Stress and Overspending: How to Break the Cycle

Source: Thinkstock

Source: Thinkstock

Sometimes when life gets a little crazy, so do spending habits. We’re all guilty of it; as life gets hectic, we start taking shortcuts. Takeout rather than cooking, shopping because you need a break, or spending more because you don’t want to stop at the out-of-the-way (but cheaper) grocery store. Those are just a few examples of stress spending. But don’t let a crazy schedule impact your finances. Here’s how you can stop your stress-spending cycle.

The Problems With Stress Spending

  1. It takes away from your financial goals. Whether you’re saving for a house, car, vacation, or retirement, you’re working toward some sort of financial goal. The less you spend, the faster you reach those goals, according to Get Rich Slowly. Sounds easy, right? But, unfortunately, those dreams can often get lost amongst the shortcuts and spending sprees we go on when we’re stressed.
  2. It all adds up. That Chinese food you ordered Tuesday night? That’s $15. Or what about that sub you hurriedly grabbed for lunch the other day? That’s another $10. Maybe you’re drinking more coffee than normal, and you’ve been a frequent Starbucks customer. Even if you go on a stress-spending spree for only a few weeks, it’s definitely enough time to still wreak havoc on your finances. Just remember: small expenses add up.
  3. It starts an unhealthy cycle. Often, when you stress spend, you’re doing it to relieve stress and even bring some happiness. But it’s just a quick fix, per Get Rich Slowly. In fact, it could cause more stress once you see you’re racking up debt. Rather than spend more, take time to actually address the problem. What’s going on? Why is life so hectic? How can you make it a little less stressful? Figure out the root of the problem before you find yourself grimacing at your credit card statement.