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Stylish Spending versus Retail Therapy

No Hole in Your Wallet, Just Your Heart

by Karie Hill – October 4, 2012

“Do you really want that red cashmere sweater or simply for your boyfriend to say you look pretty.” - Dorothy Foltz-Gray

I love this quote. Overspending is so much more than just loving clothes and is the number one reason why women are in debt and living paycheck to paycheck.

When we spend money mindlessly, we’re really looking to fill something that’s lacking in our lives. For example:

…You go through a divorce or break up. You shop to feel happy… for a moment.

…You recently moved to another state and miss your family and friends. You shop to fill the loneliness.

…You feel bad about your weight or hate your job. You shop or overeat to avoid your feelings.

…You met a new group of friends and are seeking approval and acceptance. You spend money to fit in.

Can you relate?

Emotional Shopping: “During shopping jaunts, a brain area called the nucleus accumbens floods with dopamine, the same chemical that’s released during sex and cocaine use.”  - Lorrin Kora via Psychology Today

Spending is just a temporary solution to the feelings you’re trying to create or avoid.

Overcome Overspending

1. Identify the feelings you’re seeking

2. Choose a positive way to fulfill that emotion

  • Call and talk to a family member.
  • Go for a swim or take a relaxing yoga class.
  • Write a letter to the person you’re angry at. Don’t send it.
  • Get snuggled in a comfy blanket and take a nap.
  • Take a warm bath with a good book.
  • Watch a funny movie.

3. Forgive yourself

You won’t be perfect with this. Don’t beat yourself up. With practice, conscious spending is a budget you will be able to stick to.

Leave a comment. What are some fun things you can do when you get the urge to shop?

(Photo credit.)



About the Author: Karie Hill

Karie Hill is a financial freedom coach, speaker and writer who believes financial freedom is one of the greatest gifts a woman can give herself. She teaches smart women how to build healthy, wealthy money habits, remove their financial barriers, and create the kind of life they really desire.