According to Carly DeBeikes a startling 76% of purchases are made by customers while they are already in the aisles of the store. 57% of consumers ultimately spent more money than they had planned. Financial irresponsibility frequently develops as a coping mechanism for an anxiety or depression disease. Overspending has the potential to become major habit that result in a long-term debt, family issues, and even more stress, even if they may provide momentary comfort. It is important for us to note that our emotional and mental well-being has a parallel impact on our finances. The same way you cannot spend money if you’re physically ill because you can’t walk or be physically able to go out and spend is the same way we cannot expect to spend money wisely when we have emotional or mental illness.
2. Reasons for Overspending
- Underestimating costs – Ignoring minor costs like utilities and switching off appliances when they are not in use.
- Lending money to friends and family.
- Peer pressure.
- Maintaining a certain standard of living that you cannot afford.
- Normalizing debt.
- In most instances people spend to improve their mood when they’ve had a tough month, or when feeling depressed and want to feel better.
- However, what most people aren’t aware of is that overspending can be a sign of a manic bipolar episode.
- Bipolar disorder is a brain disorder characterized by sometimes drastic shifts in mood and energy levels. People with the diagnosis can go through periods of extreme moods, both high and low, that can last weeks or months.
- Sometimes you experience depressive lows that can drastically lower your motivation and enthusiasm for life. On the other end of the spectrum, you can enter phases of what’s referred to as mania or hypomania, often characterized by high energy and feelings of total euphoria.
- It is during this manic/mania that often overspending can occur.
3. How to Overcome Overspending
- Budget and keep track of your spending.
- Refrain from making impulsive purchases.
- If you go out, leave your credit card at home.
- Make a list of your needs and wants.
- Be aware of your triggers, when you are in tune with your emotions it’s easier to notice behaviour patterns or emotional outbursts that will lead to your overspending. Practice self-awareness.
- Seek therapy, often sessions with a mental health practitioner will help put things into perspective as to help you understand the reasons why you overspend.
- Practice delayed gratification, this will help in knowing that I may not have the money to buy this or go on this extravagant trip now, but I can delay this and save enough money I order to enjoy the trip later.
- Build a healthy relationship with money, educate yourself on ways to build a healthy financial lifestyle.
- Take care of your mental health.