Retail Therapy Rx: 4 Tricks for Avoiding Emotional Spending

Retail therapy -- we've all engaged in this activity whether we realize it or not. Have you ever gone through a breakup or had a terrible day work and find yourself shopping? They say money can't buy happiness (which I do agree with), but there's something about adding things to your shopping cart online or browsing the new arrivals at Sephora that suddenly makes those negative feelings magically fizz away. I would be lying if I said I weren't guilty of this! I do it all the time, especially when I'm feeling a little discouraged about school or my career. Clothes and food are my go-to. The issue I'm trying to avoid always usually comes back to mind, but it's nice to have an escape just for a little bit. One really popular tweet/Instagram quote lately has women saying, "I wish retail therapy was covered by my health insurance" -- I'm also guilty of saying this -- but that will probably never happen!

With e-commerce so popular, it's not so easy not to indulge in retail therapy, but there are some things that I do whenever I'm feeling some type of way and probably should not be shopping.

  • When you're feeling emotional, find something else to do besides shopping and make that a habit instead. Read a book to escape, write a blog post, cook a new meal you've been dying to try, or go exercise for an hour! There are plenty of stress-relief activities you could be engaging in besides spending when you're upset.
  • Set a budget -- and stick to it. It's great to spend and splurge every once in a while, but all of that spending adds up quickly. Set aside a small percentage of your paycheck each month for "luxury", or leisure, spending and treat yourself throughout the month. When your leisure money is gone, stop spending!
  • You're feeling super sad and you buy a DVF wrap dress -- in every color. Quit the impulse buying! And that brings me to my next point...
  • Ask yourself "Do I really need it?" Do you really need those super funky Jeffrey Campbell platform boots? Will you wear them again a month from now? Probably not. [Tip: when I see something I think I love in a store and I keep picking it up or coming back to it, it's more than likely a piece I truly love. If that's the case, go for it!]

    Check out the cool infographic from eHealth and see why you might be emotionally spending and what categories you're spending the most money on. I found it to be so true!

Do you emotionally spend? What are your tips for avoiding it?