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HOW TO CURB EMOTIONAL SPENDING IN 6 EASY STEPS shopping in a store

All throughout the month of April, personal-finance guru Ginger Dean, the creative force behind Girls Just Wanna Have Funds, will help you balance your checkbook (and emotions to boot)— exclusively on ELLE.com.

Who hasn’t indulged in a little retail therapy at some point? I’ll be the first to admit that buying myself new clothes, jewelry, or a handbag can serve as a nice pick-me-up when I’m feeling down. (And getting that “fix” is easier than ever these days; if you’re not into the hustle and bustle of your local mall, Amazon Prime now offers same-day delivery. Yikes.)

But the emotions that cause us to splurge go beyond just the negative ones: We may spend because we’re happy (let’s celebrate!), bored (nothing better to do), insecure (keeping up with the Joneses), excited (I totally earned this!), or anxious (if nothing else, at least I’ll look good!).

In moderation, treating yourself every now and then really can be therapeutic. However, when the rush comes from the act of spending itself rather than the item you purchased— especially if you’re spending beyond your means or spending in order to avoid an issue—there may be a problem.

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