Atlanta Bankruptcy Attorneys Offer Advice For Avoiding Emotional Spending
Have you ever treated yourself to a shopping spree on a bad day? Or celebrated something positive - like a raise - by blowing a bit more money than you can afford?
It's called emotional spending, according to Atlanta bankruptcy attorneys, and it means you're spending with your heart and not your head. It's the financial equivalent of emotional eating: it tastes sweet in the moment, but the baggage it will leave you with isn't worth it - especially if you're adding to an already large debt.
Fortunately, even the biggest emotional spenders can learn to reign in their habits. What's the secret? Identifying the things that trigger your shopping urges - and then coming up with solutions.
For instance, do you often swing by the mall to unwind after particularly stressful days at work? When you feel yourself under a lot of pressure, start making plans to do something rewarding but inexpensive, like taking a bubble bath, sweating out your stress on the treadmill or popping your favorite movie into the DVD player when you get home. You'll have something to look forward to - and to distract you from shopping.
It also helps to avoid temptation. If you receive a lot of catalogs and e-mails from your favorite stores, try unsubscribing. Worried you'll miss out? Don't be. What you don't know about can't hurt you. Besides, when you really need something, you'll seek it out at the store - you don't need the store coming to you. It also helps to keep a shopping list of the things you need. That way, when you do go to the store, you can focus on your list rather than spending haphazardly.
Lastly, give yourself a break. If you treat yourself to something small now and then, you won't be as desperate to splurge when the going gets tough. And you'll be able to get through those occasional spending urges by reminding yourself you'll get your reward again soon. Most importantly, don't get so down on yourself for overspending one day that you end up spending even more in your anger. Remember, you can always return stuff you decide you don't need - or worst case scenario, you can sell it on eBay.
Changing your shopping habits might not happen overnight, but it can be done with a little determination. That said, habits can be harder to break for some than for others - especially for those of us already in debt. Don't suffer in silence if you just can't seem to curb your spending - or if you've got so much debt that your spendthrift ways aren't making much of a dent. Instead, get help. By filing for bankruptcy, you can lower or eliminate certain debts - and affordably pay down others. Find out more for free with a one-on-one debt analysis with an Atlanta bankruptcy attorney. Lots of folks deal with stress by shopping - but by learning to control your shopping habits, you'll also control your stress. And that pays off.