How To Outsmart Your Over-Spending Triggers
When it comes to over-spending, self-knowledge is definitely power!
If you are one of the many who struggle with over-spending, by becoming more aware of your signature over-spending triggers, you will be better armed with the knowledge to craft a plan of action to avoid them. When it comes to over-spending, on things like travel and luxury consumer brands, self-knowledge is definitely power!
Identifying what triggers your particular over-spending will help you be more conscious of the times when you are most vulnerable to over-spend. If you are not sure what triggers you, keep a log of over-spending incidents, making note of the following:
- when it was
- where you were
- who you were with [if applicable]
- what the situation was
- what you were feeling before over-spending
- what you bought
Once you have collected enough data, start to analyze it for significant trigger patterns. For example, you may learn that certain situations are connected with over-spending. Perhaps it's difficult to resist a bargain. You may find that whenever Bloomies has a 'SALE,' you're there. Or, after a long day at the office or suffering through a dreadful date, that Chanel lipstick seems like a just 'reward.' One woman I worked with found herself at the MAC Cosmetic counter during lunch every time her boss handed back a legal brief that was marked up with a myriad critical comments.
Over-spending can often be used as a mind-altering 'drug.' You may find that there are certain feelings that prompt you to over-spend. Common ones are loneliness, anxiety, sadness, boredom, resentment, jealousy, etc. However, don't be surprised if you find that happiness, success, health or accomplishments are triggers as well.
Lastly, you may identify that certain people are connected to over-spending. There may be particular girlfriends who wants to take a 'quick peek' in the Anthropologie shop on your way to dinner, and you walk out with an unintended purchase. Another client somehow found herself on bananarepublic.com every time she got off the phone with her mother-in-law.
Once you have analyzed all the 'data,' make a list of your signature over-spending triggers. Armed with this increased self-awareness, brainstorm solutions for your particular triggers. For example, if criticism from your boss is a trigger, find a trusted co-worker you can 'vent' to, or a friend you can text to let her know 'the jerk did it again.' If you struggle with boredom as a trigger, find more ways to engage yourself in your world such as taking up a hobby, registering for a class on something you've always wanted to learn, volunteering, etc. And, avoid traveling with your Anthropologie girlfriend to the restaurant…plan to meet her there instead!
Financially Smitten Call to Action for YOU today:
It's often easy to make purchases without thinking about the financial and emotional implications until after the money is spent. The key is to stay conscious before pulling out your wallet. Stopping Overshopping expert April Benson recommends asking yourself these six questions the next time you find yourself about to make a purchase:
- Why am I here?
- How do I feel?
- Do I need this?
- What if I wait?
- How will I pay for it?
- Where will I put it?
You can put these questions on a Post-It note and keep it in visible place in your wallet or on your computer screen…those neon colored ones are great for catching your eye! You can whip it out as you stand in the checkout line at Target-loaded down with items from the latest Zac Posen line.
About the Author
As founder of Financially Smitten, Lora Sasiela, MSW, employs a proven blend of financial therapy, money coaching and personal experience to inspire women to approach their personal finances with consciousness, clarity, and confidence. Her dynamic coaching style, celebrated workshops, and information products, are inspiring a new generation of financial powerhouses who are kicking their fear, guilt and shame about money straight to the curb.