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Letters to YOU: “How to escape rat race and improve financial future today?” PART III.

Updated on May 8, 2011

Dear You,

Emotional spending occurs when you experience different feelings and emotions. Whether you are unhappy, depressed, bored or even happy about that raise – you are prone to buy something you don’t really need or don’t even like! Its fine to treat yourself once in a while, but ONLY if you can afford it. If you are spending money emotionally on things you don’t need and then struggle to pay your bills - that’s when you have to start doing something about it. Even though it’s not realistic to stop emotional spending once and for all, there is still a lot you can do to decrease the damage to your financial situation. Retail therapy is not an antidepressant; it’s a mistake!

- Recognise emotional spending habit. Remember all the things you bought in the last month. Were these useful? Did you like what you bought? Did you feel guilty for spending? If you feel guilty about something you bought even a few months back and then struggled to pay for the necessities, then… you spend your money emotionally. It’s not about whether you do it or not; it’s what you do about it that counts.

- Stop making impulsive purchases. Take your time before you buy something. Think carefully whether you need it. What would happen if you would buy it? What would happen if you wouldn't buy it? Give yourself at least a day or so to make a firm decision about your purchase and about the consequences to your wallet.

- Avoid situations where you might slip. Stop going to shopping malls, leave your credit cards in the freezer or unsubscribe from receiving product catalogues. Do whatever it takes for you personally to stop spending emotionally and start spending wisely. Retail therapy is not about spending, it’s about investing.

- For the next month do not spend money on treats for yourself. Start appreciating and being satisfied with what you already have. More spending will lead to more debt. There is absolutely no reason to get into more debt for a few happy moments after you buy something. Stop all the unnecessary spending, such as buying a cup of coffee every day before you go to work. Just think of it this way: “The difference between rich people and poor people is that poor people spend their money and save what’s left; rich people save their money and spend what’s left.” (Jim Rohn, motivational speaker).

- Retail therapy only suppresses your feelings and emotions. Next time you spend money emotionally note down what you feel about the purchase at the time you buy and after. Learn to recognise your emotions – usually you will feel sad and disappointed. Emotional spending is just an anaesthetic to your feelings. Remember that the effect wears off. Start dealing with your emotions in appropriate manner.

- Start building yourfinancial confidence today. Feel good about paying down the debts. Learn to reward yourself in ways, which don’t involve money. Spend some quality time with your friends and family, read a book or find an alternative activity, which is unique to you. Only do things that make you experience positive emotions that are long lasting.

- Always remember that only you are accountable for your actions and only you can get yourself out of debt and get closer to financial stability and security. Make a list of things you want to save money for. Make sure the things on the list are meaningful! Keep the list in a visible place, for example, on the fridge door. Constantly remind yourself that you are not spending money emotionally for a good reason.

- Think that the situation can get worse. Overspending can become an addiction – its oniomania, which is a chemical dependency. Gain control over your finances while you can. Don’t spend money to avoid yourself!

Be healthy, happy and wealthy…. and Remember: “I have enough money to last me the rest of my life, unless I buy something.”

Always by your side,

Tati Irodova


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