How To Deal With Major Purchase Blues
We feel some form of safety when we have a pile of money sitting in an account
We all know the feeling. The feeling when you make the final transfer. The feeling when you get to wander over to the shops and slam down your credit card or cash knowing full and well that you can afford the major purchase you've been saving for. *transfers $200 into secret financial savings account that she's had open for 5 years*
That's right. It's the day you finally reach your magic savings number that crosses off another financial goal from your list. It's Major-Purchase-Day.
Whether this major purchase is a new (used) vehicle, a shiny macbook, or the downpayment for your first home -- it's a big deal.
I mean, you've likely been saving this money up for months if not years. It's actually a freaking HUGE DEAL. Who am I kidding?
So, what are you waiting for? Nothing of course. You buy that thang.
It seems so fast. The numbers in your account have been going up, sitting pretty, and collecting interest that you've worked so so hard for. Then in an instant, the account is empty. $0. Completely hollow.
Don't get me wrong. It's exciting to have your new "thing". You can show it off, tell people you paid in full, and use it until you can't use it no mo' (which is hopefully never). However, the side effects can be kind of bummer-city.
I'd like to call this scenario or feeling the post Major-Purchase-Blues. Now, these blues aren't a sweet musical genre or the color you wear when you're feeling badass. These blues are more like a confusion and sadness you can't seem to wrap your head around.
Why on Earth would you be sad after you just accomplished and purchased something you've been wanting for so long? It doesn't add up. And you're apparently very good at math.
It's normal. In my scientific opinion anyways. We feel some form of safety when we have a pile of money sitting in an account. We feel like we're on a roll in adulthood and are finally going to be able to do all of the things we said we were going to do when we were young and naive high school students.
Then all of a sudden we're back at square one.
It's got to stop. We can't seriously feel down after we just bought the coolest-ever-item-we've-always-wanted-but-never-had-until-today.
How can you prepare or kick the post Major-Purchase-Blues?
1. Keep multiple savings goals
Having one savings goal is not a bad idea. In fact, you might not have anything else you're interested in purchasing. However, it's never a bad idea to have more than one high-interest savings account open at a time, even if you're just putting a small amount into the other account every month. This way, once you finally do save up for the major purchase, you'll already be rolling for a future goal and won't feel as low on funds.
2. Follow the quarter-tank rule
You know when you're driving and you look down only to see your gas tank is now below a quarter tank? IT'S TERRIFYING (for me anyways). So, the rule I've always followed is that I'll never let my gas get under a quarter tank. It's kind of the same with my money. Why let something get lower than you're comfortable with? If the financial goal is $15,000 -- why not save an extra $5000 before purchasing the item? This way, you have a buffer for any unexpected costs -- and you won't feel like you're back at square one yet again.
3. Let your emergency fund do its job
More often than not, when my friends tell me they're dealing with the post Major-Purchase-Blues, it comes quickly due to the fact that they do not have an emergency fund set up. I often find that after they empty this account, they slip back into bad credit card habits because they feel as though they don't have enough money to support their lifestyle. Living paycheque to paycheque sucks -- and the best way to avoid that cycle is by saving for emergencies and unexpected expenses. I'm literally not going to tell you guys again.
Let yourself enjoy your accomplishments
Although it can be frustrating to spend a big chunk of your hard earned cash, it should also be recognized that you were successful in saving a huge amount of money. You know what that means? You're capable of doing it again.
Financial goals aren't a one time thing and then a struggle stuck in the downward dog position. They are meant to be met and then forgotten. You're doing the right things. Even if it feels like you're falling behind.
Have you ever felt the post Major-Purchase-Blues? What are some tips you recommend for someone going through something similar? Let me know in the comments!