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Emotional spending

My emotional spending  


I love to shop. Random shopping trips to the store for a pencil or notebook I swear I need. Or some candles, because I just love scented candles now. However, there is no shopping that I love to do more these days than online shopping. The feeling of knowing that something I ordered is going to show up any day as a present to myself is a joy I can’t describe. Sadly, I do the most shopping when I am feeling emotional about something.  

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In an attempt to do a better job of saving money, I decided to analyze where and when I find myself spending the most money. I narrowed down my spending to the following events: 

  1. When I feel upset about something 
  2. When something happens that I cannot control 
  3. When I feel excited about a new project or idea 
  4. When I feel bored, and I am not occupied with something
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The Pattern

It became clear to me that I spend the most money on things, when I am experiencing a strong emotion. Sometimes, events even help to trigger my urge to spend money. This pattern was not a good one, and if saving money was really a goal of mine, it would be one that I would have to put a stop to.  

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Tips to Curb Emotional Spending 

Emotional spending may have been a bad habit of mine, but it wasn’t something that I had to continue to keep.  

  • If I wasn’t paying for the purchase with cash I wouldn’t buy it. (Using my credit cards made shopping way too easy). 
  • I gave myself a monthly spending allowance, that I would only use if I met my savings goal. 
  • I asked myself 3 questions before I made my purchase:  
  • Did I need it? 
  •  Would I even use it? 
  • Was the price worth the value of the product? 
  • I turned off notifications and sales e-mails, so that I wouldn’t be distracted into making an unnecessary purchase. 

The Emotional Side of Things

Buying stuff for myself when I felt emotional about things was not a healthy coping mechanism. Not to mention that I was struggling with my finances because of it. Developing a deeper understanding of myself helped me become better at pushing away the urge to spend freely. 


  1. This is a real problem so many of us face. Since last year I really cut back on frivolous spending since I valued traveling more. However, I still find myself spending when I’m upset over something. This is a great reminder to stay in control.

  2. I am an emotional spender, I didn’t even realize that was a thing. I tend to spend when I am happy so now I know to ask myself these three questions. Awesome post!

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