Being a solo parent takes a lot of work and resilience. Raising your children is hard work that can inevitably cause you some stress and anxiety. This is especially true when faced with a society that offers a double standard when it comes to single moms compared to single dads.
Studies have shown that single moms tend to be judged more harshly because of the expectation that women are naturally capable caregivers. When you’re handling all of these responsibilities and expectations on your own, it can be easy to spend emotionally. While it may offer temporary relief, it can just bring more trouble down the line.
Thankfully, there are some keyways you can avoid this habit. Taking the time to curb emotional spending can also help you influence your children to be more financially savvy.
The world is largely dominated by the internet and social media, but it will do you good to minimize your time on social networking sites or apps. A breakdown of how social media impacts spending habits revealed that social media actively encourages users to spend more money. This is done by influencers and brands that have huge followings and curate your feed to entice you to buy different products or services.
Even if you turn off ads, you inevitably get branded content that connects you more easily to online shops. On top of that, the online phenomenon of FOMO can influence you to feel the need to keep up with trends. No matter how much self-control you have, you can still get psychologically affected by your exposure to a feed that was built for you to consume. If you minimize your social media exposure, you can also lead by example to control your kids’ screen time.
Build Your Support System
Parenting is never easy, whether you have very young children, teenagers, or adults starting out on their own. Of course, it also comes with its joys. That said, dealing with the ups and downs of the different phases in the life of your children can be tough to navigate without a support system.
Surround yourself with people who you can trust and actually shower you with both love and care. This means they will be able to encourage you when you are down, lend a hand when you need it, and keep you accountable when you go off-track with your spending goals. You are also less likely to lean into unhealthy coping mechanisms when you have a circle that you actually want to spend time with and can share your journey with.
Recognize Your Emotional Triggers
Emotional spending is usually rooted in specific triggers that urge you to spend. This can also be a response to happy moments that are a cause for celebration, but it’s usually tied to stress, jealousy, fear, or guilt. It becomes problematic when you turn to spending as an automatic response to any situation that triggers these feelings.
Instead of beating yourself up about your previous spending, focus on actively spotting what your triggers are. You will have a much smoother time trying to adjust your habits if you are able to identify what emotions or events drive your buying. Psychologists note that developing your emotional intelligence can directly lead to more financial awareness, rationality, and practicality. This will directly impact your efforts to avoid emotional spending.
Find an Outlet for Your Stress
Stress is one of the worst things for your financial management, and it also affects your health in myriad other ways. Although you may not be able to completely remove all stress in your life, you can find outlets that will help you manage it better and avoid emotional spending. You will even feel healthier and happier in the long run because you can have ways of long-term management instead of brief instant gratification.
There are many hobbies that are still manageable for single moms who may not have as much time to commit to activities. Studies have found that people who engage in just 20 minutes of physical leisure activities are “less susceptible to fatigue” and end up with lower blood pressure, less depression, and better physical well-being.