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Do Your Emotions Influence Your Spending

Without hesitation, I will personally answer this question with an emphatic "YES." For me, if I have had a bad day, buying that really cu e pair of shoes can only make it better. That is, until the credit card bill comes. It I had a great day, eating out can only make it that much better.

These are some of the thoughts and feelings I deal with on a regular basis and something tells me, I am not the only one that goes through these same emotions. Retail therapy--It seems harmless enough. It's legal, it's not bad for your health and it is not bad f or the environment, but what is it doing to your long term financial outlook or even your short term for that matter. Shopping because you are bored or because it makes you feel better (self-esteem) will not take away the problem and in most cases it will leave you with debt that will take you much longer to repay than the purchases lasted. Society leads us to believe that he who has the most possessions wins. Not true.

There is nothing wrong with possessions if you need them and you can afford them, but buying to keep up with the Joneses is not the answer either. While most of us are not compulsive shoppers, how many of us give into that impulsive little voice that tells us we would feel much better if we just had that new purse or that cute little outfit we saw in the window the other day. The consequences of listening to that little voice can be far reaching when it concerns your finances. Emotional spending will affect your finances over time. It may not be disastrous at first, but it will add up.

The sad thing is that those feelings of instant gratification that we receive when we make that purchase are only temporary and the reason that we used to justify that purchase, still exists. There is no easy answer to emotional spending. Before you spend, try to delay it for awhile. This will give you some time to think about the decision you are about to make.

Following this practice will sometimes prevent me from spending at all. If you can deal with the emotion instead of spending you will have gained a small victory. You will not gain control of your financial decisions over night, but if you handle them one decision at a time, you will make small steps towards achieving your goal.

Marjorie Salada is the owner of Debt Management 1 and The Road to Debt Freedom , resources that contain information on debt consolidation, debt counseling and debt settlement.

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