After a year of holding back on festivals, plays, or going out without concern about a deadly virus, many of us will spend beyond our limits if we don't prepare for the powerful emotions that will sweep through us.
Our minds are not just based on mathematical equations but mixed up with feelings, reactions, and mental shortcuts. Behavioural economics identified over 100 ways people from all walks of life fail to think straight when it comes to money.
One factor that will determine how we behave is where we fall on the cold or hot state of the spectrum.
A hot state is when our emotions like fear or exhaustion take over. We are so eager for something that we will grab it the moment it becomes possible. Over the last year, an enormous amount of pressure has been built up. We are about to enter a massive hot state as the pandemic shifts.
Our cold, higher thinking is slow thinking, and hot thinking is fast thinking.
As humans, we struggle to balance the two thinking processes. In a hot state, we have an enormous desire to want. We want to buy impulsively with no concern for our future selves. As countries reopen, the hot states will strike intensely and be very dangerous for our budgets.
But when we are aware of these biases, we can use the opportunity for self-agency.
Pay attention to the moral licensing words, "I deserve it because..." The permission-giving has some truth to it, but then there's future you that also deserves the good.