Finance and Banking

Financial Decisions: Willpower vs. Emotional Spending

Financial Decisions, whether big or small, require willpower. As you exert your willpower, it begins to lose its strength.

Recent research indicates that people with low willpower are more likely to spend an increased amount of money and purchase additional items than those who haven’t recently exerted their willpower. Low willpower can lead to less control and overspending.

A study suggests that shoppers with less money often use more willpower than more affluent shoppers because they face more difficult spending decisions.

Research also shows that specific strategies can help build self-control around spending and saving money.

Emotional spending

Emotional spending occurs when you buy something you don’t need, and sometimes you don’t even really want it due to feeling stressed out, bored, under-appreciated or any number of other emotions. We even spend emotionally when we’re happy.

Ways to Avoid Emotional Spending

While this is fine but if you’re spending more on non-necessities or struggling with your finances, you should be more careful

Avoid Impulse Buys

Avoid making impulse purchases. Whenever you’re shopping, and you find yourself wanting to buy something you didn’t already want before you start shopping, could you not buy it? Wait at least 24 hours, if not longer, before deciding on whether to buy the item or not.

Control your intake of Ads 

Take steps to limit your exposure to advertising. The less you are aware of what’s available for you to buy, the less likely you will develop a sudden “need” for that item. Unsubscribe to the product catalogs that arrive in your mailbox and the promotional emails your favorite stores are always sending you.

Find Alternative Activities

If you frequently use shopping as a form of entertainment or as a distraction, identify what you’re feeling when getting the impulse to shop and choose a more constructive behavior that will help you deal with that emotion.


By becoming more conscious of your shopping habits, you’ll develop greater control over your finances, and you’ll be able to enjoy the purchases you make without the dread and guilt of having spent too much.