By Aisha Taylor
How many of you have ever gone shopping, brought the items home, and then thought, “Why did I buy that?” If so, you may have purchased that item because you were emotionally shopping. The problem with emotional shopping is that often times we purchase things that we don’t need, and we spend money that we don’t have available for that purchase.
Read below to learn 5 reasons why we emotionally shop. Understanding this will help you to recognize when you are emotionally shopping, and know what to do to stop it.
- Shop to de-stress. Sometimes being stressed causes people to want to engage in “Retail Therapy.” The problem with retail therapy is that it isn’t really therapy. Sometimes while you are shopping it feels good, however normally a few hours or a day later all of those emotions come back. However, the money spent shopping may have come from money that was set aside to pay bills, which further complicates your financial situation. If you are stressed out, try things like yoga, taking a walk, talking to friends, or watching a movie. Think about the things that make you feel good that don’t involve spending money and then do that the next time that you are feeling stressed.
- Shopping while bored. I have been guilty of this one before. Sometimes you are just looking for something to do and then you open up that Internet browser and then the next thing you know, you have a cart full of items. If you aren’t an online shopper, then you may call your shopping buddy to go to the store to find something to do. Instead of shopping out of boredom, grab your friend and go to the gym, go to the movies, or find something else to do that costs little to no money.
- Keep up an image. Sometimes people shop because they want to keep up or project an image. It can be very difficult to avoid the pressure of looking a certain way or having certain things because of Instagram. On Instagram, it seems like everyone is balling and winning, and it can be very depressing to compare yourself to others and feel like you are not doing enough. However, everyone on Instagram is not winning, and you don’t know their financial situation so you cannot compare yourself to them. If you find yourself feeling down, then just remind yourself that you are made perfectly in the image and likeness of God. You are worthy of happiness and joy, and happiness and joy do not come from stuff.
- Competition. Sometimes we shop out of jealousy and desire to compete with others in our heads to see who can acquire the most stuff. This really comes from the thought of using stuff as a measure of self-worth and defining our worth by the size of our closets. Healthy competition in some areas our lives is a good thing, but the competitive acquisition of stuff is not, and many times that will lead to debt or paycheck-to-paycheck living. Instead of competing with stuff, take time to figure out who you are as a person. Then compete with yourself to be the best you that you can be.
- Immediate gratification. With technology, we are so used to having everything right now at our fingertips. Therefore, when we shop we should get things because we want it now, right? Wrong. The problem with instant gratification is that it will destroy our budget, and generally once the item is purchased the rush that comes with acquiring something new quickly fades away. Those new shoes may get worn once and then they are buried in the closet with the other super awesome shoes that we had to have. Next time, before you fall victim to temptation, ask yourself if this purchase will move you closer to or further from your goals.
Now that you know how to recognize and stop emotional spending, what will you do the next time to urge to shop appears? Be sure to leave a comment to let me know!
Aisha Taylor is a #1 Amazon Best Selling Author of the book “5+5 FNPhenomenal Ways to Save $100 This Week Without Killing Your Lifestyle”, the Founder of FNPhenomenal (Frugal –n- Phenomenal), and creator of The Live Phenomenal Program. The Live Phenomenal Program is a program designed to give you the tools that you need to totally transform your finances, and stop living from paycheck-to-paycheck. It’s time for you to be Financially Phenomenal! Book your complimentary 20-minute financial clarity session with Aisha here.