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Are you an emotional spender? With the turmoil and uncertainty from the pandemic, more Americans are emotionally spending their money to try to deal with the situation. What are the characteristics of emotional spending and how do you prevent it from
getting out of hand?
Emotional spending is essentially spending money on
discretionary purchases that may or may not be budgeted for in order to make yourself feel better. It’s a coping mechanism just like drinking is. You may be an emotional spender if you use spending to “improve or maintain a mood, cope with stress, deal with loneliness, and/or improve self-esteem.”
There are many reasons why someone would emotionally spend but it’s true that Americans are using it as a coping mechanism for the COVID-19 pandemic. When things seem so uncertain, it’s natural to want to do something that makes you feel better, even superficially.
Depending on your budget, emotional spending may not be draining your bank account. However, it is important to get it under control. If you completely find that you are unable to stop spending money as a coping mechanism, you may benefit from finding a therapist who specializes in spending.
If it’s just something that you hope to minimize and get under control, there are ways that you can mitigate your spending. Does your
budget account for discretionary spending or fun purchases? If you have a set budget and have money set aside for it, your emotional spending will be accounted for, and while you may want to get to the root of the issue, it won’t negatively harm your finances.
Finally, consider picking up a healthy hobby to use as a stress reliever. Yoga, working out, cooking, growing a garden, or cross-stitching are great ways to relieve stress while not spending money. It’s understandable that many are using shopping as a coping mechanism during the pandemic, but the most important thing to keep in mind is that you can emotionally spend while keeping it under control and stress-relieving tactics are necessary in order to get a hold of it.
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