Curbing emotional spending

January 09th 2013

Shopping, or retails therapy as it is referred to by a large number of Americans, has become a way of life given the consumerism driven nature of today’s society. The advertising industry adds fuel to the fire and spends millions of dollars on promoting products and convincing people about why they need it. Such marketing efforts are designed to drive people and manipulate their spending habits in order to increase sales.

Such is the case that a large number of people spend a substantial portion of their income on buying things they don’t actually want or need. Impulse buying and emotional spending is one of the leading causes of large household debts. People are struggling to manage their spiraling credit card debts simply because their spending habits are not appropriately prioritized. Learning to control your spending habits and not letting yourself fall into the trap of hyperactive consumerism is a landmark on the road to a debt free life.

Limit temptation and forgo impulse shopping

One of the greatest banes when it comes to saving money is impulse shopping. The more you give in to your impulses and pick up everything you lay your eyes on while walking through a store, the more you add to the number of non-necessities you spend on. Whenever you are at the store or shopping anywhere, stick to the list of things you originally intended to buy and resist the urge to splurge. Sticking to a budget is also one of the easier ways to cut down on impulse spending. As long as you have a limited amount of cash to take care of the necessities, you will not be able to concentrate on acquiring luxuries.

Also, reducing your exposure to temptation is key towards cutting down on emotional spending habits. The less attention you pay towards the latest trends and gadgets, the less likely you are to divert your resources towards them. Keep yourself away from browsing through online shopping websites and learn to find some other online activity like gaming or social networking. Try to fill up your schedule and occupy your time with activities like cooking or going for walks which will help you keep your mind off shopping.

Stay away from advertisements and make yourself accountable

Intentionally reduce your exposure to the ad man and stay away from the television during commercial breaks. Instead, just go make yourself a cup of coffee or some popcorn. The less you are aware of the newest gadget on the market or the latest style of shoes, the less likely you are to spend your money on them. Ignore promotional offers in your mail and set up an ad blocker on your computer. These small measures should go a long way in putting an end to impulse expenditures.

One of the more useful methods of controlling your impulses when it comes to shopping is to hold yourself accountable and responsible for everything you decide to spend on. Set your priorities straight and live on a budget. Reward yourself by splurging a little once you have successfully stopped yourself from buying things on a whim.

The actual goal here is not to live on shoestrings but rather to spend in such a way that you don’t ever have to consider living on shoestrings ever in the near future. Cutting down on impulse purchases will save you a lot of money which you can then use in a more focused manner.

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