The Monday Morning Money Hangover

Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

At this point you’ve probably seen some variety of this meme floating around the internet:


Therapist: And what do we do when we’re stressed?
Me: Add to cart. 

Therapist: NO.


Talk about #relatable content. Spending money is easier than ever. With tools like Apple Pay and the ability to store our credit card information for fast and easy checkout processes, the Monday Morning Money Hangover is something almost everyone has experienced. 


Back in the day (you know, like, the 90s) if you got drunk and suddenly needed to own a new blender, you’d either have to leave your home, cash or credit card in hand, or at least break out a catalogue and pick up the damn phone (Skymall anyone?). It’s always been possible to spend the weekend overspending, but apps and the era of convenience are making it easier than ever for a weekend living your #bestlife to result in financial regret. 


Two decades into the 21st century we find ourselves living in a world where you can have one too many beers on a Saturday night and the next thing you know you’ve ordered a full set of camping gear from Amazon. Your adventurous, intoxicated brain didn’t even need to remember your credit card information. Hell, you didn’t even need to enter a password! Your thumb or face were all you needed to spend $600 on all your gear for next years’ camping trip. You know, that one that doesn’t even exist yet. 

Remember, your friends appear a lot richer on social media than they actually are.

And you don’t even have to be drunk or tired, accidental spending is now only a click away. Our very own CEO Priya Malani once bought a pair of Allbirds by mistake not realizing ApplePay leads to a one-click purchase (she kept them if you’re wondering). You might only be two or three clicks away from a purchase when you see an ad on your Instagram feed. 


Have kids? Has one of them ever purchased a movie with your Apple TV? When we asked around for stories of drunk or accidental spending, we heard from a woman whose 18 month old son purchased John Wick 3 when she stepped out of the room. Another mom told us about when her 2-year-old spend over $200 on her in-laws’ Apple TV and they didn’t find out until the bill showed up weeks later!


Some of our other favorite stories that involve fewer toddlers and more alcohol:

  • Someone got drunk at a beer festival in Germany and purchased an authentic dirndl. #style


  • A woman who purchased a 7-foot-tall, adhesive wall decal while drunk Amazon browsing. Don’t worry, she never put it up. 


  • An exhausted and desperate New Yorker without Air Conditioning who accidentally ordered an in-window AC unit when she thought she was just browsing. 


  • A drunk purchase of a painting at a midwestern art fair that had to be shipped thousands of miles home to a New York City apartment. She still has it and stands by the aesthetic years later. 


  • And finally, we have a follower on social media who told us about getting drunk and paying off all his student loans. Which seems great right? Downside, he drained his entire savings. #ouch


No matter the story, quick spending is easier than ever. Scroll through your phone and count how many of your apps allow purchases and have your credit card information saved. We would guess it’s well over 10. Now imagine using all of them in one weekend out drinking with your buds.


If you’re really struggling with overspending when drunk, it can help to delete apps like Amazon and Uber from your phone. At the very least, disable the Face or Touch ID. Just the step of having to enter a password can slow you down and cause you to reconsider impulse purchases. 


It’s more than just ease of access that can speed up our spending, however. Our social circle has a hell of a lot to do with how much we spend. Especially when we drink. 


Keeping up with the H.E.N.R.Y.s™

Sometimes our budgets can’t keep up with our friends’ spending habits. This sucks. There’s not much way around it. However, your financial goals are going to stay well out of reach if you keep ignoring the problem and continuing to excessively spend, particularly when you’re out drinking with friends who can outspend you.


Remember, your friends appear a lot richer on social media than they actually are.


If you’re one of our regular readers, you know we are all about the Reverse Budget™. We are absolutely not saying you can never splurge, or that splurging on a second round of drinks and getting a car home is going to irrevocably destroy your hopes of buying a home in the next five years. In fact that’s the opposite of what we say. BLOW YOUR MONEY! GUILT-FREE! But only once you have your financial sh*t together.


Because you aren’t budgeting doesn’t mean you can overspend on a regular basis and not have to face the consequences. So here is our three step process to avoid the Monday Morning Money Hangover. 


Communicate: Talk with your friends about your financial goals and how important it is for you to live a lifestyle that supports your present and future self. 


Automate: Make sure that you’re automatically putting money away for your most important goals so that when you occasionally overspend, it doesn’t matter because automation means you’re still on track. 


Complicate: Put barriers between you and easy spending. Don’t save your passwords or credit card information. Disable Touch and Face ID on spending apps. You can even give your phone to a sober friend if you’re out and about and worried about impulse buying. 


And one final note: Don’t be too hard on yourself, but don’t let yourself off the hook either. Financial priorities take practice, and technology can help us spend as easily as it can help us save. Remember that you’re only human, and then focus on your goals and know that you are definitely capable of setting yourself up for an amazing financial future. 

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