Living the Best Life on a Budget

Spending Freeze Week 6: 5 Tips to Empower YOU to STOP Emotional Spending Instantly

stop emotional spendingHere we are another week. We are not spending any money on anything extra. Sometimes that is hard to justify.

We were all bundled up in the Ford Escape. I hopped in the driver’s seat while the girls were all strapped into their car seats. ‘Mommy, my 5 -year old says, “Can you grab my other Crocs these ones are too itchy.”

I sigh. Sure. This is my third time in the house. Forgot coupon binder. Forgot Teddy. Now Forgot Crocs.

I get back into the car and immediately my face turns to disgust. “Who farted?” I ask.

“Not Me.”

“Not Me.”  Something wreaks in here.

I get to the end of our driveway and again I tell the girls. ‘This car smells horrible.”

Riley says “Mommy, it’s my feet.” I reach back touch her toes and smell my hand. Yes I am that gross. It is her feet.

I tell her we are buying her socks today. Those things need to sweat into something.

That I can justify. The kid has one pair of socks and it has worked because she HATES wearing them. But that smell. It can’t go on.

If you missed the first three posts on this series you can check them out here. Week 1 Week 2Week 3. Week 4.  Week 5.

When you are on a spending freeze you are thinking about every purchase. You are questioning everything you buy and all that crosses your mind to buy.

This week I struggled with Date Night. I wanted to spend based on my feelings.

The girls spent the night at their grandparents Friday evening. We had alone time for the first time in 3 weeks! Yet we were both exhausted because we just moved.

It was really tempting to spit out my thoughts. “Ohhh I don’t feel like cooking. Can’t I just get a day off from cooking. Let’s go out to eat.”

I didn’t let them leave because sometimes just sharing those with someone else makes them happen. The temptation becomes stronger once you speak. I knew that I could put that money towards our groceries next week.

I could have let my feelings make a bad purchase. We didn’t need to spend $30 on dinner. Sure I could justify that we deserved it.

But did we need it?

Instead we ate leftovers. I didn’t have to cook and we were both happy. Truly we were exhausted. We got to spend time at home together enjoying it for the first time without the girls.

Emotions bring about many purchases in our life. Justifying those feelings results in things we may not be able to afford. Like Dave Ramsey says “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.”

Be careful with your emotions. Keep them in check. Recognize if something you are buying is an emotional purchase or a rational purchase. What are your buying motives?

Stress has strained my relationship with my husband in the past couple months. Yet we have strengthened our relationship with God. Like my dad says” To grow closer to your spouse you need to grow closer to the Lord.”

Even  though we haven’t sold our house yet and we just dropped the price the stress is starting to drift. Our faith is being made stronger as well as our marriage. I can take a deep relaxing breath looking back and saying we made it through that. It wasn’t pretty but it came with meaning. We learn we grow we love.

Today I challenge you if you are doing a spending freeze to guard your emotions when it comes to purchases. Even if it is  food for your family, we can fall into the trap of justifying buying all prepackaged convenience food and spending more money than if we just set aside an hour to make a meal menu and serve our family healthier food. 

Here are 5 Tips To Empower YOU  Today To Stop Your Emotional Spending

  1. Write Down Your Financial Goals and hang up in your kitchen. If you know what you are saving money for and are reminded of that each day you can hold on to that when temptation arises.
  2. Avoid leisurely shopping. Go to each store with a list and a purpose.
  3. Shop Alone. If your spouse, kids, friends, parents shop with you and tend to bring about emotions for items to buy, shop alone. This won’t have to be forever, just until you have the strength to say, No.
  4. Always ask is this a need or a want?! Don’t let your mind go into justification mode.
  5. Pray. Pray for wisdom with your finances. Pray for strength to fight temptation with spending. Ask your friends, family, and church family to pray with you.

For those curious as to what we bought this week I got groceries again and then we spent money on Dog Food, my daughter’s socks and gas. Next week I will need Toilet Paper for sure!

Not pictured a 55 lb. bag of Purina Dog Chow for $21.49 from BJ’s club! 
Frozen 5 pack socks $4.49 from Walmart. I spent $20 on a tank of gas at Tops- I had $0.40/ off a gallon.

Total Spent this Week $71.98- includes tax. 

aldi and wegmans shopping trip

I used three $0.75/1 Silk printable coupons doubled here and
Used a $1.50/1 Enjoy Life peelie coupon

What tips do you have to stop emotional spending?


  1. I relate to the emotional spending, and I admire you for not even allowing the temptation to leave your lips! These are good tips here, and I’ll pin it for someone else to benefit from the wisdom.

  2. Great post to encourage and instruct. We’ve been on a really tight budget this last year, so I’ve just quit shopping unless absolutely necessary. Mainly just groceries. Made our Christmas gifts and did a simple tea party for my granddaughters for Valentine’s Day this last week. Avoiding the stores, especially during holidays, has worked great.

    1. Yes I think for me now this will be easier because we live about 15 minutes from a store, before I lived 30 seconds from all the stores in a car! Just a few minutes walking!!

  3. I am an emotional spender. Basically when I am down and out I will buy something to help me feel better and it is usually food. It is a bad habit. I like your tips and just came across your post. I think it will be very helpful for me to start reading the beginning of your series. Thanks.

    1. I know we all have something mine is home decor. I still have boxes now because of all my ” this is a great deal”. All habits can be stopped that is the praise! I hope you will read the series from the beginning! Thanks for stopping by Christine!

    1. Yes that can be hard. You can always hit the second hand stores first! For us with having a girl as the first grandchild on both sides she got a ton of clothes. It helps when I keep all her clothes hung up or in a drawer not tucked away so I can see just how much she really does have and does not need. Thanks for stopping by Brittany!

  4. Wow….thank you for sharing these tips! This is so convicting for me. I do the exact same thing when it comes to cooking/eating out. I feel like if I just mention it, I can justify eating out again. The truth is I’m really just being selfish! Thanks for this post! I need to try implementing some of these ASAP!

    1. Yep, and it’s hard when you cook all meals all the time! We do need a break but it doesn’t mean it has to be an overpriced meal. Your are right it really comes down to our selfish desires! Glad you enjoyed and hope the tips help!

  5. Since we switched our kids to eating all organic and allergen free AND I got on the free kindle book email list, my emotional spending has gone WAY down. We need every penny. But I will tell you that books are still hard not to buy. I sold back an old Kindle to Amazon and spent all $33 on books. (That Kindle only cost me $9 so I’m ahead of the game, LOL!)

    1. Gina I love that about selling back the Kindle! Glad to hear your emotional spending has decreased. It’s awesome how many free downloads for books you can get now! I love that!

  6. Wow, I truly always find this inspiring, and I feel appropriately convicted in a few areas that need change. Such a great line: “I didn’t let them leave because sometimes just sharing those with someone else makes them happen. The temptation becomes stronger once you speak. ” Yes! I want to eat out sometimes just to escape meal making. Great post!

  7. I love how purposeful you are being! Our feelings trip us up in so many areas of our lives. Good job on this!! And thanks for sharing. I am out of the season of raising littles and having to budget every penny (thankful!) but I remember what it’s like. I will be sharing this with my daughter. I know she will find this helpful. Keep up the good work!

    P.S. I found you through the Christian Women Blogger group.

    1. Thanks for stopping by today Andrea! I hope your daughter finds it helpful! I keep that in mind that this is a season of raising children and it will pass before I know it I will be watching my kids raise theirs!

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