There’s a new spending trend in town, and many are calling it “revenge spend.” As the COVID-19 vaccine gains momentum and restrictions ease, people are opening their wallets to make up for lost time during the lockdown.
Many people are going big, bolstered by their stimulus checks. But be careful not to go too overboard. Revenge spend can hit like a sudden burst of lifestyle creep, and some may find it difficult to dial back spending after their revenge binge. Plus, stress can drive a compulsion to spend.
Here are five ways to revenge spend wisely:
1. Spend Strategically
Enhance your spending power to get the most bang for your buck. Search online for deals and coupons, and don’t forget to take advantage of your rewards programs. Your SESLOC HomeFREE Checking™ debit card and Visa Signature® Rewards card earns points on your purchases that you can redeem for merchandise and gift cards to popular retailers — like Target, Autozone, Khols, and more.
2. Adjust Your Budget
Before you rush out, dust off your budget (and if you don’t have a budget yet, check out these resources). Compare your 2019 and 2020 spending and consider how your expenses changed over the last year. Do you expect certain spending categories to go back to pre-pandemic status, stay about the same, or possibly increase? For example, if you worked from home last year, you likely spent less on gas and routine vehicle maintenance. But if you expect to go back to the office or hit the road, you’ll need to readjust your budget. Also, don’t forget to include discretionary purchases as a line item in your budget if you don’t already. By allocating a weekly or monthly amount to spend as you see fit, you can “revenge spend” without busting your budget.
3. Eyes on the Prize
Think about your short, medium, and long-term financial goals — such as saving for a vacation, paying down debt, or buying a home. It may seem tempting to spend big now, but consider the impact that today will have on delaying your goals.
4. Sleep On It
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment, so set up rules to combat impulse purchases. Try adding that “must have” to your wish list and wait a day or two (or until it goes on sale) to see if you still feel like you can’t live without it. You can also remove temptation by deleting store apps, removing your payment information from websites, and unsubscribing from store emails.
5. Shop With Purpose
A bargain isn’t really a bargain if you didn’t need — or really even want — the item in the first place. Have you ever snapped up a shirt because the price was too good to pass up, only to never wear it because it didn’t fit quite right or the color doesn’t go with anything else you own? Before you hit the checkout, be sure to ask yourself if the item fills a need, and is something you actually want. It can also be helpful to keep a wish list and set goals for your shopping trip.