By Kenneth Medford III
As we all slowly wake from the nightmare of Covid lockdowns that separated us from friends, family, and fun strangers in bars, many of us may have a chip on our shoulders. The pandemic took graduation celebrations, summer/winter vacations, and date nights away from us. How dare it!
The immediate impulse a lot of people are feeling is to get out there and blow money fast to make up for lost time. This is known as “revenge spending” or “revenge buying” and it’s as natural as our desire to breathe apparently. As good as it may feel, however, it’s probably not the best idea.
But Why Do I Want To Make It Rain At The Bar?
Because life took the option from you. Essentially, we’re all like dogs dying to go outside and we’ve been denied for over a year. When that door finally opens, we’re out like a bat out of hell, ready to smell all the things and roll around everywhere. Being money mindful suddenly seems less important. Even if it is out of character for you, you likely feel this little nagging scratch to go to that restaurant you didn’t get the chance to go to pre-pandemic and spend a little more than you might normally.
If you’re experiencing that feeling to make up for lost time – know that you’re not alone. According to this report by CNBC:
“Just over 50% of U.S. consumers plan to spend extra money splurging or treating themselves, according to a May survey by McKinsey & Company. The global management consulting firm polled 2,076 U.S. adults in February and weighted it to match the national general population.”
This might feel like financial freedom, but it can lead down a dark, dangerous path. Tread carefully, my monetary mate, lest you ruin all the progress you made during the pandemic.
Covid Doesn’t Care About Your Budget
So as you destroy your budget and deplete your savings, who exactly are you getting revenge on? The whole point is to make someone else feel bad for something they’ve done to wrong you, but. . .Covid doesn’t care. You could spend a stack ($1000) and buy a couple bottles at a club/bar and no one is going to care but your bank account. The best “revenge” you could get is to maintain the money mindfulness you developed over the lockdown and keep climbing towards your goals.
In the video game, Mass Effect 2, there is a scientist by the name of Warlord Okeer (we don’t have the time to explain why a scientist is also a warlord, trust me). He uttered one of the top 5 realest things mine ears have ever heard.
“…the greatest insult an enemy can suffer. To be ignored.”
If you truly want to “get revenge” on Covid, don’t let it control you. Don’t let it interfere with the game plan you’ve developed for yourself. Make sure you stay on top of:
- Your savings (be it for a house, a car, or that vacation you can FINALLY take)
- Your emergency fund (because if we’ve learned anything, it’s to expect the unexpected)
- Your budget (just because you can go outside now doesn’t mean you just throw money around)
Help You Help Yourself
So, you’re at the mercy of instincts you can’t control. How can you possibly fight back against the insurmountable pull of nature itself? With willpower and a little bit of technology. You may, indeed, be instinctually driven to spit in the face of the pandemic, but how about we don’t. Let’s try this instead:
Transaction Swiping To Be More Money Mindful
The best way to stay on top of your budget is to keep track of where your money is going. Understanding your spending habits is key to money mindfulness. Trust me when I say, there is no better way to track your money moves than going through EVERY transaction and passing judgment on yourself. Nav.it’s Transaction Swiping brings you face to face with your financial decisions and gives you the power to judge them as positive (swiping right) negative (swiping left) or neutral (swiping up). There are few deterrents to reckless spending than having to answer to yourself.
Another awesome automation that can help you either get back on track or maintain the course is Auto-saves. Whether you’re rebuilding your emergency fund after burning through it during lockdown or preparing to get on the next thing smoking after you hit your savings goal for a trip, Auto-saves helps you set up a timetable and game plan for getting to where you want to be.
Couple these two features with the willpower and determination of taking control of your financial future and you can axe the revenge spending trend before it ever gets started.
Send This Meal Back To The Kitchen
There’s really no benefit to revenge spending. It’s the empty calories of spending. Though you may get a bit of an endorphin rush in the beginning, the crash when you see your bank account is going to hurt. Keep your eyes forward and lay off the self-sabotage.
That’s not to say that you shouldn’t enjoy SOME time out in the sun you’ve been denied for so long. Wifey and I have enjoyed dinners with friends, mini road trips to see family, and a slow but steady journey back to whatever “normal” is going to be from now on, but we’ve not betrayed our pockets to do it. As the world changes yet again, you have to be your own constant. Be your own financial North Star, focus on money mindfulness and make sure that you lead yourself towards your financial goals. We’ll be happy to take the ride with you.