There’s nothing wrong with buying something to celebrate, say, a raise or a special occasion. Buying something to console yourself when you’re feeling down is all fine and good as well. But ‘emotional spending’ can easily go out of hand, which is not exactly good for your budget. Completely eliminating emotional spending, though, is not exactly good for you—so the best way to keep both you and your budget healthy is to simply dial it back a bit. How? Well…

Add a bit of pressure: Fight the pressure to go shopping by putting pressure in the opposite direction: Make a list of your financial priorities and put them up on your mirror or refrigerator, write down your savings goals on a small sticky note and put them on your credit cards, etc.

Avoid temptations, part 1: Advertisements exist because they work, because they are effective in convincing us that we should buy an item even though we might not need it. So, unsubscribing to product catalogues and promotional e-mails is a wise thing to do. Ad-blocking add-ons for your browser might also help.

Avoid temptations, part 2: A trip to the nearest mall is an easy way to trigger internal impulses to shop; same thing with regularly browsing online stores. If you find yourself easily tempted to buy unnecessary stuff, try to place a limit on how often you go to shopping malls, departments stores, online shops, etc., and instead….

Look for something else to do: Exercise, read a good book, cook, jog around the block—all of these are great distractions that can take your mind away from your day-to-day stress. Plus, all of these options are healthy for your body, your mind, and your wallet.

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January 2017
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