How to stop spending money: How to control the urge to shop

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Are you feeling spendy? Sometimes I feel spendy. 

Do you have moments in your life when you feel spendy, like maybe you've come into a little bit of extra money or maybe you're trying to self-soothe. Yes, I've had moments where I have ended up spending a lot more money than other seasons of my life.

Let's talk about why you are feeling spendy and some ways to combat that.


Determine what is triggering it.

When you feel spendy, what is triggering it? What is setting off that  desire? 

Is it loneliness? Is it a sudden change you're compensating for? Is it grief? Is it excitement? Is it celebrating? If it's any of those things or any number of things, find some ways to redirect those. 

For me, periods of grief, excitement and loneliness are when I spend money. I've been very open about that. 

If you didn't know, this summer was really rough for our family. We went through an unexpected loss, and I got spendy. I ordered stuff off Amazon. I ordered so much stuff off Amazon. When the packages arrived, I didn't even remember what I had ordered. That's a trigger for me.

Let me tell you why. Because when I'm sad, I don't sleep. And when I don't sleep, I stay up looking on my phone. And when I'm looking on my phone, I get bored and I order stuff off Amazon.


Come up with a better solution

Once you figure out why you're feeling this way, come up with some better solutions.

Maybe it's avoiding the store entirely — like not going into Target, not going to Old Navy, not going wherever it is you spend your money. Maybe it's avoiding driving past the nail salon or the coffee shop. Or maybe it's not texting your certain friend who you maybe meet up for lunch.


Redirect that energy

Another thing is to redirect that energy into something more useful, like going for a walk or painting. I took up painting over the summer. I would put on music and cry and paint. And that took up my time at night when I wasn't sleeping.

Celebration — find a new way to celebrate. Maybe you have friends over for a barbecue or a potluck. Or just to watch a show with you — like, you make chili and you watch a show, whatever show it is that you watch together.

My final tip is to actually spend money, but spend it wisely. It may seem counterintuitive, but it's to actually spend the money. Cash only. Go into the store with just $20 and buy something that you wanted, something that you've been looking at. Maybe that will help get it out of your system.

Remember — I've said this before — your budget is there to serve you. If you have personal money and you want to spend it, by all means, spend it. That's just my theory.