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Money & Your Mood

How Emotions Can Impact Your Wallet

Money is a deeply emotional topic and the more you allow your feelings to dictate your spending patterns, the more likely you are to end up in trouble. Our experts are here with trusted advice around how to take control of your finances when your moods change.

Emotions & Money

The way we feel impacts the way we spend. Explore the following emotions and tips to avoid making irrational financial moves.

Feeling Happy?

Happiness can make us spend money in hopes of increasing or preserving our current emotional state. Being happy gives us a heightened risk of making impulse purchases. Making poor financial decisions when you are happy can lead to other emotions like sadness, fear and anxiety. Consider these tips:

  • Budget extra money that is set aside for rewards or special occasions you want to celebrate
  • Wait 24 hours before making any large or unusual purchases 
  • Brainstorm ways to celebrate happy occasions that don't cost money
Feeling Sad?

Buying things can make us feel better and chase away the blues, at least temporarily. People often combat their sadness with retail therapy and buy things they can't afford that give them temporary satisfaction. Oftentimes, getting your finances in order can give you a boost of happiness and confidence. Consider these tips:

  • Confide in a friend or family member and do an activity with them that doesn't involve shopping
  • When you are sad, carry only a small amount of cash with you and avoid taking your credit card
  • Don’t download shopping apps and unsubscribe from email lists from your favorite stores
Feeling Jealous? 

Jealousy leads to taking bigger risks. Making financial decisions based on jealousy typically does not align with your own financial goals, but the goals of others. Sometimes we feel angry or jealous that others spend money on things that we want but can't afford. Consider these tips:

  • Don't make purchases to try and impress others when you're angry or jealous
  • If friends or family say you are making irrational financial moves, take a step back and consider
  • Finding a third party, such as a financial advisor, can give you advice to make rational choices based on your financial situation
Feeling Scared? 

It's easy to make irrational financial decisions when you are fearful. Fear makes us exaggerate risks instead of discounting them. It can cause us to second-guess ourselves and abandon our course of action if it goes even slightly off plan. Consider these tips:

  • Avoid falling for media-induced panic, like selling a stock when the market is low where you may miss out on the rebound
  • Don't be afraid to take calculated risks - if you can afford it and you feel confident
  • Don't abandon your budget when things change, just adapt it to your new situation

Relationships & Money

Is it time for a conversation about finances with your significant other? These types of discussions can end in disagreements, but our experts are here with tips to have a productive conversation:

  • Set up a time to discuss and keep the conversation casual
  • Begin positively by discussing goals and dreams for the future
  • Don't let the conversation be fueled by emotions
  • Talk about the strengths and weaknesses of your personal financial approach
  • Don't just talk numbers - it's important to talk about your motivation to spend
  • Discuss earning money in addition to talking about spending it


Have questions or need trusted advice? Our credit union experts are always here for you. Contact Elements Financial for support in all aspects of your financial life.

Learn more about how your moods can impact your finances from a previously live broadcast of Elements Live. Click here to watch the seminar.

This information is provided for informational purposes only. It does not constitute legal, tax or financial advice. Consult with your tax, legal or financial adviser before taking any action.

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