Research shows that money worries can actually increase your spending habits! Here’s how to cope with financial stress and reduce your debt problems.
Solving your money problems will decrease stress and anxiety, which will help you stop the debt cycle. Researchers have discovered that financial stress can lead to spending more money and creating more debt (instead of less!).
Here’s how money worries increase your spending habits, plus three ways to solve your money problems and decrease financial stress.
In her survey, psychology professor Karen Pine of the University of Hertfordshire found that 79% of women said they’d go on a spending spree to cheer themselves up if they were in a financial crisis. Pine’s research leads her to conclude that women use shopping to avoid negative feelings or life dissatisfaction.
Ironically, worrying about money could lead women to spend more, and get further into debt.
“If shopping is an emotional habit for women, they may feel the need to keep spending despite the economic downturn,” said Professor Pine. “Or, perhaps worse still, if they can’t spend, we might see an increase in mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.”
Solving your money problems not only takes the pressure off you and your family — it can keep you mentally and emotionally healthy, too.
To stop stressing about your finances, you need to stop emotional spending.
1. Learn the difference between need and stress. Emotional spending is similar to emotional eating: it avoids the cause of the problem and creates problems in the long run. To stop creating more debt, tune in to your stress levels and ways of handing anxiety. Learn when you’re spending because you’re stressed, or spending because you genuinely need the item.
2. Don’t buy the item for five days. When you’re tempted to spend money you don’t have, give yourself a five day “cooling off” period. You’ll be surprised at how often you realize you don’t want the item five (or even one) days later.
3. Deal with your triggers. Does arguing with your partner about money problems compel you to shop and spend money you don’t have? Or maybe your shopping habits are triggered by problems at work or with your kids. Whatever your triggers are – find other, healthier, ways to cope.
Solving money worries involves taking action, whether that means dealing with your emotional shopping tendencies or making a household budget and sticking to it. New habits like these take time to develop, but – once implemented – they will reduce your financial stress!