Chicago Bankruptcy Attorneys Offer Tips to Curb Emotional Spending

Ever try to fix a bad day with retail therapy? I know I have.

Sometimes it's all too tempting to drown out nagging worries or unhappy experiences by trekking to the mall for something bright, shiny and new. And to some extent, it works - if you make sure to keep your purchases realistic and within your budget, say Chicago bankruptcy attorneys.

Problem is, when we're not feeling our best our judgment can get clouded, making it harder to stick to everyday limits. Have you heard of emotional eating? Well, this is emotional spending. And it can add up - especially if you're already in debt. Though it's no simple task to stop something you do unconsciously, you can change your behavior fairly easily before it happens by identifying - and learning to avoid - certain triggers.

Recognize symptoms
Recall how you felt the last time you went on an emotionally-charged shopping binge. Did you feel out of breath? Did your hands feel clammy? Did you get giddy all of a sudden? If you learn to recognize your symptoms, you can break the pattern by behaving logically - say, by counting to ten or by weighing the pros and cons of a purchase - rather than emotionally.

Avoid temptation
Do you drive by the mall on the way home from work? Consider trying an alternate route - or at least being extra careful when you know you're feeling emotional. Do you have a problem with online shopping? Stop yourself from browsing the Internet when you're feeling bored. It's hard to say no when you're being bombarded with ads telling you how much you need so-and-so product. Consider unsubscribing to catalogs and e-mail lists that are only going to introduce you to new things you don't need.

Don't be too hard on yourself
If you treat yourself to something small occasionally, you might not feel so wound up when you're having a bad day. Another problem occurs when you overspend and feel regret - causing you to overspend again. Don't beat yourself up - you can always return your purchases.

Emotional spending can be conquered, but it can also be a hard habit to break. You know it's time to try a new tactic when you can't seem to curb your impulses - or if past spending sprees have left you with so much debt your better behavior doesn't seem to make a difference. In that case, bankruptcy might be your best shot at getting your finances back on track.

Could bankruptcy be a good fit for you? Find out for free with a one-on-one debt analysis from a Chicago bankruptcy attorney. Improving your finances can also improve your mood - minus the pricey retail therapy.

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