People, young and old, agree that money can be a great anti-depressant. With money, you can easily buy things to change your mood. You can also gather companions when you’re feeling low, perhaps due to an awful day at work or even the loss of a loved one. It’s not just an anti-depressant, either — some say it’s like a friend that you can turn to when you’re sad or you’re glad.
However, turning to money when you’re emotional can mean trouble. According to financial strategists and psychologists, making financial decisions based on how you’re feeling at any given moment is a dangerous way to live; the habit of spending when you are feeling sad or happy can send you into the dark alley of debilitating debt. And when you’re already nearing retirement, debt is something that you really should no longer have.
If you wish to put a halt to your emotional spending so you can safeguard your retirement years better, here are four great pieces of financial advice to implement:
- Stop carrying your credit cards around. This will put an end to the tendency to buy things with money that you don’t even have yet, and at the same time, this will allow you to effectively avoid situations that may entice you to overspend.
- Figure out specific strategies that you need to execute in order to rein in your spending impulses. Finding diversions is one strategy that could work. When you’re itching to spend on anything you see, like the vintage chandelier at the flea market you passed by or a cake at the local bakeshop because you’re having a bad day, consider other mood-boosters, such as old episodes of “Will and Grace” on Hulu that you can watch for absolutely free, or old family videos you haven’t viewed in a long time.
- Study your credit card balances. This is a great reality check. Afterwards, make the firm decision to get out of debt so you’ll have a comfortable retirement with more lifestyle options.
- Think of saving as your reward. Financial advisers always say that saving money is a thrilling activity because you actually honor yourself when you refuse to spend all that you have. It’s another way of paying yourself.
Like any learned behavior, emotional spending is not easy to undo. But with time and practice, you’ll gradually see how you become less inclined to let your emotions dictate your financial decisions, and how your bottom line improves.