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Sometimes it is said that 'money makes the world go round'. While you may take issue with that statement, most people would agree that how we manage our finances can have a big impact on our wellbeing and peace of mind.

With advertising seeming relentless nowadays and brands assailing us from every angle, many people find it difficult to resist impulse buys and can find themselves purchasing something that their budget says should really stay on the shelf. This can be particularly true if it is a gift for a child who has requested something, when a time-poor parent may cave in to the demand if they are feeling guilty about not having enough hours in the day to spend the time they would like with their loved one. Is this something you can identify with?

Stress and its effects are common reasons for someone to seek out the help of a therapeutic counsellor. In my professional experience, living with debt can be a very stressful experience indeed. Sometimes I ask clients what they need to get out of the predicament they find themselves in with their finances, and often the reply is "to win the lottery". While this would indeed reset their bottom line to black, it is clear that this strategy is not one which is likely to yield results.  What the client is really asking for is financial security, and that can be a more realistic goal to work towards in therapy.

Shopping that is out of control can sometimes be an indicator of other things that are going on for a person. Indeed, buying items to make ourselves feel better is often referred to as retail therapy. The problem is, unlike real therapy which aims to work through difficult thoughts and feelings to help people live happier and more fulfilling lives, retail therapy is only a temporary fix. The high of a new purchase can fade almost as soon as we have walked away from the shop checkout, yet the cost of such purchases can hang around for much longer.

An updated version of the famous Micawber Principle, coined by the author Charles Dickens, might read like this:

If annual income = £25,000 and annual expenditure = £24,990

result = happiness

~ ~ ~

If annual income = £25,000 and annual expenditure = £25,010

result = misery

When a client has faced up to whatever emotional drive is behind their unnecessary spending, they can feel free from the need to spend their way to happiness. Once control is regained of the purse strings and a clear action plan put in place to rein in existing debts, people often feel calmer, less stressed and less controlled by money and financial affairs. Their wellbeing can increase and a sense of balance is restored. Are you struggling with excess spending? What could help you get back on track?

Rob Oglesby MBACP (Accred) B.A. (Hons) BSc | Ashwood Therapy

Ashwood Therapy provides a discreet, confidential and professional online counselling service by encrypted video call, live instant messaging and secure email.  More details, including tips on wellbeing and information on current counselling session pricing, can be found at www.ashwoodtherapy.com

Money and Debt:

You Owe It To Yourself

Money and Debt | Ashwood Therapy Wellbeing Blog