Personal Account: My Brain on Sales

dw_shoppingMP Dunleavey is DailyWorth's Editorial Director.

Stress Spending
Last weekend was a hectic (but fun) time with family—but it was peppered with work, and followed by a high-pressure Monday morning meeting.

Worse, everywhere I went there was another store window with "SALE" plastered all over it. And… all I wanted to do was shop.

This Is Your Brain on Sales
It was as if some part of my brain took over, and said that it was OK to cut loose because I was stressed—not because I had any extra cash.

I write a lot about the psychology of money and spending, including this recent MSN column about stealth budgets. I know from long experience that I tend to be an emotional spender—and many studies show that for some people (ahem) spending releases happy chemicals in the brain.

Cashflow Control
So, there I was, staring at the mouth-watering Anthropologie window. I was smart enough to ask myself: Why are you giving yourself license to spend?

"Because I'm stressed! And then I'll feel better!" came the merry reply.

"You can't shop when you're all wound up," I told myself. And then, dear DW readers… I walked away.

Bottom Line
It's possible to triumph over long-held, unhealthy patterns—and I'm living, money-saving proof. Tell us about your financial victories here.