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Lesson 16 - What are you trying to heal with your spending?

Dec 06, 2023

When it comes to our spending we often don't even know why we are purchasing items. It’s an unconscious behaviour that shows up for as when we are trying to feel different. It often shows up when we are trying to heal something within ourselves. 

Overspending can be a behavior associated with various underlying emotions.

You may overspend as a way to cope with or numb certain emotions, alleviate stress, or fill a void in our lives. 

Here are some common reasons why people might use overspending as a form of emotional healing:

  • Emotional Distress: Some of us turn to shopping and overspending to cope with emotions such as sadness, loneliness, anxiety, or boredom. The act of buying new things can provide a temporary distraction or a quick sense of happiness.
  • Low Self Worth: For some of us, purchasing items may be an attempt to boost our self-esteem or self-worth. 
  • Social Comparison: People often compare themselves to others, and societal pressures to conform to certain standards or lifestyles can contribute to overspending. Trying to keep up with others or present a particular image may drive excessive spending. I always remind people to stop trying to keep up with the Jones’s, the Jones’s are BROKE!
  • Escapism: Overspending can be a way for us to escape from the challenges or difficulties we face in our lives. Shopping provides a temporary escape and a sense of control over our happiness.
  • Impulse Control: Some of us struggle with impulse control, making it challenging for us to resist the urge to make unplanned and unnecessary purchases. Impulse spending often results in overspending which results in feeling shame and guilt about our purchases. 
  • Addictive Behaviour: Overspending can become an addictive behaviour, similar to drinking or drug use. The thrill of making a purchase and then the dopamine release can create a cycle of craving and spending.
  • Consumer Culture Influence: Societal and cultural norms that emphasize materialism and consumerism can contribute to overspending. Advertisements, peer pressure, and the desire to fit in may drive individuals to spend beyond their means.

Being able to identify when we are impulsive overspending is what I like to call Sober Spending.

When we are sober spending we are focusing on making mindful, clear, conscious present decisions with our money. 

One question we can ask when we are practicing sober spending is: 

  • What am I trying to heal with my spending?
  • What are you trying to numb out?
  • What are you trying to escape from?
  • What are you running away from?
  • Why are you trying to feel different? 

If we are stuck in an addictive spending cycle we don't even stop and think about this. 

Next time you find yourself on a website, app or in a store and reaching for something you don't need and you don't have the money for it, ask yourself what am I trying to heal with this spending?

Be gentle as you navigate your Financial Sobriety. Make the next right decision if you feel like it’s overwhelming. 

You got this!