January 18, 2016
You wake up early, and nothing feels right. You aren’t feeling body-sick: no headache, stomach ache, sniffles, or sneezes. Not a cough or runny nose in sight.
But you know something isn’t right.
The discomfort sits in your belly, or shoulders, or perhaps the back of your neck. A feeling that something has gone wrong and you need to fix it. A feeling that you have done something you shouldn’t have, and now you have to face the consequences.
As you start your day you feel like there is something you need to remember. Something you to need to be doing, but have been avoiding. You can’t put your finger on it, but it haunts you throughout the day, this feeling of discomfort and that all is not right in your world.
Then, as you go through your mail, this strange malaise comes crashing into focus. Your credit card bill is WAY bigger than you thought it would be.
Sure you spent a lot of money over Christmas and New Years: presents, dinners, drinks, gas, coffees, and even more presents, but THIS much money?
Now you have to figure out how to pay it back before all of the interest starts to accumulate and makes the past holiday cost even more.
You, have a money hangover…
If only you had a way-back-time-machine.
BAM. Like magic, here we are back in 2015, and you have a chance to learn from your 2016-money-hangover. You have a chance to do things differently this Christmas. Let’s start by exploring the idea of:
The Money Hangover
Of the different possible causes of having a money hangover, your future-self is experiencing the worst: spending money you don’t have and going into debt.
Going into debt results in a money hangover for a number of reasons:
- You are thinking about the past: that debt on your credit card is money you owe for past experiences. Repaying debt for past experiences you couldn’t afford means less money to spend now, resulting in less enjoyment of today and tomorrow. This weighs heavily on your mind, body, and health.
- Your time and actions are limited: When you have debts to repay the way you view your life changes. More of your time goes to making money for the debt first and other opportunities pass by. Your actions focus on making sure you get out of debt, and you end up acting in response to your debt instead of making decisions to move towards your goals and vision.
- Your creativity is limited: It is much easier to be creative when you have free time and money to work with. Without the pressure of needing money right now, you have the ability to think more about your ideas and how to bring those ideas to life. When you owe money your creativity is bent towards thinking about how you will pay people back instead of what you want to do with your future.
- You are reacting to your money, not controlling it: You have to pay back the debt you owe which means the debt is running the show, not you. Reacting to your money situation causes stress and a feeling of losing control, which makes decision making for the present and future very difficult. You always need to take care of the debt first, instead of making the decisions you know are best.
Debt and a money hangover sucks because it takes away so many of the Choices you could be making, and a lack of Choices in your life leads to stress, anxiety, exhaustion, and any other number of horrible feelings that you want to avoid.
So, how can you avoid all these nasty feelings?
The cure for the money hangover
The best way to solve the problem of the money hangover is: eliminate the cause of the hangover before it happens. In this case: don’t go into debt to fund this year’s Christmas and New Years.
Give the following steps a try and avoid your 2016 post holiday money hangover: