Is There Such A Thing As A Spending Hangover?
Author: Anna Newell Jones

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Typical Hangover: We all know about the usual type of hangover: alcohol induced, barf-y, just want to eat cheesy hamburgers and drink coke, sleep ’til noon, down 30 Ibuprofen, and generally feel like a whole bunch of ass.

Emotional Hangover  I’ve heard about this one in recent years. Have you heard of this (or experienced one)? Emotional Hangovers are typically preceded with a bunch of fighting, then crying, then thoughts that everything is going wrong, life is terrible, and it’s probably never going to get better, ever, really probably never ever, and then most likely more crying because, why not? Then, you wake up with puffy, red, tear-stained eyes, and re-live the past night/day and you’re just so SO freaking glad it’s over. Life generally starts to look a whole lot better but you still feel achy and like crap from the emotional toll the previous night/day took. Emo living at its finest? Possibly.

Spending Hangover: I used to get these all the time, but I’d ignore them because if you ignore something it doesn’t exist, right? I think this “Spending Hangover” feeling is more commonly known as Buyer’s Remorse and these days the Spending Hangovers tend to happen after vacations (even small ones) and they’re a lot harder to shake. I spent so much time telling myself “no” during the Spending Fast and Spending Diet that to spend money now gets me feeling icky quicky (groan. i know. had to though). Back when I was in the thick of building up my debt I’d go to Forever 21 and try on everything that caught my eye and then, naturally, I would buy ALL of it. Quantity over quality seemed to be my goal/motto. I created a whole lotta debt by spending like that. It’d get the clothes home and feel bad about it for a minute and then I easily let it go out of my mind. Now, feeling like crap after spending is not as easy to ignore. The spending threshold has been lowered to a more reasonable level and it’s more in the realm of what “normal” spenders would feel guilty about spending. Spending wildly now is out of character for me and, also, um, if I do have a lapse and slip back into my old-way there’s (thank god) these instant erasers… receipts! My purchasing offenders end up going right back where they came from and once the money is back in my account I end up feeling so much better.

All of these three different hangover types start with over-indulgence and end with feeling like crap soon after. I do what I can to avoid every one of these, and even though balance totally isn’t my thing I think that’s the key in avoiding these bad boys.

What do you think? Do Spending Hangovers exist? And, if you’ve experienced one what was it like and did you do something to fix it? 


in Do Without, Enough (Crap, Debt, Guilt), Motivation, Spending Fast, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized)


  1. Tasmanian Minimalist // June 2, 2012

    They sure do exist. I used to get them from eBay.

    I would be in bed with my laptop on a Saturday night, bid, bid and buy it now and Sunday morning wake up with several hundred dollars to pay for a bunch of crap I didn't want and a sick, vomitty feeling in my tummy ! Not to mention shaky hands and a dry mouth.

  2. Sarah // June 2, 2012

    I so know what you mean. Etsy could potentially be a source of this for me. I have to keep a close check on myself when on there.

    I also think have a tendency to binge and fast with spending: I can go weeks with no spending then buy something that triggers a bunch of other spending.


  3. lieutenant // June 3, 2012

    Totally. Worse, when you've bought an item on final sale and its still kinda expensive and it doesn't fit. UGH. I have in my closet: 2 beautiful silk dresses, 1 gorgeous tuxedo jacket, and a super cute crop top that I cannot wear because they are all too tight in the bust and shoulders. And none of them could be returned anyways. And frankly, spending so much on anything even if on sale is INSANE.

    I've been in total denial that my chest has gotten bigger since changing my birth control methods and that my back and shoulders have gotten bigger since starting trapeze classes. Have resolved to embrace my new larger size so I can at least wear the dumb crap I am buying.

  4. Frugal(er) // June 4, 2012

    They totally exist and my last one was even after a day of *good* spending i.e. deal getting and the like. Even though I walked away with a mess of deeply discounted items I actually want and need, I just felt off and kind of gross.

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