Paying With Your Emotions
It has been a week since you got the bill, there it sits staring you squarely in the eyes. You have planned on paying over the minimum this time, but you have been unable to pay it just yet. Instead you wait and pay it just on-time. Perhaps with some bills we all just take a little extra time hanging on to what we think we are not ready to let go of. Our hard earned money.
Emotions play a key role in how we shop, when we pay our bills, why we splurge, and who we spend extra for. Not all of these emotions are bad, but some can lead us to spending more than we realize. Let's just take a moment to do a little self examination of how we each "pay with our emotions".
Worry - This is the most powerful of all our spending emotions it is also the most draining. All of us can admit that when it comes to worry, we are in deep emotional debt. Worrying about the next bill, how much food and other living costs are going to be can cause us to spend unnecessarily. Some might say that worrying about their bills helps them not to spend more. While it may keep you from making larger purchases it almost always increases your spending on comfort buys.
"Retail therapy is shopping with the primary purpose of improving the buyer's mood or disposition. Often seen in people during periods of depression or transition, it is normally a short-lived habit. Items purchased during periods of retail therapy are sometimes referred to as "comfort buys". - Wikipedia.com"
Being sad, depressed, and overspent can add to this same type of shopping.
In the end you spend more money trying to cheer yourself up then if you worked harder to not worry as much.
Guilt - Guilt is a sometimes a spender in disguise. Whether it is an argument with someone or hurt feelings over a misunderstanding guilt can cost us big. While w e have to admit that some people can be bought for the right price, most do not want you to buy you r way back into their heart. If your feelingguilty you can spend on a huge variety of "I'm sorry" gifts. But in the majority of these cases the best thing to do is offer apologies, and communication to resolve the issue. Spending is not the answer.
Buyer's Remorse - You might think this is an after-the-fact emotion when it comes to spending habits. Yet it is also one of the most expensive of our emotions. This emotion takes a purchase that can be good, sound, and affordable then turn it into a power house of opportunity cost.
Opportunity Cost is common today because we are faced with so many opportunities for one product or service. Yet each item or service may cost differently. The end result is that after buying a cheaper product we may feel regret for not buying the more expensive one because of bonus features, or a perception of better quality. Thus we feel compelled to return the item and spend more to purchase the higher cost "better" quality item.
These are just a few of the emotions that make us pay. Taking steps to not allow them to control our wallets is a step towards better financial health, and perhaps better self-control.