwise, it is more likely that you will unconsciously spend more than planned! Try taking on a no-spending week challenge every now and then if you can.
4. Escape the social media gala!
Pretty packages and sparkly sales can make you feel good at the moment, but leave you feeling guilty later on. Turn off social media (and tempting sales ads that pop up) except for a few minutes daily to catch up with friends. It will not only save you money, but time spent with family or investing in yourself is much more rewarding!
5. Sleep on it!
With most of us spending more time at home hooked to our smartphones and computers, the temptation to peep into online shopping windows a mere finger-click away is at an all-time high. When tempted, tuck away the shopping cart, come back a day or two later and see if you still want to buy all those items.
6. What’s the dream?
There is nothing quite like a dream goal to motivate and get you started on saving money. Set up an automatic monthly cash transfer to your savings account. Even if it means skipping your favourite coffee shop more often. Money not spent is money saved. Every little step counts!
Getting Debt Help
If you find yourself prone to emotional spending, speaking with a non-profit credit counsellor can make all the difference. Contact us and we will connect you with one of our certified non-profit credit counsellors to help you tackle that pesky spending habit.
Not sure if you’re ready? Why not take our Debt Quiz and see how you compare to other Canadians. Taking our Debt Quiz will tell you whether it is time to bite the bullet in taking that first step toward credit free living and becoming debt free.