Like a gambling problem or a problem with alcohol a lot of people who have financial problems have them because of other, deeper set emotional problems. Frankly, the average person realizes that being in debt is ‘bad’ but, if they have emotional issues that make this fact fuzzy, they can get into a lot of financial problems. With this in mind we’d like to present a few ideas, thoughts and advice for anyone that thinks they might have a spending problem that is caused by emotions.
First, take a look at this list and see if any of these people sound like you.
- Do you shop to relieve stress?
- Do you shop as a form of socializing?
- Do you own more than 1 of something when really all you need is one, like a blender?
- Do you get a ‘high’ when buying something?
- Do you hide what you buy from your family?
- Do you have negative feelings like remorse or guilt after you shop?
If you said yes to any of these questions (or more than 1) you probably have an emotional spending problem. These may need some professional help so if you think you do please get that help. It may be that you have an addictive personality like a drug user or a gambler and there are 12 Step groups that can sometimes help.
Some people have a feeling that they are ‘entitled’ to everything that they want. This is an emotional way to look at spending also and isn’t exactly healthy or intelligent. The fact is, no matter who you are the things that you want in this life have to be worked for (unless you‘re Paris Hilton, of course).
Instant gratification is a big problem for many folks who, while they don’t have a problem per se, are too impatient to wait until they can actually afford something and so put it on credit, paying much more for it and going into debt because of their impatience.
Then there are the people who feel that the more stuff they have the ‘better’ they are. If you connect your self-worth to your collection of stuff you may have an emotional spending problem that’s called ‘trying to keep up with the Jones’s’ and this can be very unhealthy, financially speaking.
Then there are the people that get so far into debt that they figure ‘a little bit more won’t hurt’. This complacency has put many people into big debt over the years and the fact is that, if you’re already in debt, you should be trying to work your way out of it instead of just adding to it.
When it boils right down to it the financial problems that you have usually are your fault. Is this harsh? No, it’s reality. If you want to get out of debt and start saving you need to stop spending on stuff you don’t need, it’s really that simple. If it’s not that simple for you, you may need to consider getting professional mental health help.