How To Conquer Your Spending Triggers Life a Champ

Despite our budgets and best intentions, the emotions we experience, people we come across, situations we face and marketing messages we intake inadvertently contribute to our tendency to spend more than we often intend to.

It’s easy to act on our spending triggers and get caught up in perpetual overspending. Before you know it you’ve spent $100’s on hair and make up “must-haves” pushed by beauty guru’s. You breeze right over the warning signs and tuck your budget away into your back pocket.

Here are a few of the most common spending trigger laced lies we tell ourselves and reminders to help you pump your brakes before it’s too late:

Trigger: “I deserve it”

You may feel the need to be valued or appreciated if you often put others before yourself, had a long day at work or you’ve had to deal with a stressful situation.

Response: Unfortunately, Temporary purchases won't give you a permanent solution or solve the underlying issue. Click To Tweet

When you find yourself justifying purchases with the ol’ “I deserve it”, ask yourself honestly “Why do I need this?” Once you’ve identified what you hope to get from shopping, find another activity that reaps the same benefits.

Trigger: “Everyone else has one”

Most people call it “Keeping up with the Joneses” but with social media at our disposal  it can feel like we’re trying to keep up with the Joneses, Smiths, and everyone else that comes across our feed.

Response: At any given moment you can hop on the internet and see others living a lifestyle that differs from yours but the reality is, you’re only viewing a highlight reel of what they choose to put out in the world.

Use the images you see on the internet as inspiration, not an indicator of what’s really going on; the people you follow may be in more debt than they’re perceived to be.

Trigger: “I’ve reached my goals; let’s celebrate!”

It’s essential to recognize your achievements and celebrate them when you’ve reached a milestone or accomplished a goal, but it’s not ok to deter the ultimate win of financial freedom just because you want to reward yourself for all the hard work and effort you’ve put forth.

Response: When you accomplish a goal keep in mind that there will be more wins along the way and celebrating doesn’t have to be over the top or excessive. Wait a week after the win to celebrate, that way you can really celebrate what’s important: the next step in your life.

Trigger: “It’s on sale!”

Clever advertising and marketing messages play on our emotions by implicating that we’ll miss out on a great deal if we pass it up but it’s just that…a way to stir up emotions and convince you that you need their products. It’s not a sale if you can’t afford it.

Response: Cancel subscriptions to deal sites or turn off the notifications you receive so you’re less prone to react to new offers.

And remember:

There are always ways to indulge for less. No one says you have to give up the things you love; be willing and open to finding a way that works for you and your core desires.

Don’t fall victim to marketing messages. You were getting along just fine and you can live without it!

Take a deep breath, go for a 20-minute walk, listen to your favorite music, log-on to your accountability group or call a supportive friend before jumping to react with a shopping spree; it’s a lot cheaper and more effective.

Most importantly,

Acknowledge the factors that trigger spending and how they appear in your life. Click To Tweet


 Commit to change and take a proactive approach to changing your financial behavior.

Tonya and I are so passionate about this topic that we are going to host a conversation about this next week for the very first Talk Money with Tonya Live.


If you have questions, leave them in the comments section below and we’ll be sure to address them on next week’s call.

We look forward to talking to you!

5 Proven Strategies for Handling Financial Peer Pressure

This article originally appeared on

We often associate peer pressure with adolescents and teens. However as we age, we are still susceptible to peer pressure. It evolves, often becoming more subtle and costly. Peer pressure may originate from friends requesting your attendance at a bar or party, even after you’ve indicated that you can’t attend due to financial reasons. Family members may pressure you to remain at a job that is stable, but doesn’t pay what you are worth. Friends and elders can be a source of wisdom; but they can also pressure you into making poor professional and financial decisions.

I was recently faced with the difficult decision to change wedding plans after we realized the wedding began to shift focus from my future husband and myself to appeasing the wishes of others. People were pushing their wedding wishes on us and telling us what we should. Before we knew it we were $5000 over our planned budget. After a serious conversation between my fiance and I, we changed our plans to a more inexpensive option and decided to immediately create boundaries with regards to any prospective wedding planning.

