Following months of laying low, missing holidays, and avoiding crowded places, most Americans are eager to go out and drain their pockets once again. In fact, according to one survey, around 50% of consumers in the United States intend to spend additional cash this year indulging and pampering themselves.
Although some people may still be experiencing financial difficulties, the rest are doing reasonably well, as reports show most have reduced their debts and increased their savings amidst the pandemic. In addition, some have already looked into various investments to maximize their finances and grow their wealth. That includes startups, real estate packages, cryptocurrency, and other long-term goals beneficial for one’s future.
But while it is tempting to go on a post-pandemic splurge and allow that emotional release to manifest itself into a well-deserved shopping spree, you may want to go over your finances first to avoid backfires later on.
Understand your spending habits
According to reports, 59% of the younger generations are now more prepared to take on debts to satisfy their buying habits. Furthermore, people who have had a continuous income and received stimulus checks and unemployment insurance are deemed financially stable enough to save and spend more than they previously did.
As the restrictions in several states relax and vaccines becoming more widely available, it’s only natural that people would want to spend more time doing things they were deprived of due to the lockdowns — and a huge part of that involves spending. Shopping is therapeutic for many of us. Although there’s nothing wrong with treating yourself, it is crucial to know your impulses and evaluate the factors at stake and their consequences later on.
If the pandemic has taught us one thing, it is always to have a backup plan, and emergency savings within reach as the world can turn upside down at any moment. So, before you check out that cute stiletto or purchase the latest game console available, ensure that you’ve got at least half a years’ worth of costs saved.
Morals over anything
Money is merely a manifestation of our ideals. It brings our values and visions to life through the items we purchase. For example, perhaps you prefer spending money on eating out because it allows you to socialize and enjoy the outdoors. Whichever values you hold dear, ensure that the spending habits you have, reflect them.
Make a list of your priorities and needs. This includes your essentials such as food and medication. If you need a replacement or some repairs around the house, note them too and set a budget for it. Then, if you can buy things without feeling guilty later on, you’ll be well on your way to avoid splurging.
Know that it is okay to spend on yourself from time to time, especially with all that has happened in the past few months. However, you need to be strict and set a budget for everything to stay on track. One good way is to remove your credit and debit cards linked in your online shopping apps and payments. After all, paying in cash won’t be as easy as entering your card details whenever you need to purchase anything.
Another wise strategy is to allow yourself a day or even a week before purchasing something that isn’t urgent. It may just be a result of a spur-of-the-moment decision; therefore, if you give yourself enough time to think about it, you’ll be able to assess if it’s indeed a need or want. But, of course, depriving yourself isn’t healthy. So, another method to curb your desire is to set a day when you give yourself the freedom to splurge on a budget. This way, you can regulate your spending habits and avoid going overboard on your expenses.
Keep an eye out for inflation
Prices are increasing due to the recent inflation jumps, so make sure you browse for coupons and compare prices when you shop. You may also want to hold off on purchasing any high-ticket items, such as a new car or an expensive out-of-the-country trip until prices have stabilized. Instead, ensure that the rates are reasonable and stay in line with your needs and budget. This strategy can help you manage your finances well.
As the country starts to open its doors to the new normal and people begin getting the chance to enjoy the outdoors once again, more temptations that involve spending will naturally come. Although this can put significant stress and pressure on you, the best way to approach this is to give yourself time to think and breathe. Ask yourself why you’re doing this and if it’s already going beyond your values and limits. Spend your money in a way that you’ll gain something valuable in return, like investments and quality time with loved ones.