The weather is nice. Vaccinations are widespread. Now it feels like the perfect time to go out and … spend your money.
After a year of COVID-19 restrictions, the thought of living the way it used to be sounds wonderful. And for those who have kept working, cutting costs and saving money during the pandemic, there is an pent-up need.
With people so willing to leisurely stroll through the aisles of their favorite shops, dine in restaurants, attend live events, and travel again, the potential for a wave of revenge lurks.
What are Revenge Issues?
Revenge spending refers to excess spending to try to put on hold everything that was put on hold in 2020.
To make up for canceled trips, plan a lavish overseas vacation. Since you had to celebrate your last birthday through Zoom, you decide to have a catering bash in a fancy location. The announcement of going back to the office triggers a shopping spree for a whole new wardrobe – even if you have work clothes hanging in the back of your closet.
Air travel and retail sales have spiked in the first quarter of 2021 as restrictions fall, vaccinations roll out, and stimulus checks strain bank accounts.
As nice as it is to return to some semblance of normalcy, blowing all of your savings through as a result of unchecked revenge spending is not wise.
This is how you prevent spending on revenge from derailing you financially
First, let’s get one thing straight. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself here and there – as long as you do it responsibly.
When you are up to date with all of your bills, you have a solid one Emergency fund and you take care of other financial priorities like paying off debts and saving for retirement.
However, if you are dealing with excessive spending at the expense of your financial health, here are some things you can do.
1. Give yourself a 7 day break
When you think of something you want to buy, write it down instead of buying it right away. If after a week you still want this item to see if you can afford it, know it’s not just one Buy impulse.
If it is a big ticket item, you can extend the time to a 30-day cooling off period. When adding multiple items to your wish list, put them in the order you really want them so that you don’t spend money on things that are not that important.
If you take your time before buying, you also have the option to search for a better deal, which brings me to my next tip.
2. Be a smart shopper
Try to find something at a cheaper price instead of buying it.
Browser extensions such as Rakuten or Honey will help you find deals when you shop online. Cashback apps You can save money when shopping in stores with Ibotta or Fetch Rewards. When shopping in person, keep an eye out for business-wide promotions or item-specific offers.
If you don’t necessarily want the item to be brand new, consider thrift stores or local stores Buy nothing groups.
Use credit card points when planning your vacation and be smart when you book your flights. If you’re looking to spend cash on an experience like a spa treatment or a night out at a nice restaurant, check out deals on sites like Groupon.
3. Find a cheaper alternative
Adjusting your expectations somewhat can be key to having fun after the pandemic – while staying on budget.
If you’re craving a change of scenery, consider vacationing in a city within driving distance rather than taking an overland trip. Pack your own groceries to bring to your Airbnb so you don’t have to eat out at every meal.
If you’ve neglected to meet your friends in person, opt for free yoga in the park followed by a nice walk instead of paying $ 50 for brunch.
This list of free things to do can help you find alternatives to have fun without spending your money.
4. Set up no-spend days
You don’t have to shed all of the habits that you learned during the pandemic.
Challenge yourself to reserve a handful of days a month when you are not spending any money – outside of necessities like bills or groceries, of course.
Set your number Days without spending So it’s not too restrictive. Since you didn’t spend anything during the coronavirus quarantine, it might not be too difficult to follow.
5. Budget for fun money
Another way to avoid spending revenge is to Create space in your budget especially for your wishes.
This is automatically built into a 50/30/20 budgetHowever, if you don’t follow this budgeting method, it’s still nice to make room for indulgences in your budget. That could mean putting money aside every payday to get a manicure or to make a contribution sinking fund every month to save for your next big trip.
Budgeting for fun, in particular, allows you to satisfy your desires without ruining you financially.
Reconsider your spending after the pandemic
It may take you some time to get used to life after the pandemic, and that’s fine.
It’s also okay to get out of all of what happened in the last year and want to treat yourself to a nice getaway or treat that makes you feel good about yourself.
As long as you are aware of your expenses and not making rash decisions based on a sense of vengeance, you should be in good shape.
Nicole Dow is a senior writer at The Penny Hoarder.
This article originally appeared on www.thepennyhoarder.com