This is a guest post written by Kellinda Brown.

$670.00 you have got to be kidding me I said to myself. I started pressing buttons on my handheld calculator (don’t judge me lol). I added the amounts up about 3 more times and it kept saying $670.00. There was no way on the face of this earth that I spent that much money on FOOD within a month. 

The truth of the matter is that I did and there was no denying it. I was at McDonald’s every morning getting my coffee and oatmeal (they knew me by name), at some fast food restaurant for lunch and again at a fast food restaurant getting dinner for my son and myself.
And why did I do this?

“I am a single mother and it is easier, more convenient, and less stressful for me to just buy the food than cook” I told myself after being tired from working all day or just not in the mood to cook. I would justify it saying “It’s only $3.00 here or $5.00 there” but I somehow missed the “ Kellinda we do add up” conversation my money was trying to have with me.

After seeing how much money I had wasted my “AHA” moment, opened my eyes up to how my emotions were sabotaging my finances. I was spending money based on how I felt.

How many mornings do you have to have your coffee to start your day or you buy takeout because it’s convenient?

What about the new outfit you purchase after a hard day or a breakup? Or the toy you buy your child because you just want them to hush. And let’s not forget the biggest emotional tug…Christmas. Buying lots of gifts because of family tradition?

I’m naming these things because I did them and they kept me in debt for years.
Emotional spending had become family tradition and was now part of my daily routine Click To Tweet

and it was sabotaging my finances . Yes, emotional spending can be unknowingly passed down through traditional family situations and events. So many families follow the “get in debt for Christmas like momma did” pattern because it triggers the feeling of familiarity and happiness. Even though you know that in January you will be looking to move around bills and borrow money just like momma did, along with the anxiety and stress.

The day I kept recalculating the $670.00 (as if it would change lol) I had to make a decision to put my feelings in my pocket and do what needed to be done to change my situation.

Here is what I did to address my emotional spending:

+ I began to look inside myself and identified my Money triggers(a color, smell, picture, sound, etc that triggers a familiar experience or feeling)
+ I acknowledged my money beliefs (what you believe money is for, will do, can do, who it is for, if you can get it)
+ I explored my money patterns (how you spend money, where you spend money, what you do with money).
+ I had to understand how, when and why I spent emotionally and then began to change my behaviors.

How can you begin to assess the ways your emotions are sabotaging your finances?Ask yourself the following questions:
What are my triggers?
What my beliefs surrounding money?
What are my common patterns when it comes to spending my money?

Track your spending for a week and what you are feeling when you make the purchase. The Super Fab Financial Planner comes with a spending tracker. Look at your past purchases for the week and ask yourself “why”. Why did you buy that dress, those shoes, or those candles ?

Once you do this, commit to asking yourself these questions as you make purchases. Your financial situation can and will change with commitment!

Instead of looking for money to solve your situation, address the emotions keeping you in it. Click To Tweet

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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.