4 Ways to Avoid Stress-Spending During the Pandemic

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By Rachel Cruze

As human beings, emotions drive a lot of our financial decisions. And you know what we’re spending a lot of time with during the quarantine? Our emotions.

If you’ve had a rough day and you’re feeling angry or sad, you might buy a new outfit because—dang it—you deserve it.

If you’re feeling joyful, you might spend as a celebration, but worry about whether you can afford it later.

During this pandemic, many people are feeling so fearful they’ve bought the stores all out of toilet paper!{{more}}

These are just a few examples of emotional spending. Believe me, I’ve been there. But we should never base our spending on whatever we’re feeling in the moment. So, here are four ways you can stop emotional spending dead in its tracks:


Even window-shopping can release a surge of dopamine, giving your brain the fix it craves. But this way, you get to keep your money.

Sleep on it

Wait at least overnight before making a purchase over $100. Stop to ask these three questions:

  • Why do I want this item?
  • Will I really use it?
  • Does it fit within my budget?
  • If you’re still excited about the purchase tomorrow, chances are it’ll be there when you get back.

Make a budget, and stick to it

A budget doesn’t limit your freedom. It gives you the freedom to spend money on what’s important to you. As you’re planning the budget for the upcoming month, decide how much of your income will go toward your true essentials, how much will go toward giving, and how much will go toward your money goals (like paying off debt or building your emergency fund). After those things are covered, make sure to budget for a little fun.

Put boundaries around your social media

Follow the people who inspire you, and unfollow the ones who make you feel like you need more in order to be happy. I guarantee you’ll feel better about yourself, and save some money. Half the battle is knowing your tendencies and knowing how to help yourself.

Take my free five-minute money quiz to discover your unique money tendencies and learn which emotions to watch out for. I want you to feel equipped to stay focused on your goals, without letting your feelings in the moment, other people—or even a pandemic get in the way!

About Rachel Cruze

As a #1 New York Times best-selling author, host of The Rachel Cruze Show and The Rachel Cruze Show Podcast, Rachel helps people learn the proper ways to handle money and stay out of debt. She’s authored three best-selling books, including Love Your Life, Not Theirs and Smart Money Smart Kids, which she co-wrote with her father, Dave Ramsey. You can follow Cruze on Twitter and Instagram at @RachelCruze and online at, or

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