Signs you trigger spend and what to do about it!

Nov 15, 2023
emotional spending, budgeting, holiday spending, holiday debt, shopping, shopping spree, black friday, cyber monday, prime day, overspending, emotional spending, how to get out of debt, budgeting 101, save for the holidays, tips for holiday spending

What's a trigger spend?

It's when we spend based on a momentary discomfort. For example, if you're at work and get an unexpected phone call πŸ“ž from a family member who always gets under your skin. Instead of finishing the project you were deep into, you're off to get a coffee β˜•οΈ, making small talk with co-workers, and online shopping those shoes you've been eyeing πŸ‘ .

Or what about this trigger spend? You're attending a friend's birthday party, and you don't know anybody, and nobody is inviting you into the conversation. You feel completely invisible. You leave the party and walk into Sephora πŸ’„ to buy a few "essentials" to cheer yourself up. 

Trigger spending is problematic for two main reasons. 

  1. It's masking your natural emotional reaction. By ignoring your inner discomfort, you train your brain to avoid anything that feels fearful. Not being able to handle your fear could lead to you not being able to discern a dangerous situation or prevent you from stepping outside your comfort zone because it feels overwhelmingly scary.
  2. If you can't afford the purchases made during a trigger, the consequences are more than just credit card debt. Getting into credit card debt over mindless shopping doesn't feel good. But you know what's equally as bad? You can feel shame, blame, guilt, and embarrassment post-trigger spending 😩. These emotions can long affect your confidence, self-esteem, and desire to fix your money mindset.

How do we prevent trigger spending?

  1. Acknowledge your needs/wants. Talk πŸ—£to your inner self and say, "hi self, I hear and see you. You are safe. Is there something you're feeling? What do you need right now?" You'll typically find by pausing that what you need is usually something other than something. It was to feel heard. 
  2. Love your budget as much as you love struggling. 😏 I know this is a feisty comment. But if you hated being broke and feeling ashamed of your spending, wouldn't you stop? Trigger spending is comfortable and familiar. When you embrace budgeting, the process is LIFE CHANGING $elf Care work. By prioritizing your budget, you tell the universe that you matter more than anyone else. Isn't that sexy? 😜 
  3. When the emotions have calmed down, can you look at the trigger and see what you could do differently in the future? Can you keep your phone on dnd during the day or ask to bring a friend to the party, so you feel less alone? Use the trigger as an opportunity to self-reflect. 

With the holidays 🎁 around the corner. How does trigger spending impact you? Have you experienced a trigger spend in the last seven days? Do you want a better way of handling your triggers?

Want more support around emotional spending? Apply for 1:1 coaching

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