Here are 5 things you can do to handle financial peer pressure:

  1. Recognize the culprits– A truly good friend takes your well being into consideration. They are even able to admit when your behavior encourages them to make better decisions. If you have people in your life that are continuously attempting to curt your goals and negatively influence your finances it might be time to assess your approach to the relationship. If you are not comfortable addressing the situation then this would be a good time to take a break from the friendship or relationship to put things in perspective.
  2. Don’t make decisions until you are clear about your goals– Failing to plan is planning to fail. Sound familiar? The statement is popular for a reason. When you make uninformed decisions the outcomes can be costly. It’s important to outline your financial goals and priorities even if it’s just for the near future. Goals provide you with sound reasons to stave off peer pressure. They give you something to work towards.
  3. Understand that “No” is a complete sentence– We often feel compelled to explain our position or ourselves when it comes to protecting your finances but you don’t have to do that. While it is courteous to provide the reason’s you come to a particular decision, but you don’t have to. Sometimes people will find ways to turn your reasons into an argument, which might cause you to second-guess yourself. Once you become more comfortable with simply telling someone “No”, it becomes easier to stand up for you own interests.
  4. Create fun money challenges that include your friends -During one of the poorest times of my professional career I realized that eating out with friends was costing me a fortune. After a conversation, a close friend and I decided to go on a dining in challenge. We did it together and agreed to eat at home for a month, unless someone else was footing the bill. We ended up saving so much money and when we felt the need to socialize we invited one another over and cooked in our homes. Examples of challenges you can do with friends include spending diets, savings challenges, or investment challenges. Starting a money challenge with your friends makes it fun and lightly competitive. Involving others can create positive peer pressure.
  5. Unplug when necessary– If you have a certain social presence or hope to, you might find yourself spending money to keep up with the latest trends. This is indirect peer pressure. Social media and other influences can be costly but keep in mind that these visuals are usually highlights from an individual’s life. Sometimes you just have to unplug from it all and it is healthy to do so.

At the end of the day remember: It is you who has to live with your decisions.

While they will affect others, they will affect you first and foremost.
Choose yourself.

7 Ways To Tell If You’re Ready For Homeownership

At some point in an adults life, you receive pressure from those around you to buy a home. However, since the 2008 mortgage crisis homeownership has changed and should be approached with knowledge, preparation and careful consideration.

Here is an article written by my good friend, Tiffany “The Budgetnista”Aliche. It’s thought-provoking and might have you questioning whether or not buying a home is right for you at this time.

Before we get started it’s important to always remember that a house is an investment. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If you’re not going to make money in the long-run, it’s not a good idea.

The Budgetnista Buying a Home Checklist:

 1. The mortgage is rentable.
That means if times get financially rough and you have to move out to a cheaper apartment/parent’s house/friend’s couch, could you rent out your home and COMPLETELY cover your mortgage, taxes & insurance etc.? Figure this out by comparing rents of similar homes in the area where you are considering buying and structure your deal to make your mortgage the same or under what those homes rent for.
Getting your rent down to rentable might involve you putting down a large down payment, reducing how much you pay for a home, or paying for points to reduce your interest rate etc.

2. You plan on staying in that location for awhile. 
Unless you’re buying an investment property, you should be reasonably sure that you’re ready to lay down roots in a specific location before buying a home there.
3. There is no big-ticket item / experience you’d like to have 1st.
Once you get a house, that dream travel-trip, hot car, new business venture etc, may have to wait. The money you once had in excess will probably be greatly reduced during the 1st few years as a new homeowner.
4. You’ve consulted your future, MONTHLY budget.
This is the budget you’ll be living on once you own a home. After doing said budget, ask yourself, after all of your expenses are taken care of…AND I MEAN ALL (new & old bills, utilities, new home expenses, entertainment,  groceries etc.), will you still have money left over to save?
You should. Do the math. If your current income won’t cover your future expenses and leave you with money left over to save, you can’t afford to buy a home.
5. You’re currently saving your new (home) expenses each month.
If you really want to know if you’re financially ready to buy a home, begin paying your mortgage and new home expenses to yourself in a savings account now (minus your rent). If you can’t pay a mortgage now,  then you won’t be able to “magically” pay your mortgage later.
6. You LOVE or at least like your job.
If you own a home and hate your job, it will be very difficult to leave a steady paycheck (despite the soul-crushing stress), because of your financial obligations (mortgage). If you don’t love what you’re doing and are renting, you can always leave for something you like more, but pays less, because moving to a cheaper place is a solution. Although it’s a hassle, moving is much easier when you’re renting.
7. You make sure it’s something YOU really want.
I bought a home because I thought it was what I was “suppose” to do as a responsible adult (25 at the time). Not so. There’s nothing wrong with renting. It’s NOT throwing your money away. Renting allows you more financial freedom. It’s because I’m renting that I was able to start my business and still travel the world. Buying for the RIGHT reasons is good too though.

What are your thoughts about homeownership? Have anything to add to Tiffany’s list?

Created by nationally recognized millennial money expert Tonya Rapley, My Fab Finance is a leading financial education and lifestyle blog for millennials who want to become financially free and do more of what they love.

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