Thursday 20 June 2019
Let’s face it, we all have bad days. You spill coffee all over your outfit 10 minutes before a presentation. You forget your opal card at home. You trip and fall on your face while walking up stairs, yes, up.
Or if you’re an overachiever, like me, you might go through all that in one day.
And you know what makes a hard day slightly better? Anything with a high sugar content. I personally love a good bubble tea… and some dumplings.
But as I stood in line to order, I realised I could not have been the only person in this room that had a crappy day. And if I wasn’t the only one, my next thought was: how much are we spending to feel better after a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day?
Turns out my colleagues at Mozo were way ahead of me and conducted an entire study around ‘comfort spending’.
Our Comfort Spending Report found that Aussies, like me, are spending up to $1,430 a year just to get over a case of the blues. I’m sorry, what?
Think about it, a new pair of shoes and family sized block of chocolate (don’t judge) might not seem like it’s breaking the bank in the moment, but consistent comfort spending can do some serious financial damage.
But what’s even more scary is that our report found that the biggest reason we’re wasting money is because we’re bored!
That’s right, we’re squirrelling away our hard earned cash just to pass time.
And don’t even get me started on how almost half of us are paying for it all - you guessed it, a credit card.
So this month I decided to get to the bottom of why we choose to cough up to calm down by turning to science.
When we buy ourselves something we want, our brains release a chemical called dopamine, which instantly makes us feel better. Kind of like that rush you get after taking a bite of chocolate cake (it’s all synched, I’m telling you).
And it doesn’t help that you can’t leave the house these days without spending money, so trying to find a way to feel better that doesn’t involve your wallet is like trying to get a seat on a Sydney train, just about impossible.
Or so I thought.
This month, I decided to put it all to the test by ignoring my urge to spend when I was bored, upset or downright cranky and occupy myself by doing something that didn’t involve my wallet.
I went for walks, I binged podcasts and I read books like they were going out of style, all of which worked.
Then I realised that if I distracted myself long enough by doing something I already enjoy, I had time to process and refocus.
Don’t get wrong it’ll take a few rounds to properly walk away and while it only meant I saved an extra $50 this month - on top of all my other new ways to save - it’s still a decision to put my money to better use.