How to Bounce Back After You’ve Splurged

Have you done some serious damage to your budget on a recent shopping trip? Here's how you can bounce back after splurging so you don't take the hit.We’re all human and we all overspend now and again, even if we are focused on meeting our financial goals.

However, the worst part about splurging is the inevitable guilt you’ll likely feel later on due to your reckless spending.

Sometimes splurging can almost feel like a hangover later. I have felt so guilty about large splurges in the past that I’ve been unable to sleep at night and I’ve even gotten a queasy stomach. These are not fun feelings to experience.

Even though I’ve come a long way on my road to recovering from being a shopaholic, I still splurge now and then. Sometimes my splurges are small and easy to recover from, and other times they have been larger.

Large splurges can be difficult to bounce back from, but it can be done. Here’s how you can bounce back after splurging.

Add Up Your Total Damage

It can be painful to see what the damages are from your splurge, but no matter if it’s big or small, you need to know your total amount so you can bounce back.

Once you know how much damage you’ve caused your budget by splurging, you can create a plan to get back on track.

Return Items

After you add up your total damage, you might find that some of the items you bought are things you truly wanted, or maybe even needed, and others may be things you don’t really want that badly now that you know the toll of your shopping.

The easiest thing you can do to bounce back after splurging is return some items from your shopping spree. There may be some things you can’t return, like sale items that are marked as “no returns,” or an expensive steak dinner that you’ve already consumed. Other than that, you should try to return some of your purchases if possible to lessen the damage done.

Absorb Small Splurges

If your splurge is fairly small, you may be able to absorb it within your monthly budget.

Perhaps you can cut something from your budget to make up for your splurge. Can you skip going out to eat one time to make up the deficit? Can you try to negotiate lower rates on some of your monthly bills? This will not only help you make up for your splurge this month, but it will also help you save more in the future, too.

Another option to help you absorb your splurge and bounce back is by earning extra money to make up for your splurge. If you work an hourly job, you may be able to ask for a few extra hours to make up for your splurge.

Another option is to try and find some one-off jobs like babysitting, pet sitting, or house sitting to make some extra money. Since I am a freelancer, I’ve taken on an extra assignment to help make up for a splurge when I’ve messed up in the past, but I try not make a habit out of it so I don’t get caught always needing to work extra to bounce back from splurging.

Pay Large Splurges Off

If you can’t absorb your splurge this month because it’s too large, you may be forced to put it on credit, pay for it with your emergency fund, or use some extra “buffer” funds you might have been saving up. It sucks, but if you are careful, you can get your splurge paid off with some hard work and dedication.

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Avoid Splurge Temptations

Spend a little time thinking about when you’ve splurged in the past. Are your splurges related to a certain temptation? They could be triggered by a certain emotional state, or they could be triggered by something else like a location, or even a person.

My splurges are usually centered around anytime I go shopping at a mall. I generally go to the mall with a set purpose in mind, but I end up leaving with something else entirely. I also tend to splurge more when I shop with friends and family than when I shop by myself, so these are things I try to watch out for.

Plan Ahead for Future Splurges

As I said before, splurges are part of life. Simply put, they are going to happen to even the most iron-willed people from time to time.

This past weekend I splurged by buying myself a hat to help combat my messy hair days now that I’m trying to grow out my Pixie cut. Did I need the hat? Not really, since I had three at home already, but it was really cute and I wanted it.

Thankfully it was something I could afford to absorb in my budget this month, but the best thing for me to do is plan ahead for future situations such as this, especially since I know I am prone to shopping temptations.

Planning ahead for splurges may sound like you are giving up on combating the urge to shop, but in reality you are just making it easier to make up for splurges in the future so you don’t have to worry about how to bounce back.

Try setting aside a small amount of money each month in a separate savings account for splurges. Then when you inevitably splurge and give in to your temptations, you’ll have money set aside to cover the situation.

Stop Feeling Guilty

I have made myself physically sick in the past because of feeling guilty about my splurges. This is not a healthy way to deal with splurges or overspending your budget. Sure, you don’t want to be cavalier about it and shrug off splurges like they are no big deal, but you also shouldn’t have yourself on lock-down 24/7, either.

Like most things in life, it’s about finding balance. It’s a lot easier to stop feeling guilty about splurges when you’ve started planning ahead for them with a dedicated savings account, or when you make sure your splurges are in line with things you truly value.

As the popular post going around Facebook these days says: “You weren’t born to pay bills and die.” So it’s okay to enjoy some of your money now and then, even if that means giving in to an occasional splurge.

Do you splurge often? How else can you bounce back from a splurge? What has been your biggest splurge to date?

One Response

  1. Latoya @ Life and a Budget