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Shopping habits from start of pandemic may be setting us up to overspend now

Posted at 1:27 PM, Oct 27, 2020

All the big box stores are already offering holiday deals. They're ramping them up even more at the beginning of November.

Our online shopping habits from the beginning of the pandemic, when you may have purchased things because you felt anxious or sad, may be setting us up to overspend now.

“You're just so determined to feel better that you suddenly care less about the price, so there are these financial aspects that can build on top of those emotional ones,” said Lisa Rowan, Personal Finance Expert at Forbes Advisor.

Rowan says our emotions throw off any sort of spending rules we've set for ourselves.

To reverse the spending habits you may have picked up, experts say it typically used to take three weeks.

“Experts have been saying lately that it takes longer than that, two to three months,” said Rowan. “It could be more and the thing with building a habit is not necessarily that you do it perfectly every time, but that you take steps and learn as you go.”

Other things to do to retrain your brain include making your budget official.

Rowan says if you write it down and put it in a place, you can see you'll be better off, because you're not just relying on your brain to know the rules you set for yourself.

She also says to set yourself a shopping curfew.

Researchers say you have to know your body and when you may be worn down and more likely to overspend.