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Tag Archives: emotional spending

Avoiding Feelings

I used to be a world class emotion avoider.  When it came to my feelings, I gold medaled in not feeling them.

I was a bona-fide pro.

Simply knowing that my shopping was driven by a desire to avoid a feeling was not enough for me to change.

I wasn’t motivated by a goal of not shopping.  Or spending less.

In truth, those goals were hollow. They didn’t matter.

What did matter was the idea of creating wealth.  The idea of enjoying my lifestyle while reaching my long-term financial goals.

What mattered even more, was the idea that I could consistently feel better. Feel good.  Feel happy.

Not pretend happy.

Really happy.

And I could use my relationship with money to help me get there.

This meant not sugar coating my feelings (that was just another form of denial).

This meant not shopping when I wanted to feel better.

And most of all it meant no longer hiding from and avoiding those pesky feelings.

It meant exploring those feelings.  Diving into what was causing them.

I discovered that feelings are a gift.

An invitation to explore my mind.  An opportunity to uncover my beliefs.

The worst thing they can ever do is create a feeling.

The best thing they can do is to help me change my thinking and my life.

When I changed my thinking I started to change my feelings, for real.

I consistently started to feel better, no shopping necessary.

When I felt better, I created better results.  For myself and my money.

Leave your comments and insights below.

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

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Money Monday – Emotional Spending

We love to spend money. It makes us feel good.  It provides a rush.  It even releases dopamine, the feel good chemical, in the brain.

There’s nothing wrong with spending money.

But when you use money as a band-aid for dealing with your emotions, it’s easy to get carried away.

If we feel unloved, we  shop.  If we feel lonely, we take a friend out to dinner.  If we feel bored, we spend money on activities we think will cure the problem.

We spend, spend, spend.  We end up emotionally bankrupt and feeling overwhelmed financially.  When you use money to solve your problems, you end up creating bigger problems and doing nothing about what’s causing the feelings in the first place.

So how do you know if you’re spending because you have a true want or need or if you’re trying to spend yourself into feeling better.

I’ve put together some questions you can use to check in before you spend the money.

Question 1: What do you think it will mean if you don’t buy the item? 

This question is so important because we often spend money to avoid looking cheap.  Especially at our friends candle parties and when the sales people are so sweet we don’t want to let them down.

Question 2: Why do you want the item & how do you think you will feel if you buy the item?

The only reason we ever want something is because we think it will make us feel better.  While you might get a temporary boost from shopping, you can never shop your way into happiness.  Trust me, I’ve tried it.

Question 3: Are you in a hurry?

Hurry is a great clue that you need to check in with yourself.  If you truly want something, most likely it will be there tomorrow. If you can’t wait, ask yourself why.  Get honest.  Slow down.  Check in.

Question 4: Will this item take my closer to or further from my financial goals?

Our minds are not designed to focus on the long term.  The brain loves instant gratification.  Having near term financial goals that you can check in with while you’re spending can help.  This question is designed to help you remember that there is a biger picture.

Bottom line: If you’re in a hurry to buy the jeans, the car, the couch, the watch, the vacation, the eye cream, the dinner for all your friends and you think buying it will help you feel confident, free, cozy, rich, connected, pretty, liked or any other emotion, you’re likely engaging in emotional spending.

Any lift you get in how you feel will be temporary and when it’s gone you’ll still be stuck with the bill.  There are better ways to feel better that cost a lot less money.

Leave your comments and insights below. 

Email me your questions on money to christy.lambert@areyouthriving.com

If you like this,  share it on facebook or twitter!



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