By Cara Neighbors
Take a look around your home and other personal spaces. Do you have items that do not seem to have a proper place? What lies behind the closed doors of the spare bedroom and hall closet? If you find yourself with too many unused items, emotional spending could be to blame.
Emotional spending is when purchases are made that you do not need, and sometimes, do not even want. This can occur when you are feeling blue, stressed, worried, bored, wronged or underappreciated. Retail therapy is a cute name for a potentially big problem. When the instant gratification received from impulse purchases does not outweigh the imminent mortification at the sight of your credit card bill, it is time to consider different ways to deal with those down days.
Window shopping is nice in theory, but too often innocent strolls end with hefty tolls. When you need to lighten your mood take a walk outside. The exposure to natural light will likely improve your attitude. If you still have the urge to shop consider buying items that you can enjoy over a period of time-for instance, a good book, a box of tea or an aroma therapy candle. Sensible splurging can relax the tensions that create the need for shopping. If online shopping is your vice, set up wish lists at your favorite sites. Wait a few days and revisit your saved wish list to see if you are still interested in the purchase or if it was indeed an impulse desire.
Even if you have not set a formal budget for yourself, take time to carve out a designated amount of mad money. Emotionally intelligent spending does not have to mean removing all impulse and indulgence.
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The contents and opinions contained in this article are for informational purposes only. The information is not intended to be a substitute for professional accounting counsel. Always seek the advice of your accountant or other financial planner with any questions you may have regarding your financial goals.