And in these challenging times, shopping, especially online shopping, can be all too alluring. However, in the long run, this spending can cost us more than the financial transaction.
Speaking to the Sunday Times about her attitude to spending and saving, Trinny Woodall, 56, London based TV presenter and founder of make-up and lifestyle brand TrinnyLondon, explained, ‘When I was spending wildly in my late twenties, I went to Liberty and got a store card that charged something like 28 per cent…I bought 100 pairs of tights that year and my debt turned from £800 into more than £4,000 because of the interest.’
She told the Sunday Times, that shopping ‘makes me happy’. This comes as no surprise as the ‘happiness hormone’, dopamine, is triggered when we get a reward. In this case Trinny’s tight splurges were triggering her dopamine. However, that feel good factor was soon overshadowed by the interest added on to the initial spending.
Trinny went on to explain that she developed better habits and stopped relying on material goods to make her happy. ‘There have been times in my life where I went to Debtors Anonymous, which is not just for people who are broke all the time but also for those who don’t know how to manage money – apparently it’s very common for workaholics like me.’
‘I was kidding myself that I knew what I was spending, but I had frivolous money leaks everywhere: iTunes was a big black hole.’
Seeking assistance looks like it paid off for Trinny as it helped her discover her ‘money leaks’. What’s a money leak I hear you ask?
Money leaks fall into a couple of categories. Firstly, is when you are spending or overspending in a particular category when you know the purchases or items are not completely necessary. Think takeaways(!)
Secondly, are all those contactless or cash transactions you simply don’t keep track of. Think of all that contactless ‘tapping’ that goes on, when out and about, along with those mysterious ATM withdrawals, after which the cash seems to disappears into thin air!
After some challenging financial years, it now looks like Trinny’s financial wellbeing has stabilised. She told the Sunday Times, she currently has no outstanding loans for the first time in her life and has some savings in the bank. She added that debt is an ’emotionally traumatic place’.
This ‘traumatic place’, can incorporate feelings of guilt, shame, secrecy and powerlessness around money. These feelings can lead us to isolate emotionally, act as if everything is okay whilst quietly sticking our head in the sand, or even finding ourselves lending out money when we really can’t afford to because we feel we can’t say no, as well as so many other emotions and behaviours.
It is all too easy to underestimate the impact being in debt has on one’s mental wellbeing and relationship with self, as well as the spending we just can’t seem to keep track off, regardless of it being debt or not.
Understanding behaviour around money and money mindset is the first area I work on with clients in my coaching. My work helps clients develop an authentic relationship with self from which they are able to release the guilt, shame and secrecy from their relationship with money. Once they gain a more insightful understanding of why they behave the way they do around money, fundamental shifts take place and always for the better!
Find out more here.