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Avoiding Binge Spending

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The last few weeks have been tough. You know the type. It seems like everything that could go wrong, did. I work hard on stress relief. I lean toward high anxiety and stress is always a low hum in my life, even in the best of times. Lately, well, it’s been crazy. Rather than go for a run or do yoga, I have either crawled into bed with a glass of wine and a box of chocolates and binge watched Netflix or binge shopped on Amazon. Ugh. I knew things were bad when a box showed up at the door and I had no clue what was inside. This week, I’m working to get it under control. When I realize I’m overwhelmed and likely to be stupid, I stick by three standby responses:

1) Delay. If I deny, I fail instantly. If I think I’ll NEVER get something, I’ll cave immediately. Instead, I tell myself that I can order or eat whatever I want…if I can remember exactly what it was when I get home. Chances are very high that a) I’ll forget or b) decide it wasn’t what I wanted anyway.

2) Distract. Most of my bad actions are because I’m bored or tired and the stress is felt more deeply. I’ve been going for a walk at lunch daily to give myself a midday boost. It also keeps my away from my computer…and Amazon. I’ve also been telling myself that I can eat as much chocolate as I want if I eat a whole food first (like an orange, apple, bell pepper, etc.). When I eat something healthy first, I’m usually pretty good at resisting an entire bag of chocolate. Oh trust me, I definitely EAT THE CHOCOLATE, I’m not a robot. But I eat less if I distract myself first.

3) Forgive. Yup. There are some days I spend too much money. Rather than think I’m terrible with my budget and I might as well give up forever, I forgive myself and MOVE ON. It’s so easy to overspend then continue in that trend because you’ve already made a mess but DON’T.

What are your tips for preventing overspending when stressed? Freeze your debit cards? Make money difficult to get? Because these days, I’m open to suggestions!


8 Comments

  • Reply jj |

    Definitely more ways to relievey your bordeom/stress – mantras to say when you feel that way? so you then don’t go straight to spending.

  • Reply Holly S |

    “Stress is always a low hum in my life, even in the best of times”… oh my…this resonates with me. I always say, if I don’t have anything to stress about then I’ll probably stress about that.

    I have to carve out extra “me” time sometimes when I’m feeling extra overwhelmed. Right now is one of those crazy stressful periods where I’m trying to help my parents deal with some health issues that require them moving to a more accessible place very quickly on top of an insanely busy period at my work. For me, it can be as simple as going to a matinee movie by myself or to my local bookstore and splurging on a chai latte while I browse (and luckily I’m perfectly fine with browsing rather than buying). I have been experimenting with some meditation but I’m not good at sitting and quieting my mind yet. Baby steps!

  • Reply Den |

    I have three strategies for Amazon:
    1. Don’t store my credit card information. If I really need something I have to get up and pull out my card.
    2. Put things in my wish list – if I still want/need in a week then I may buy.
    3. Remember that Jeff Bezos doesn’t need any of my money – try to find same items locally or on direct manufacturers websites.

  • Reply Angie |

    Man, that’s rough. You need to delete that app off your phone and stop one-click buying! I always just add things to my cart I think I need. Then I usually end up forgetting about it.

    I think you missed #4 on your list.
    Return items that arrive that you don’t need or don’t fully satisfy your purpose. Just because you ordered something and it arrived does not mean you have to keep it!

  • Reply Kate |

    I’d cancel Prime, if you have it. We can usually still get free, slow shipping. If there’s something small I need I add in a bottle of vitamins or conditioner or something to make it up to the $25, but it’s just a little bit harder to order things spontaneously. I mean, Bezos didn’t create Prime to be nice to us, he knows how to get our money ?

    • Reply Beks |

      That’s so true! Things are way less appealing when they take forever to arrive!

So, what do you think ?