Emotional spending isn’t always a bad thing but a lot of times, it is. If you are feeling a little down and you feel like a new tube of lipstick might brighten your day, that is fine. But true emotional spending really comes into play when you have an argument with someone or find out some bad news so you decide to purchase several hundred dollars worth of clothes when you haven’t paid your car payment yet. That is when emotional spending is really a problem. So how can you stop emotional spending?
When you feel upset about something, you want to do something about it. That much is true. But you need to make a choice to do something healthy, not something that will harm you such as adding financial hardship. Try going to the gym or attacking your house in a house cleaning frenzy. Those are things that will make you feel good afterward. Emotional spending will not.
Sometimes, talking to a friend will help you to feel better. Call a friend and ask them to meet you for lunch or even just have a nice long phone conversation. Talking about whatever is bothering you will help you to brainstorm ways to handle the problem. Going out and doing some emotional spending doesn’t help you to figure out your problem in any way. It might make you feel better temporarily but in the long run it is not any help. When you are done spending money, the problem is still there and if you may have another problem, if you could not afford the spending binge.
If you cannot get your emotional spending under control on your own, it may be time to talk to a counselor who can help you to deal with it. For more information, you may also enjoy this article by Investopedia on the subject.