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It’s tempting to go shopping after the pandemic.
After a year of crouching, skipping vacations and dining out, many Americans can’t wait to spend their money again.
Just over 50% of US consumers plan on spending extra cash to pamper themselves or self-medication, according to a May survey by McKinsey & Company. The global management consultancy surveyed 2,076 US adults in February and weighted them according to the total national population.
While many Americans still struggle financially, others are fine. you reduce their debts and saved more money over the past year. Even if self-medication is well deserved, caution should be exercised, experts warn.
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“We all experience varying degrees of freedom, euphoria and relief after Covid,” said financial therapist and coach Carrie Rattle, CEO and founder of Behavioral Cents, based in New York.
“It’s easy to take that emotional release and translate it into shopping for material goods,” she added. “In these cases it can lead to overspending and definitely a waste of money.”
The urge to splurge after the pandemic is called “Revenge spending. “
However, this could affect not only your finances but your happiness as well if you spend too much, said researcher Elizabeth Dunn, PhD, chief science officer for financial technology company Happy Money and author of “Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending.” “.
Example of a monthly budget
People who spend less than they bring in reported life satisfaction levels 17% higher than those who spend their income, according to a study by Happy Money. They have 14% more life satisfaction than those who spend the equivalent of their income.
“[By] If you go beyond the amount of money you pour in, you are ultimately not taking revenge on the pandemic, but rather preparing for less luck, “she said.
Before you splurge, do an analytical approach to your purchase before you even put it in the cart, Rattle said.
Ask yourself, “Do you already have one? How often will you use it? Did you compare the price to make sure you were getting value for your money?”
Before you buy, ask yourself whether it will change the way you spend time, advises Dunn, who is also a professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of British Columbia.
“This is a really simple question people can ask that can sometimes help them get the items out of the cart,” she said. “It won’t affect how I spend my time.”
We often take shopping breaks by either picking up the phone or walking away from a project on our computer. Instead, go away and do something else to let your emotions subside, suggests Rattle.
When you buy something, write down what you bought and how much it was.
By tracking your spending in real time, you can spot patterns such as: B. Days you spend money, situations that made you want to spend money, and websites that you spent a lot of time on, Rattle said.
“When we add up the weekly expenses, it can often have an incredible dampening effect on our urge to keep shopping,” she said.
There is nothing wrong with self-medication as long as you do it smart.
Dunn recommends spending on experiences as they have been withheld from us for the past year and research shows that they tend to make us happier.
“Really actively anticipating a vacation can give you that kind of free enjoyment before you get into the actual experience,” she said. “So you get kind of a double dip in terms of happiness.”
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