Running & Investing – Revenge Spending

It’s been more than eighteen months now, since I participated in real time running event. 

I miss the camaraderie, being passed, leading and chasing, keeping a runner faster than me in sight, surging and reacting, inspiring each other to greater effort, hi fives, shout outs… the list is endless. 

As real time running events around the globe are canceled, a new form of event is gaining traction – virtual races. 

Virtual experiences are the only option most runners have.

In virtual races, runners complete a race :

  • more or less on their own convenient schedule, 
  • at their choice of location,
  • whatever location, 
  • then log in and update their timing

Virtual races have open access to global race events albeit at a cost. Now, with those real-time events on long-term pause, it looks like virtual races are here to stay. 

The comfort to participate in a global event without travelling is extremely tempting. Its’s easy, one just needs to register pay couple of 100 dollars and you are good to go. 

Runners take away – the right to flaunt the coveted medal and event t-shirt. 

I was under the impression that with no real events taking place, my expense allocation towards running would reduce. On the contrary it multiplied 3x! Adding 2 new pair of shoes, gym equipment, accessories amongst others. 

Why did this happen?

When the first lock down happened in early 2020, experts figured it would last, at most, a few months. Yet, the one-year anniversary of the pandemic has since passed, and now it seems like there is no clear outlook. 

Worldwide there’s going to be a surplus of disposable funds within a segment, in coming months and everyone is itching to spend it.

Interestingly, few days back all the 50+ units of the ‘Mercedes-Maybach GLS 600 4MATIC’ with a starting tag of Rs.2.43 Cr (Ex Showroom) have been booked even before the market debut. 

I see it as revenge spending!

As vaccine rollout gathers pace and citywide restrictions start to loosen, many people feel like it’s time to step out, indulge and pamper themselves. With a return to (somewhat) normalcy comes a return to spending. 

In some cases, that spending might turn to splurging with monies you did not spend during the pandemic. 

That may be fine, if done in moderation.

Let’s take a look at how to control spending so that short-term “revenge spending” doesn’t mutates into long-term roaring spending that will impact your future cash flow.

What Is Revenge Spending?

“Revenge spending may be defined as, experience of consumers making purchases instantly to ‘cover up for lost time’ during the pandemic, when so many opportunities for spending were curtailed because of restrictions or financial duress which were beyond one’s control.  

How to Control Revenge Spending

It’s completely normal to want to celebrate after such a difficult year. 

But for some, the celebration can take the form of purchasing a surplus of things they WANT, but don’t necessarily NEED. This can be termed as emotional spending, which means you’re buying habits are dictated by how the spend makes you feel. The objective of each and every spend is simply to make one feel better at that moment.

Emotional spending can be a slippery slope, and a tough ask to come out of it. 

One may be feeling this return of the economy is a once-in-a-lifetime event, and it may be. Nevertheless, it’s important to set a framework for discretionary spending. This will put a tab on impulse buys and help control your personal spending. 

What may be a framework?

Determine & differentiate your WANTS vs NEEDS 

While it’s completely fine to spend on experiences in the “wants” category sometimes—especially now, when we’ve been craving for experiences—it’s fundamental to be cautious and take a hard look at the funds you have at your disposable right now. 

Switch to Cash

If you crave for those credit card points, it may be time to lock the card and switch to a debit card do that you don’t go overboard on your spends. 

 Minimise Online Shopping

Online shopping is mostly impulsive, easy, simple and saves lot of time. Rather than browsing digitally, consider travelling to an actual store to shop in person. If you need to shop online, search for the specific item you need and nothing more.

Make Yourself Wait to Make a Purchase

To avoid splurging while shopping, it’s important to do a self-check and ask yourself if the item in front of you is something that will add value. Wait for impulse to pass. 

Other Financial Goals to Keep in Mind

It may feel good to buy those new shoes, or whatever else you’ve been wanting to splurge on, but if you already have half a dozen others in your closet, can your money may be put to better use elsewhere?

Do not let impulse create debt for you. 

Content – Ajeeth Kaushal

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