When you’re trying to budget, you probably know that your emotions can sometimes be your worst enemy. You’re budgeting well, then something happens that makes you want to eat out or treat yourself. While there is nothing wrong with the occasional treat, those on a shoestring budget or those trying to save as much as they can need to be mindful of their emotions. Here are some ways your emotions affect your spending habits.
Let’s get the elephant out of the room real fast. The COVID-19 has affected many people’s spending habits. We fear running out of supplies, so we go to the store to buy toilet paper in bulk, or buy various foods. We may impulse buy online more due to not being able to go to stores.
It’s important to be reasonable during this time. Stocking up on groceries, especially buying in bulk, is a wise move, but you should not engage in “panic buying.” Panic buying means buying one product in bulk, to the point where you’re emptying grocery shelves. You should avoid panic buying because some people can only afford to go to the store once a week (for example, to buy diapers for their baby), so we should ensure that there are supplies available for everyone, regardless of income level.
Depression is an emotion that can make you want to spend. Retail therapy is a real phenomenon. Going to the mall or store when you’re upset can be a great distraction, and buying something can cheer you up. You may go get some ice cream or another treat to make yourself feel better. The occasional depression purchase can cheer you up, and as long as you do it in moderation and don’t spend too much, there’s nothing wrong with it in the long run.
Those who are in a sour mood may not buy as much at a store. They may want to shop and get it over with should they need a certain item at a store. To them, there are too many choices and the last thing they want to do is to spend all day looking at the shop’s wares. When someone spends too much, they may get even angrier, usually at themselves.
Someone who is happy and positive may fall for more sales tactics. If they see a salesperson who is also positive and upbeat, they may want to stick around and have a conversation with that person. To the person who is selling the goods, a positive person may lead to a few good sales.
Someone with bipolar disorder may spend a lot during their mania phase. While depression can lead to a few impulse buys here and there, mania can lead to extremely excessive spending. In some mania cases, people may make extreme decisions, buying products they can’t afford like cars, a powerful computer, or extravagant vacations.
Someone who feels guilty about spending a lot of money may end up spending more because they feel like they messed up too much already. Alternatively, they may end up pinching pennies even harder because of their mistake.
Being Mindful of Your Emotions
When you feel certain emotions, they’re valid and you should express them, but you also need to be mindful of the fact that these emotions can cloud your judgment. When saving money, you need to make sure your purchases are within your budget. If you’re depressed, fearful, or are experiencing any other emotion, take a few deep breaths. Make a judgment as to whether or not you should spend money on this item, or save it for another day.
During these times, online therapy can be your solution. When you feel extreme emotions coming in, a therapist can help you keep check of them. Websites such as BetterHelp are your solution to all your excessive spending needs. Speak to a therapist today.