The following is the second in a series of thirteen pieces, all of which deal with self-abuse in one way or another, based on the book, Divorce: It’s About Control — How to Win the Emotional, Psychological and Legal Wars, by renowned family law specialist and managing partner of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation in Los Angeles, Calif., Stacy D. Phillips. While the Control Wars often center around the typical three — Emotional, Psychological & Legal — other wars can include the Internal Wars and the Enemies Within, some of the most destructive of all. The first in this thirteen part series dealt with alcohol and drugs. This segment addresses overspending.
Most people who go through a breakup suffer financially in some fashion. Losing income (if both parties were income-bearing), having to pay attorneys’ fees and costs, spending money to set up a new home, and splitting assets are only a few financial realities/drawbacks people face when the relationship is over. As such, the last thing you need is to find yourself heavily in debt because of a compulsive need to buy things you may not need or cannot afford. Overspending is certainly the remedy of choice for many because it tends to ward off depression and, if only temporarily, makes people feel they are being bolstered or soothed as they surround themselves with nice things from gadgets to garb.
It is fine to spend lavishly if you have the means to do so! There is nothing wrong with enjoying what you have. However, when your spending exceeds your financial means or limits, then you definitely have a major War to fight: the urge to buy, buy, buy!
One major problem with overspending is that it often depletes the resources you could be using for more long lasting financial gains. With what you have been throwing away on clothes through your marital breakup, perhaps you could have purchased mutual funds, or put a down payment on a house.
The following are a few good reasons why you may want to change that behavior:
Stacy D. Phillips is a co-founder of Phillips Lerner, A Law Corporation, which specializes in high-profile family law matters. She is co-chair of the Women's Political Committee and a member of Divorce Magazine's North American Advisory Board. She can be reached at (310) 277-7117. View her firm's Divorce Magazine profile here.