Do you ever buy something to help yourself feel better? You’re not alone. Many of us let our emotions control our spending habits. And when we experience a higher level of stress (like during the holidays), the temptation to spend is heightened. Ultimately, these emotional shopping sprees may lead to shame, guilt, and, sometimes, financial woes. But there are ways you can take control of your spending, even when you’ve had a bad day or struggling with all the changes that may challenge you regularly.
Here are a few ways to combat stress spending:
- Discover your spending triggers. Consider the reasons why you make unplanned purchases. Do you buy something after a rough day at work or when you’re bored on the weekend? Or maybe you buy something to celebrate a new job or promotion. Take note of what triggers your spending habits. You can then start to replace any impulse to spend with other activities, such as exercising, doing something creative, practicing yoga, or walking your dog.
- Adopt the 48-hour rule. If you want to make an unplanned purchase, stop yourself, and wait 48 hours to decide. Look at the pros and cons and determine if you “really” need the item in question or if you’re just reacting to an emotional trigger.
- Use a shopping list. Before you shop, make a list and stick to it to help you avoid impulse buys. As a result, you’ll save money and eliminate waste because you’re taking to the time to review what you need before you shop.
- Track what you spend. You can use many tools to track your spending easily — online and mobile banking, to name a few. And take notice of when you’re spending money on things you may not need, such as the time of day or day of the week. The more you know about your spending habits, the more likely you can make the necessary improvements.
When all else fails, ask for help. Reach out to a trusted family member, friend, or one of our QCB representatives to learn ways you can avoid unnecessary spending successfully. When you find ways to control your spending now, your financial outlook will be brighter.
Set up a time to discuss financial savings strategies with a QCB representative. We’re ready to help you move into the New Year with ease.