Have you ever gone shopping to make yourself feel better?
How about to celebrate something? Or just because there's a sale? Maybe as a social outing with your friends?
All of the above are what we call spending triggers, and we're especially vulnerable to them at the holidays, when we're all spending more time in retail outlets.
A spending trigger can be anything from a break up with your significant other to a seemingly fantastic sale—any factor that lets you rationalize opening your wallet when a few minutes' reflection would reveal that you probably shouldn't.
Watch That Trigger Finger
You're taking control over split-second overspending, but what about the rest of your finances? You can master those, too, in only ten days with our Take Control Bootcamp.
Some triggers—like impulse spending—are well-known enough to be household words, but then there's "emotional spending", "features shopping", "buying for your better self" ... and a variety of other triggers you've probably never heard of, but that could also wreak havoc on your budget this month.
The biggest problem with triggers isn't that they lead us to one fiscal faux pas, but that they get us into the habit of spending poorly. (And overspending just once can lead to a downward spending spiral.)
Which is why you really don't want to pull your particular trigger.
Take a look at this interactive infographic that describes the eight most dangerous spending triggers, and see which apply to you. Click the image below for the full infographic.