The past few months have been filled with anxiety, stress, and worry. Ever since concerns over COVID-19 seized the country, we’ve found ourselves stuck at home and wondering what happens next? You may have found yourself eating more than usual, getting less sleep, and hitting checkout on Amazon more times than you can count!
Chances are, you’ve done some emotional spending since this all began. It’s money you spend on something you don’t need and maybe, don’t even want! The pandemic has been stressful. It’s sure tempting to find relief or comfort in online shopping right now. I have a friend with daughters who were missing their friends so badly, she said she was willing to get them any extra games and craft kits on Amazon just to help them feel better!
Haven’t we all been there? When you feel you have no control over some things in your life, you search for things you can control. For women, it could be starting a new skincare regimen, trying new makeup, or splurging on a cute new jacket! For men, it could be getting the latest gadget or sports item. These things may make you feel good for a moment, but probably don’t fit into your long-term financial goals. There are several things you can do to control emotional spending:
Avoid impulse buys.
Have a plan, a list, or even a budget and stay within it. Give yourself some leeway in a certain category, but be certain not to overspend.
If you’re tempted by online ads that pop up when perusing Facebook, stay away and don’t mindlessly scroll. If your trigger is an email from your favorite retailer advertising a sale, unsubscribe.
Feel the pain of paying.
Don’t save your credit card info on shopping sites. You’re much more likely to spend if it only takes one click. Another good question to consider: would I still buy this if I had to pay cash and not use a credit card?
Ask others to help hold you accountable.
Communicate your goals to your spouse, friends, or family and ask them to share the journey with you.
“If you’re buying things you don’t want, don’t need, and you’re going into debt because of it, that creates the problem,” said Justin Van Houten, LPL Financial Advisor. When the world is so uncertain right now, don’t contribute to your anxiety by spending money you don’t have. If you need help with accountability, or guidance to get you going, Compass Financial is here for you. We offer a complimentary initial consultation to everyone. We will work with you as you pursue your financial goals. Contact us or give us a call at (515) 327-1020.