Tori Dunlap's 3 Tips to Stop Emotional Spending

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  • If you want to spend money on things that bring you joy, that's okay.
  • It's a bad idea to allow your emotions to cloud your judgment and keep you from achieving your personal finance goals.
  • Here are Tori Dunlap's three questions to ask yourself before you make a purchase.

You can stop emotional spending by asking yourself a few questions before you buy something.

Many people fall victim to emotional spending. They may spend money to get some temporary relief from a problem or to feel happier during a stressful time. But emotional spending likely won't solve your issues.

Emotional spending can also become a problem. Spending more money than you can afford to or more money than you plan to spend consistently can be an issue. When you do this, it can result in negative financial consequences, like accumulating credit card debt.

But if you practice mindfulness and evaluate potential purchases before you buy, you can spend your money on things that matter and stop overspending beyond your means or budget.

Spend your money, but be mindful about what you spend it on

Tori Dunlap, a personal finance guru and social media influencer who helps women learn about important financial matters, shares tips and tricks on her podcast, The Financial Feminist.

In Episode 25, she gives pointers on how to stop emotional spending. She makes a point to tell listeners that they shouldn't stop spending money because money should be spent and enjoyed.

She goes on to remind listeners that they work hard for their money and should spend their money on things they love -- not things that are meaningless to them.

Do you spend money without giving it much thought? If so, you're not alone. It's something that many of us do.

Tori recommends asking yourself the following three questions before you decide to make a purchase:

Question 1: What is my current head space or emotional state?

Be mindful and consider your emotions before you pull out your wallet. It's easy to let our emotions take over when we're sad, angry, stressed, or happy.

If you're buying things to try to alter your mood or are looking to extend your current mood by purchasing something, it's probably not a good idea.

If you allow your emotions to take over, it can be easier to become careless with your money. Before buying something, check in with your feelings and current emotional state to ensure that you're not letting your emotions cloud your thinking.

Question 2: How many 'taco dollars' does it cost?

In the podcast episode, Tori talks about an article she read where a writer discussed how they evaluate potential purchases in terms of "taco dollars."

The writer loves tacos. When evaluating whether they wanted to buy something or not, they'd consider how many tacos they'd be able to buy for the same amount of money.

We all have different taco dollars. Tori suggests figuring out your taco dollars (travel dollars, plant dollars, skincare dollars, etc.) and then, before making a purchase, calculate how many taco dollars the purchase will cost you.

Doing this will help you figure out if the purchase is worth it. Do you want to buy that item or save the money for something you know will bring you joy and be well worth the money spent?

Question 3: Am I accurately evaluating the worth of this purchase?

Tori notes that evaluating the value of a purchase before you buy it is essential. Something worthwhile to one person may not be worthwhile to another.

Here are some questions you can ask yourself to determine if a purchase is worthwhile:

  • Is the quality worth the price tag?
  • Is this purchase valuable to me?
  • Is it worth the money?

For example, if an item is on sale -- don't feel like you need to buy it because it's on sale.

If it's important to you and you've been meaning to buy it, getting it on sale is worthwhile because it brings you joy, and you can get a great deal. But if you're buying something only because it's on sale, that's not a good idea.

Don't be afraid to spend money. But consider your emotions, whether it will bring you joy, and whether the purchase is worthwhile to you before you buy something.

When you take a moment to be mindful, you can ensure that you make financial decisions that align with your goals, values, and interests.

Check out these personal finance resources if you're looking for additional tips for wiser spending.

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