6 Ways To Bounce Back From A Financial Hangover When You're Feeling Broke AF
In life, we experience hangovers from three things: drinking too much, eating too much (known as a food coma) and spending too much money.
A financial hangover occurs after you've spent what feels like A LOT of money on something you don't normally factor into your budget, and now you're left feeling broke AF.
I'm actually going through a financial hangover myself this week. I dropped around $200 on beauty expenses alone in preparation for a business conference.
What? I have to look ~polished~ to make a good impression. I can't just throw my hair in a messy ponytail like I do 99 percent of the time.
So yeah, my bank account has a headache right now. And I won't lie: Even as a financially savvy person, feeling low in funds stresses me out.
Alcohol and food-induced hangovers usually go away within a day even when they're terrible, but financial hangovers can last a lot longer.
And I'm sure you've found yourself in a similar situation.
So, here are some tips to get yourself out of financial hangover hell:
1. Don't dwell on the past.
It's easy to beat yourself up for letting money slip through your fingers.
Maybe you had to drop money on a new phone after it fell in a toilet (me, earlier this year), or maybe you visited a doctor who — for some reason — charged you $250 for a pee test (also me, earlier this year).
Whatever it is, pay the bill and move forward. You can use a financial hangover as a learning lesson to be more responsible.
2. Give up spending on one category (like clothes shopping or eating out) for one month.
A month isn't that long when you think about it.
If you take a four-week break from spending money on something on the more unnecessary side, like alcohol at bars or food in restaurants, you can easily start replenishing your bank account.
I actually stopped buying clothes for three months right after last Christmas to add more money to my savings account after the holiday season. And it was seriously worth it.
Pick one category you don't need to spend money on to survive, and stick to it. I promise the stress and anxiety from a financial hangover will be alleviated by the end of the month.
3. Be smart and mindful about spending moving forward.
When I say be smart and mindful, I mean pick a few money apps to help monitor your spending.
Mint is a money-managing app that helps with everything from budgeting to reminding you when bills are due, using comprehensive visuals.
Circle is a social payment app that makes IOUs as easy as sending a text message. Unlike Venmo, you can literally use Circle in iMessage, and the transactions are private.
When you're low in cash and you know people owe you money for drinks, cabs, food, tickets or whatever else, now is the time to ask. Don't be afraid to ask your friends to pay you back.
4. This is the perfect time to start budgeting.
A financial hangover can be a huge wake-up call about your spending habits.
And budgeting is a surefire way of controlling your money instead of letting it control you.
Trust me, you'll feel more secure about your money situation when you create and stick to a budget. That way, you can avoid future financial hangovers and alleviate a current one faster.
5. Focus on side hustling or selling stuff to replenish your funds.
You can only sock away so much cash from your steady stream of income, but you can always make more money.
When I'm experiencing a financial hangover, I look around my apartment for stuff I can sell. It feels good to get rid of things. Plus, once you start selling on eBay, it gets kind of addicting.
If you don't want to sell actual objects to make money, you can sell your talents by side hustling.
There are so many options out there to start side hustling today.
Even if you make as little as $100 during a financial hangover, you'll instantly start to feel better.
6. In the future, plan ahead.
Spending around $200 on beauty-related services would have really hurt my bank account last year, but now that I have a healthy emergency fund, I don't sweat it too much.
The same goes for vacation spending. I have a special account just for vacation expenses, so when I come home and look at my giant credit card bill, I don't freak out.
That's the beauty of planning ahead.
You'll thank yourself for putting money aside now when those random expenses pop up later. And when I say random expenses, I also mean tickets to a Beyoncé concert or splurging on a pair of Yeezys. It's for whatever you want.
Financial hangovers aren't exactly avoidable, but you can definitely ease the pain by temporarily cutting spending, raking in some extra cash and putting some cash away in anticipation of curve-ball expenses.