Overspending is driven by emotions and social media, says financial therapist Amanda Clayman. Shopping is often a way to relive past emotions or mask feelings, and social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok can contribute to « FOMO » or Fear of Missing Out. To break the cycle of overspending, people should identify the emotions driving their spending habits and set clear financial goals. Clayman advises setting a budget and tracking spending to avoid overspending.
Why am I Spending More?
Have you ever found yourself spending more money than you intended to? Perhaps you went to the store to buy one thing, but ended up leaving with a cart full of items. Or maybe you impulsively made a purchase online, only to regret it later. If so, you’re not alone. Many people struggle with overspending, and the reasons behind it can be complex.
The Role of Emotions in Spending
According to financial therapist Amanda Clayman, emotions play a significant role in our spending habits. In an interview with CNBC, she explains that « It really comes down to just emotions…[Spending] is an attempt to relive or get back to the way a purchase made us feel in the past, or to kind of mask a feeling. »
This tendency to pursue what feels good, combined with the convenience of being able to shop whenever we want, can be a recipe for overspending. When we’re feeling stressed, anxious, or even just bored, we may turn to shopping as a way to feel better. And with online shopping available 24/7, it’s easier than ever to make impulse purchases without really thinking them through.
The Impact of Social Media
Another factor that can contribute to overspending is social media. With platforms like Instagram and TikTok, we’re constantly bombarded with images of people living seemingly perfect lives. We see influencers promoting products and experiences that we may not be able to afford, but that we feel like we should have in order to keep up.
This pressure to keep up with others can lead to a phenomenon known as « FOMO » or Fear of Missing Out. We may feel like we need to buy certain things or have certain experiences in order to fit in or be accepted. This can lead to overspending, as we prioritize keeping up appearances over our own financial well-being.
How to Break the Cycle of Overspending
If you find yourself struggling with overspending, there are steps you can take to break the cycle. One approach is to identify the emotions that are driving your spending habits. Are you shopping to relieve stress or boredom? Are you trying to keep up with others on social media? Once you understand the root causes of your overspending, you can begin to develop healthier coping mechanisms.
Another strategy is to set clear financial goals for yourself. Whether it’s paying off debt, saving for a vacation, or building an emergency fund, having a specific goal in mind can help you stay focused and motivated. You can also try implementing a budget or spending plan to help you stay on track.
Spending more than we intend to can be a frustrating and stressful experience. But by understanding the role of emotions in our spending habits, and taking steps to break the cycle of overspending, we can regain control over our finances and achieve our financial goals. Whether it’s practicing mindfulness, setting clear financial goals, or seeking professional help, there are many ways to overcome the urge to overspend and create a healthier relationship with money.
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