The Wheel of Misfortune: Overspending
Overspending. Is the good one. Overspending at the end of the day. What we're really trying to do is cover up our feelings. We're really trying to push them down and not feel them. And the way we do that, is we get a dopamine hit, the feel good chemical in our brain, and we go buy something. Now, you actually have in your body, the processes to run an emotion for 90 seconds. And Jill Bolte Taylor wrote this book that I read that was fantastic. She's a neurosurgeon. And she had a brain aneurism, and it filled her brain with blood, and because she was a neurosurgeon, she could tell what was happening. Took her eight years and she got all of her brain back. One of the most important things she learned was about our need for feelings. And she says your body, the circuit, that your emotions run on, runs for 90 seconds. And after that 90 seconds, it's done. But we cannot hang on even for 90 seconds. I have a fight with my spouse. I cannot process the anger, so I get online and go shopping. I...
can't sit with the emotion for 90 seconds, and so we short circuit it. We push it down into our bodies, don't feel it, and when it comes back up, I'll go shopping again, and just push it right back down. We keep short circuiting it. Now, I hear some of you saying, "I'm angry for a lot longer than 90 seconds." (audience laughs) But it only takes 90 seconds for your body to process it, but every time you think about, you start 90 seconds again. This is why we can hang on to an emotion for years, because we keep triggering it. We keep thinking about what they did to us and how they acted, and I can't believe that. Then the cycle keeps running and running. But if we can be okay with processing it in the moment, then we don't have to go out and spend to get the dopamine hit. So how do we do this? We spend on the wrong things, first of all. We buy things we don't even want. But those things are our life energy, because our life energy was put into the job to make that money to go use it to spend it on what we should want, but we buy things we don't even want. And Dave Ramsey says we go to a job we don't even like to buy things we don't even want to impress people we don't even know. (audience laughs) So, we go shopping and we see this pair of black pants, even though you have four. You think, oh, it's on sale. I just need this black pant. If I just buy this. Like, I'm just gonna buy this. We don't think consciously, I got rejected last night, and so, this is gonna make me feel better. But really, we're using that dopamine hit to push down that feeling. Now, you may not be in the category of overspending, but if you are, you may be also overeating, over drinking, oversleeping. Over anything. Just don't let that run for 90 seconds in my body. Money burns a hole in your pocket. We spend it as fast as we can get it, because when I get money, I know it's another dopamine hit. I know it's going to make me feel good again. But we're spending our future, to cover up the pain of our past, even if that past is 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago, this happened to me and I'm going to spend to cover it up. And I'm willing to put that on a credit card. I'm willing to spend my future, to cover up the pain of my past. Buy now, buy later. That's what you're doing. I'm so willing to sacrifice my financial future because I'm so unwilling to deal with this emotion. And of course, we don't see it that way. We just see it as a cute pair of black pants. We don't go to the register and swipe our card or put your card in that stupid new chip thing that I never remember. (audience laughs) We're not thinking as we're doing it. Like, I'm really upset about this rejection that happened to me. We're just thinking, it's on sale and it's cute. Now, you know you have a problem with overspending, if you look at your closet or your garage or anywhere that you store your toys. Anywhere that you see every time that tried to make you feel better and within 24 hours that feeling was gone, so we had to go get it again. It's unfulfilling, ultimately. It just feels good in the moment. Trying to numb or distract yourself, which is everything that we just talked about. Shopping to avoid feeling that rejection. So this is why I could teach you to cut up your credit card. Certainly, I could tell you how to have the most amazing budget in the world. But it's a Band Aid, because even if I can make you willpower your way through and not buy another thing for the rest of the year, chances are, you're gonna go find another way to get that dopamine hit. Unless I encourage you to work on what the underlying issue is, then food or sleeping or anything else, drugs, alcohol, it doesn't matter. Until you work on the root issue, this is the long-term solution to your money. It is the only thing that's going to fix your money. I want you to have a budget. Go ahead. I want you to cut up your credit cards. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying it's only a Band Aid. It isn't a long-term solution.