Why Boredom Spending Kills Your Finances | Wealthy Habits

Why boredom spending is killing your financial goals


According to Mozo’s Comfort Spending Report (2019), 81% of Australians spend when they’re feeling bored, stressed or anxious. With boredom topping the list, the report estimates that Aussies are spending a whopping $25.5 billion to make themselves feel better. 


Sound familiar?


Retail therapy may be your go-to habit when you’re feeling a bit ‘meh’, but this short-term dopamine hit could be killing your finances.



You’re seeking instant gratification and not thinking long-term


In today’s age of instant gratification, our society is used to constantly being stimulated. We can struggle to sit and simply be, and instead reach for our phones to escape even a few moments of boredom.


According to the Social Issues Research Centre of England “Information overload from all quarters means there can often be very little time for personal thought, reflection or even just zoning out.”


This need for constant entertainment detrimental in more ways than one. If boredom is something that makes you feel uncomfortable, you’re far more likely to spend beyond your budget to keep yourself entertained.


By constantly chasing instant gratification – however subconscious it may be – we may not realise how our decisions today affect our financial position tomorrow. 



You’re shopping for the sake of it  


As your parents probably told you, going to the supermarket hungry is a sure-fire way to buy stuff you don’t need. You’ll end up with doughnuts and chips, instead of something good for you, like veggies. The same goes for your spending. If there’s something you want, why not sit on the decision for 24 hours?


After that time has elapsed, you can see if the purchase is in your budget and ensure it’s something you really need. This can stop you falling victim to mindless in-the-moment purchases that you regret.



You’re using spending as a hobby  


If you’re got free time and are bored, your first urge may be to stay busy with shopping. Shopping for fun could simply be a case of needing a new hobby.


Seriously, if shopping is your hobby, it’s time to find a new one! (Believe us, your finances will love you for it).


If you’re unsure where to start, it could help to analyse what feelings you seek when you’re shopping. Do you shop to feel relaxed? Stimulated? Creative? Understanding what motivates you to shop can lead you to a more effective replacement activity.


Let’s say you’re a chill-seeking shopper. Instead of using shopping to wind down and reward yourself, you could:


·      Try yoga or meditation

·      Go for a walk

·      Learn a new skill

·      Find relaxing activities you can do at home, such as having a bath, baking something or reading.


You could also try substituting like-for-like activities, such as:


·      Rather than buying a new book or movie, you could your local library and borrow instead of buy

·      Instead of buying a new outfit for an upcoming event, you could rent one or borrow from a friend.



If you’re someone who shops for the thrill, there are plenty of activities that will be more fulfilling than shopping. You could take up a new sport, which provides a feel-good reward, and as a result, doing something productive while staying in budget.




Why boredom can actually be a good thing


According to a study by the Academy of Management Discoveries, boredom can spark creativity and productivity.  Allowing yourself to sit with your feelings and allow the mind to wander can actually boost your ability to daydream and provide a great respite for your mental health.


To be bored in the right way, you could do an activity that requires little to no concentration, such as sitting with your eyes closed, swimming laps or walking on a familiar route.



How can you stop spending up a storm when you’re bored?


Instead of viewing boredom as something to stamp out, remind yourself to take this as an opportunity to calm your mind or spark your creativity, or simply seek out an activity that’s good for you (and your budget).


By spending money more consciously, you can feel better about your purchases. You can also put money aside for discretionary or ‘comfort spending’ as part of your budget.


At Wealthy Habits, our team of financial advisors can help you work out your money goals and stay on track to achieve them. Using our online dashboard, you’ll always be across your spending habits and if they’re helping or hindering your financial position.


If you’re ready to level up and match your financial habits with your goals, then register with us now and we’ll email a series of videos designed to change your financial habits, one at a time.

MW Wealth Management is an Authorised Representative of Consultum Financial Advisers Pty Ltd ABN 65 006 373 995 | AFSL 230323 This information is general advice only and does not take into account your financial circumstances, needs and objectives. Before making any decision based on this document, you should assess your own circumstances or seek advice from a financial adviser and seek tax advice from a registered tax agent. Information is current at the date of issue and may change. This information and certain references, where indicated, are taken from sources believed to be accurate and correct. To the extent permitted by the Law, Consultum, its representatives, officers and employees accept no liability for any person that relies upon the information contained herein