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Identifying spending triggers can help prevent debt

Shopping to meet basic everyday needs such as food, gas and clothing is just a normal part of living. Unfortunately for some people, the excitement they feel when they spend money can lead to compulsive shopping and sometimes to financial ruin.

To avoid such problems, Tennessee residents should know what triggers this type of behavior.

Compulsive shopping can be triggered by boredom, a need to feel a sense of control and deeper emotional issues related to family history and insecurity.

Shopping online can kill boredom. The temporary excitement it gives can fill a void temporarily but may also lead to the desire to continue buying online. One expert suggests instead that engaging in real activities can help curb the urge to shop.

Spending can feel like getting control over an aspect of life for someone who is stressed and otherwise feels out of control. The key to avoiding this is proactive control and doing something else, whether talking to a friend or taking a walk. Physical activities in particular promote brain activities that lead to better decision making.

A family history that includes unresolved personal trauma or periods of deprivation can also lead to overspending. In addition to healthy activities, a support system made up of family and friends can help counteract family-based issues.

Insecurity is also a trigger. "Keeping up with the Joneses" without any sense of budget priorities can lead to budget disaster. Setting spending limits, keeping only small amounts of cash on hand and freezing credit cards can all help someone avoid binge shopping.

While knowing the triggers can help, it may no longer matter once someone is overcome with debt and is in serious need of debt relief. A Tennessee resident should know that bankruptcy in such situations is a feasible, legal and ultimately responsible way to effectively and efficiently eliminate debt.

Source: Daily Finance, "4 Triggers That Make You Overspend," Donna Fuscaldo, Feb. 7, 2014

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Kenneth C. Rannick, P.C.
4416 Brainerd Road
Chattanooga, TN 37411

Phone: 423-954-7180
Phone: 423-624-4002
Fax: 423-624-0509
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