26 Sep The more you stress the more you spend
Do you ever feel like the more you stress about your finances, the more you find yourself spending? If so, you’re not alone. In this post, we look at the relationship between being stressed out and spending money, and how they can combine to create a vicious, endless cycle.
Financial stress is a pretty big deal
People are stressed: fact. A big reason for that is money. According to Equifax, in the UK 42% of people have experienced stress or anxiety due to financial difficulties. In a separate study for the US in 2015, around 70% of people felt stressed about money in the past month.
Debts, rising living costs, wage stagnation and unexpected expenses all contribute to one giant, constant headache for millions of people in the UK and the US. That stress has real-life impacts, on everything from how well we perform at work, to our health, to the way we are with our loved ones.
So how might people deal with that stress?
Spending the stress away
For a lot of us, retail therapy. According to Credit Karma, more than half of people said they had “impulsively shopped to deal with feelings of stress, anxiety or depression”. Perhaps just as revealingly, 60% of that group said they did so every month. It’s no secret that buying things can make us feel good, and it seems that a massive proportion of us will chase that feeling, even if it leaves us worse off in the long run.
A popular study published in 2000 found the biggest factor in leading people to make an impulse purchase was simply the feeling of ‘having money’. Maybe, with so many of us stressed about our finances, that fleeting feeling of having cash on payday is enough to make us indulge ourselves and feel a little bit better, for just a little while? We think so.
There’s an obvious problem here though. If we’re stressed about money, and that makes us spend what little we do have to feel better, then the problem is only going to get worse.
Breaking the cycle of stress
This loop is similar to the spiral of debt, but perhaps it’s better to call it the spiral of stress. Spending to feel better means you have less cash, which only makes you feel worse about your financial position… leading you to spend more to feel better, which makes things even worse. How do you break that spiral?
By beating the cause of the financial stress to begin with. Stress is linked to stability. If you’re financially stable, you’re in a good position to take whatever life can throw at you and come out on top. Greater stability means less stress, and less stress can mean less impulsive spending. It’s a way to break the cycle before it spins out of control.
At Creditspring, we’re all about financial stability. We want to empower as many people as possible to take back control of their finances, stay clear of the spiral of debt and reach their financial goals. How? We’re working on a brand new way to borrow. It’s designed to be as simple, stress-free and affordable as possible – with pricing you can work out in your head.
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