Today’s post is a guest post from Andy Masaki of PennylessDad. Feel free to check out his website and I hope my readers enjoy this as much as I did 🙂
I am Andy Masaki, closely associated with Oak View Law Group as a content contributor, and currently researching on various strategies to get rid of bills!
It is during my course of research I came to meet sweet Courtney and her very stylized website, Your Average Dough.
While researching on bill payment strategies I followed the topic of “impulsive spending”.
And then, I felt the need to explain what makes us fall sick after we have spent too much money in a short period of time.
This post is highly psychological, but I will try to explain things in ENGLISH, and as easy as possible, keeping general readers in mind!
Feel free to share this post with your buddies, and don’t forget to leave your comments down below, as that will make Courtney happy!
It is the realization and loathing, after moments spent in hedonistic affairs, that teach us to understand what went wrong, and what should not be done again!
I am not any big follower of Anti-Christianity, but one line really hooked onto me, from the book Satanic Bible, by Anton LaVey!
It is, “God believes in complete abstinence, whereas Satan believes in complete indulgence”! Sounds interesting? Well, Yes Yes!
This line can be very well applied to personal finances.
Impulsive spending behavior and uncontrollable urge to let go of yourself whenever it comes to speed spending, is nothing less than the Satanic attitude of complete indulgence.
Why do we spend money? What’s the primal reason behind it?
It is, but only happiness that we aim to receive when we spend money. Be it necessities, needs or wants. We spend so that we can live a better life!
We spend so as to live in comfort and peace.
We need good houses, good bedrooms, well colored blinds, nice wall clocks, fancy smart lights, custom kitchens, fashion accessories, nice jolly smartphones, well configured laptops, good cars, big screen TVs, home theaters, DSLRs, state of the art washrooms, and on and on and on and on………………
And, in the middle of it all, our craving for ‘the more’ just keeps on getting stronger and powerful, if we don’t keep a check at our expense hands and spending habits!
But, only after we have done enough spending, and exhaust our funds, do we start to feel the money blues, or the money hangover, or the financial hangover, whatever you may call it.
This hangover falls heavy on us and we sit down with hands on head, and go into a crash! This obviously has something to do with Serotonin and Dopamine rush!
To be exact, it has a lot to do with the reward centers of our brains!
While we were busy spending our money to achieve seamless pleasure, we unknowingly boosted our happy feeling, and our body started to release these happy hormones and triggered the reward centers to only influence us, to pursue more happiness by only spending more!
Shopping spree and spending addiction is a subject of study for many financial therapists! This is nothing less than a drug addiction!
And, only after we overdose on something, do we face the real blues, the real withdrawal, and the real hangover!
What’s our reason to feel sad after times of heavy spending?
If you take a close look at the list of all your expenditures, and see why you overspent, then you might be able to find out, that most of the expenses were highly ‘want’ oriented, rather than ‘need’ oriented.
‘Want-oriented’ activities tend to arise from our search of pleasure and optimum happiness. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, unless you spend your time drowning in bottles of ‘Absolut’ for momentary happiness!!!
And, given the present day world, most of the people overspend, either by buying too much of commodity and household goods, or indulging in drugs, booze and all, or becoming a victim of psychotic mania, and/or doing haphazard investments or gambling!
These are very serious terms that we all should learn with time. Else we can never be mature.
But, that’s not learning your lessons.
I always encourage the blues that comes after extreme happiness. For, that’s when you learn deep about the mistakes you have committed.
Having big tubs of ice creams, calling your buddies over to your place, opening a bottle of rose wine, smearing in spaghetti and risotto, ain’t gonna give you no financial hangover or money blues.
Rather, go for a night out, hit pub hopping, swipe your credit cards nearly everywhere you see a swiping machine, plug into Mötley Crue songs, get some whole night intimacy, as per Leonard Cohen – ‘let the Johnny Walker wisdom run high’, and when the sun rises, let yourself crash back on bed!
Let the blues set in, as the sun’s above your head and afternoon heat burns your sentiments.
Take a look at your credit account, see the available credit limit blinking red, and then sink into the harsh thoughts and realization of what went wrong last night!
If you still don’t realize anything, and feel the spirit to go out again the next night, then by God’s grace you are hopeless!
But, if you feel withered and sick both mentally and physically, and feel like cursing yourself, then you are on the right track.
After having spent an enormous time of happiness and monetary possessions, we start to feel vacant, as we get settled back in reality. It’s absolutely normal.
That’s because, due to excessive spending and buying, our reward centers in the brain got triggered, and the happiness boosted the secretion of dopamine and serotonin.
That affects our brain, keeps us alert and anxious, and influences us to keep the happy high moment going on.
But, this feeling comes down gradually and we start to feel the withdrawal after a significant amount of time has passed since our reward centers got activated!
And truly speaking, the only solution to fight this hardship of financial hangover, is to avoid unethical spending and over-expenses in the very first place.
Still, it’s up to you in the end, as in how you would mend your ways, so as you don’t have to face them money blues again!
Here are the, top 3 ways to battle the financial hangover:
Forgive the past, but not forget:
This is probably the only humane thing you can do. The best thing ever is to forgive, said the ancient prophet of the forest and the sky!
But, he also said not to forget.
We all do mistakes, but the art is to get them forgiven yet remembering them forever. The big step to take from the realization is that, you should not be repeating the wrong deeds again.
What’s done is done, you can’t revisit the past and rectify things you have done. You can only stop repeating them, if you have learnt your good lessons!
Start selling out stuffs you bought by mistake.
Yes! This is the second best thing to do.
It is pretty obvious that you haven’t bought anything ‘asset like’, that will appreciate in value with time. Else you would not be suffering from money blues.
Hence, hurry up, and start selling the things you don’t need, before their value depreciates.
Random selling is what you need.
Moreover, if you don’t get rid of the unwanted goods bought on the course of shopping impulse, then the more you look at them, more depressed you will be!
Practice to rely on debit, and keep your credit cards under lock and key:
Finally, from now on, you should only rely on debit!
Your debit limit is your credit limit. Simple as that.
Your buying power is totally defined by how much you have in your bank accounts, and not how much available credit limit you have on your credit cards!
If you can keep this in mind while going out to buy things or spending heavy amounts, then trust me, your expenses will get limited on its own!
Now that’s all I had to say about handling your financial hangover.
It’s not something that goes away, by hot compression behind the back of your head and neck, or drinking ginger tea and coffee.
This is something very very crucial to take care of by changing your money habits once and for all, for good!
Keep coming back to Your Average Dough, for checking out more vital topics like this! Cheers mate, take care of your life.
Remember, whatever happened was meant to happen!
Never cry and waste time over spilled milk! Always reach out for the new!