How To Keep Your Emotions From Impacting Your Spending

Posted by Kathrina St Flavin in BudgetingJune 25, 2019(Last Updated January 3, 2023)2 min read
Key Takeaways
  • In the world of personal finance, it can be easy to forget that spending isn't logical.
  • However, it is important to keep your emotions in check while spending. 
  • One way to make sure emotions do not impact your spending is by setting a limit and making sure you do not go over it.
Are you ready to make some real money moves?

In the world of personal finance, it can be easy to forget that spending isn't logical. Spending less than you make is not just a math problem. Shopping can be attached to habits and emotions. When I have a bad day, it feels good to click buy on that new pair of shoes. When I’m hiding from an overwhelming task at work, then I can get a quicker feeling of being productive if I go overboard in buying things for a project in my apartment that I probably won't get to anytime soon.


I’m not a robot--I recognize that sometimes I will just need to make that splurge. But I also know my money situation. Treating myself too frequently adds up and will keep me from reaching some major financial goals that are important to me.  


Here are some steps I’ve tried to help me pause before committing to bigger purchases that may add up: 


Set a Limit 


Warning: I score very high on the cheap scale. Choose a limit that makes sense for your budget and peace of mind. These numbers are what work for me. 


I have made a promise to myself that I cannot make an impulse purchase over $100. If I want to buy something that is $100 or more, then I have to take at least a week to think about it before buying it. Most times, I forget about the item or realize the excitement had died down. 


Recommended Read: How to Stop Impulsing Buying


I even apply a separate limit to shopping trips--If I head to a store for one purpose and end up picking up $75 worth of items or more, then I have to either reduce my cart or just leave with the one thing that I came in to get. 


Ask the Hard Questions


Another tactic that I use when I want to splurge is to investigate what feelings are driving my desire to spend. These questions have helped me:


  • Am I trying to keep up with someone else by buying this item?
  • Am I shopping to avoid another more important task? 
  • Will this item bring more joy into my life? If so, then how? 
  • If I couldn’t buy this item, then how would I be able to make do?
  • Do I think this item will make me happier/smarter/prettier, etc.? 


If I can’t build a good case with my answers to these questions, then I know it won’t help my budget. 

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