Some call it splurging, some indulgence, some call it reckless spending but let’s be honest, the holidays are meant for treating yourself. But what do you do when that treating yourself turns into having to tighten your belt? Now personally, I was raised on the philosophy of ‘enough.’ It reads, “I am enough. I have enough. I always will have enough.” Now not all hard working, working class people know this kind of security. For some, if not most, of us in this country we are facing the stresses and struggles of debt, hunger, and homelessness. But this is why saving, whether it be for a rainy day, or a holiday, is crucial.
At 22, I am not the best model when it comes to saving. While my parents raised me on the good old-fashioned ideals of chores, allowance (being the traditional introduction to the idea of disposable income), that doesn’t mean I stayed true to my roots; and I know I am not alone in this.
For every parent that suffers ‘empty nest syndrome’ I guarantee there is at least one child who is experiencing what I like to call, ’little broke girl/boy syndrome.’ ’Little Broke _Syndrome’ (LBS) is a real epidemic in this country, it often strikes at the ages of 18 to 26, when we begin to ween ourselves off of our parental dependence. It is that pivotal period when we realize, that card that mom said was “for emergencies only,” is actually for that once in a blue moon occasion that your car broke down and you only have half the amount you need to cover it and still get to work in the morning. It is that time when you have to decide, do I need that coffee? Or can I survive on three Advil and a bottle of water. Now while this all sounds rather silly (and it is) LBS is about trimming the extra fat that comes with being dependent rather than independent. It’s a feeling of priorities, sacrifices, and serious couponing, but it always seems to hit a bit harder after the holidays.
For people my age and more so for families, the post-holiday spending slump occurs on two levels, first you have the parents. The parents or older generation is quick to dole out the big bucks, they buy all the food, libations, etc. and because they were raised on different cost based philosophies they don’t always have to think twice about spending that dough. Millennials however are often a different story. With holidays like the fourth being the first-time home in a while, LBS Millennials struggle to reacclimate after those couple vacation days of not losing their own money. The privilege of opportunity soon fades and they realize that they are once again in charge of their own disposable income.
So now that we have all the facts, let’s get real… no matter your age you have just spent an amazing couple days off and your bank account is hurting – just as much as you were when you had that ‘last beer’ at midnight…[or was it 3am?] So here is what you can do to boost yourself up and replenish the income you made all too disposable last week. Step One: Drink lots of water, water is shown to minimize hunger, improve your complexion, and its way cheaper than that four-course meal you usually splurge on. Step two: get active, go on a walk, enjoy the weather, get your heart rate up. Remember, the healthier you are, the less likely you are to be spending any more money on copays and doctors’ visits. And lastly, Step three: “I am enough. I have enough and I always will have enough.” At the end of the day it always comes back to what mom says, because she is always right. Remember that even in the deepest spending slumps and the deepest dug holes at any given moment, you are enough, you have enough, and you always will. The world has a funny way of paying good karma forward so the best advice to beat LBS is to simply trust that you are ready for what is to come, and if you work hard enough the money will always be a part of that.
“I am enough. I have enough and I always will have enough.” -MOX
(if you or a friend suffers from LBS call a specialist to help that person. Don’t be afraid to call for help and lose your LBS today…)
Focused on the health and financial sectors ‘the Crossroads’ looks to the intersections between health and wealth and how they effect our readers on a weekly basis. To continue reading simply go to HealthyCapital.com > News and Resources and find me here, at the Crossroads, where health meets wealth. (New articles posted every Tuesday)