We all spend for different reasons. There are the basic necessities like food, clothing and shelter. And then there are those things we spend on that we really enjoy: travel, technology, the arts or other hobbies. Since we spend the most money on our basic needs, I want you to think about how you spend on them by answering this question.
How many financial choices have you made based on how you feel at any given moment?
A bad day means going a little overboard on those basic necessities. Instead of a home-cooked meal, you splurge on a lunches and dinners out because you’re not in the mood to cook. Or maybe you binge on a few new clothes to feel better. Whatever your vice is, you know that what you’re doing to counter a low moment isn’t always the best option.
Self-destructive habits. Sure, some of them are harmless like biting our nails. But others can lead to bigger problems. For instance, getting a bad quarterly review from your manager may lead to stress. You can cope with that stress productively (facing the review process head on and improving where you may have lacked). Or, you can relieve stress through a shopping spree.
Spending that money on new clothes or fine dining gives you immediate gratification. There’s something about the swipe of the Visa or the feel of the dollars between your fingers that just makes you feel great. And those little actions can be mini-celebrations for a good review at work or a way to put a little sunshine in a gloomy day. But there’s more to those feelings.
The real problem
Engaging in actions that are financially sabotaging your quality of life means that there’s a root problem: a lack of self worth. When how we value ourselves begins to dip, our self worth takes a hit. And then, we associate outside influences (like a good or bad quarterly review) too closely with who we are – our value.
Many people feel that lull in their self worth and immediately react externally. A new cashmere sweater or an expensive pair of shoes feels good in the moment. But when the American Express bill comes in and we’ve spent more than we’ve actually got, those external gratifications add to our problems.
When these self-destructive habits begin to affect your quality of life, you know that it’s time to be introspective. You have to remember that you are a valuable human being and you are worth a financially abundant life.
Take the next step
What kinds of things are you doing that financially sabotage your quality of life? Do you need help fixing this problem? Sign up for my weekly words of wisdom for encouraging thoughts each Tuesday. And be sure to check out my book, Emotion Behind the Money, for guidance and healing. You can take control of your finances, and I can help you.
Tags: Julie Murphy Casserly, financial sabotage, emotion behind money, emotions and money, Chicago personal finance, Chicago women in business, Chicago women authors, psychology of money