Don’t Let Unexpected Stress Be An Excuse For Spending

Everybody Has Stress

The last year has been extremely stressful one for my wife and I.  My wife had a blood clot in her entire leg last March, and ended up being in the hospital for about 3 weeks.  Then this winter my wife’s job was in jeopardy because the church that she works at has been having problems with reduced giving (due to the down economy).  Add to all this that I’ve been sick off and on several times this year and it makes for a lot of added stress.

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Something that I’ve noticed through all of this is that when you have added stressers in your life as we have, it makes it a lot easier to rationalize bad decision making.

Stress Can Lead To Bad Decisions

For example, because we’ve been under a lot of stress it makes it a whole lot easier to fall into the trap of thinking “hey, we deserve to eat out several times a week, we’re under so much stress!”.   In reality, because we’re eating out more often, it ends up affecting our finances AND our health.  We’re spending more money, and we’re adding on extra pounds because we’re not eating healthy. But hey, we’re stressed out, so it’s ok, right?

Man of concern  photo credit: Lisa Brewster

Because we’ve been stressed, it also makes it easier to let expenses like vacations and expensive birthday gifts just slip right by without even a second thought.   For example, because my wife has been having such a tough year, instead of just buying one gift for her birthday, I bought her both gifts I was thinking about getting, instead of just one. It was a lot more expensive than if I had bought just one – and in reality she probably would have been just as happy with one gift.   But I splurged because “she’s had a tough year and she deserves it”.

Don’t Lose Sight Of What’s Important

I think I’ve been losing sight of the fact that just because you’re having a tough time of things doesn’t mean that it’s ok to just forget about your budget, and let loose.  Stress isn’t a good reason to just let all reason and discipline fly out the window.   The problem is this, if you let loose too much you can end up causing new stress because you’ve overspent, or you’ve let your health get away from you.  And then where are you?  Broke and unhealthy!

So thought for the day:

Don’t let unexpected stress be an excuse for spending.

Instead, rely upon the advice of Jesus.

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” John 14:1

Instead of being stressed, rest in God, and trust Him to take care of your worries.  Don’t try to ease the worries and stress by spending. It’ll only create more worries in the end.  Stay disciplined and keep your eyes on the prize!

Have you ever allowed stress to get the best of you and used it as a reason to spend (or eat, or be nasty to someone?)  Tell us about it in the comments.

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Last Edited: 29th March 2013

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  1. Kathrn says

    I stress eat, and get mad at myself for letting it happen!

    We are trying to be positive about whats going on in our family. My husband is the sole provider and travels (all the time). Our home price has tanked; people are losing their job all around us; my husbands employer is even looking at laying off 10% of their work force in the next few months

    We are thankful that he works (for now),but we know we could easily be having talks of “we have no job and no money”; rather than the talks of “this stinks..I miss you!”

    I keep a tight budget and always have; but we have seen our daughters college fund just disappear into nothing (and she 2yrs away) we are trying to save as much cash as we get to prepare for it, since with the money tight; there is no guarantee that she will have scholarships available to her; and her father doesn’t want her taking out loans and being in debt.

    I have trimmed our budget so much there is no left to cut back on…we would not even have the internet; if we didn’t need it for school research!

    So where does one go from here?? We turn to what you said! God! He’s who we look to! We read His word; and rely on Him to provide. That’s what He wants us to do! He doesn’t want us to put our trust in 401Ks, 529′s and Wall Street or the things of this world. Its hard, I know, but I have taped on my refrigerator the following to read every time, I reach for the door:

    “Regardless of what happens in our world; you have done everything you can do to prepare for uncertainty; and you are confident that God will provide for your family and their needs”

    Isaiah 41:10(NIV) Don’t be AFRAID, for I am with you. Do not be DISMAYED, for I am your God. I will strengthen you. I will help you. I will uphold you with my victorious right hand.

  2. says

    Interesting you bring that up, I would normally think that it would be the opposite. When someone is in a great mood, or nice day, they tend to spend more. Didn’t realize it may work the same for stress levels.

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