The other day I was emailing with one of my budget coaching girls (heyyyyy, K!) and she mentioned that she had a big project due soon and it was causing her to spend money purely out of stress. She realized that she was making extra trips to the coffee shop just because of how stressed she was.
That got me thinking. I used to stress spend, too.
(WHOA old pic- my hair is so short here! Also this was in VA, you can tell because THEY DON'T SELL WINE IN TARGETS IN NY!!! Ugh, it's sad)
When I was in crappy living situations after college, I often found myself wandering the aisles of Target, buying stuff just because it made me feel slightly better about life.
That really is the crux of stress spending. You're spending money in an attempt to make yourself feel better. So how can you avoid that?
(did I use "crux" correctly there? I really like that word but just never know where to use it.)
5 ways to avoid stress spending
1. Don't let yourself near Target (or whatever store(s) are your kryptonite) if you know you're feeling stressed. Can't spend money if you aren't in a store... (and don't let yourself go online shopping, either)
2. If coffee is your weakness, splurge on some fancier coffee grounds, delicious coffee creamer, and some whipped creme. Then make yourself some awesome coffee at home. It'll be a bit more expensive than your normal at-home coffee, but still WAY cheaper than buying it at a coffee shop.
3. Schedule 30-60 minutes of your day to do something you REALLY want to do. Sure, yeah, it'll cut into your work/project/study time, but trust me, it's worth it. You need to recharge and give yourself some "me time". Take a nap, go for a walk, read a book, watch trashy TV, paint your nails, bake cookies, call a friend, have a beer, make some tea... whatever you enjoy. It's kinda preemptively making yourself happy so you don't feel like you need to go out and spend money to make yourself happy.
4. Allow yourself a few splurges. Whatever you're working on is probably really BIG and it's okay to be stressed about it! Allow yourself that extra coffee trip to reward yourself for all your hard work. Life's no fun if you make yourself feel guilty for everything.
5. Perspective. Take a step back and evaluate what's going on. Is this project a life or death situation? Is your living situation really the most horrible thing on earth? Things could always be worse. What you're going through is tough, sure, but eventually it'll be over and you'll still be alive.
How do you avoid stress spending?