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Control Emotional Spending With These Tips

We’ve all been there – you’ve had a rough day, so to cheer up, you go shopping and splurge a bit. Maybe you buy a new pair of shoes and feel better temporarily, but you know it was more money than you really wanted to spend. Too much retail therapy now could lead to credit card debt later, so here are some tips to help control emotional spending.

You might fall into debt if your emotional spending unravels.

You might fall into debt if your emotional spending unravels.

Unsubscribe from Promotional Emails

Those coupons and reminders from your favorite stores that flood your inbox every day are a huge source of temptation. If you’re in a bad mood and shopping is how you cope, one glance at a promotional email about a sale or a new product line might be all it takes to send you into a store or place an online order. Unsubscribing from those emails is a good first step to take to control emotional spending. Out of sight, out of mind!

Use Cash Only When You Go Shopping

When you do go out shopping, our credit counseling advice is to leave your credit and debit cards at home. Take cash only so that you can control how much you’re spending. Once you’ve spent the cash, you can’t use your cards to buy more. At least you’ll know if you take out $40, you can only spend $40 and not a penny more.

Delete Online Shopping Apps from Your Phone

Nowadays, there are so many shopping options besides the mall or other brick-and-mortar stores. With online shopping and apps on your phone, you don’t even need to leave your house to find items you want to buy, even if you know you don’t really need them. The same day or next day delivery makes it even more tempting! All you have to do is hit “place order” and you’re done. But these apps can become problematic if you use them too often as a way of dealing with negative emotions. Similar to unsubscribing to promotional emails, deleting these apps from your phone removes temptation.

Find Alternative Methods of Stress Relief

If you’re upset or stressed, try going for a walk or a run to clear your head rather than heading straight to the mall. Exercise is one of the healthiest methods of stress relief, and it won’t cost any money! Even better, invite a friend or family member to come along. Just being able to talk about why you’re stressed can make you feel better. Plus, walking and talking with a friend won’t lead to consumer debt!

If you’re struggling to pay off debt, ACCC can help. Schedule a free credit counseling session with us today. 


Madison is a Marketing Communications & Programs Associate at ACCC. She is excited to share her tips on saving money and being financially responsible here on the Talking Cents blog!

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