Emotions can have an immense impact on the way you spend your money. And the emotions that can affect shopping habits run the gamut from happiness, sadness, frustration, anger and you name it; it may trigger a desire to buy something to fill the void, stop or extend the feeling. The only way to overcome the emotional compulsion to shop is to recognize what you’re feeling, admit to the consequences of your spending and find ways to deal with your feelings in a more constructive way.

Fleeting Joy of Credit Cards
A vast number of people get into financial trouble by falling for the idea that they can afford the money that credit card issuers are willing to lend them. It’s also the key to many emotional spenders’ bad habits. With advertising campaigns that imply you’re a somebody when you can answer the question, ‘what’s in your wallet?’ or proclaim purchases as ‘priceless’, is it any wonder that we believe that shopping will solve our problems or make us feeling better.

Discover New Emotions Boosters
Negative emotions, like sadness and frustration, are the most common reasons that people compulsively shop. By exploring other ways to raise your spirits, you can avoid financially destructive retail therapy. Join a gym and raise your endorphins by exercising, relax in a hot bath or jacuzzi or call a trustworthy friend and talk it out.

Learning to be Content
Realistic expectations of what you need and what you can afford help to bring balance to life and a sense of contentment that may offset the desire to spend your money on things you don’t really need. Attempts to keep up with the Joneses will also bring disappointment, but a grateful attitude for all that you have will bring contentment.

Limit Shopping Advice
If you find that you’re talking yourself into buying something, you don’t need it. Wherever your trouble spots are – the mall, your favorite retailer, etc. – it’s time to limit your visits. When you do venture there, make it an adventure and enjoy the time browsing and window shopping; it’s cheaper than making a purchase. If Internet shopping is your issue, use your time to visit non-shopping sites or play online games. If you find yourself spending more when out with a particular friend or family member, try to schedule free or inexpensive activities with that person, like getting coffee, cooking dinner, or going for a walk.

Make Yourself Accountable
This suggestion requires the involvement of people you trust. By asking them to challenge you when they see you making unnecessary purchases, they will help you stay accountable. Draw up an agreement with yourself that lists your spending priorities and keep it in a place where you can see it often. Attach notes to your credit cards as a reminder of your agreement.

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