menstruation affects spending

Does Your “Monthly Bill” Affect Your Monthly Bills? Yes. Yes it does.

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Within the last few days, I have shopped for Mother’s Day flowers, home office furniture, movie tickets, office supplies, trips to Hawaii, only to name a few. (Actually, I’ve only purchased a small fraction of what I shopped for but in my mind I shopped A LOT.) Yesterday at the grocery store I evaluate the items in my cart, the items worthy of an actual transactional purchase. Red wine, brie cheese, french bread, candy, and maxi pads. Oh. OH! It’s THAT time of the month!

It got me to thinking. It is true that menstruation affects spending? 

Turns out, the answer is yes. I did a little research.

“The menstrual cycle appears to exert a strong influence on women’s spending in general,” says a Psychology Today article. The article goes further to detail:

  • “Women in the most fertile phase of their menstrual cycle, they are more likely to buy appearance-enhancing items, such as clothing and jewelry.”
  • “Women in the post-fertile phase of menstruation were more impulsive…and tended to overspend in ways they later regretted.”

Another Women’s Health article titled “Bleeding Money: Could PMS Leave You Peniless?” seems to suggest pre-menstrual phase as the main culprit. It cited a 2010 study in which “researchers analyzed the survey responses of 322 women and found that dysfunctional financial behaviors—like impulse buying and overspending—tend to increase throughout the menstrual cycle, with a peak in out-of-control spending during the days leading up to your period.” 

And a Cosmopolitan article, How Your Cycle Makes You Spend Money in Weird Ways, lists out a ,day by day, what you might by buying and why. When I cross-referenced their Day 1-4, I’ll be damned if they don’t list tampons, Netflix, and treats. WTF?! How did they know?

So if our bank accounts are influenced by our hormones as the research seems to suggest, what’s a Lady to do? Here’s a few tips from the articles I found.

Tips to Minimize How Menstruation Affects Spending

Shop When You Are Bleeding

(For the record, that’s the weirdest headline I’ve ever written.) The Cosmo article suggests “Without high levels of estrogen pulsing through your body, you won’t be motivated to buy items to make you look extra attractive. It’s the safest time to shop for things you need (like new socks) without distractions (new shoes!).”

Avoid Shopping During PMS

“Consumer marketing experts don’t bother studying this part of the cycle because it’s a total free-for-all when it comes to spending,” the Cosmo article says. “You fill your shopping bag with whatever cures your own bad mood.”

Find Alternatives to Shopping

The Women’s Health article has many tips. The one I liked the best was “making a list of alternative activities—like dancing, going for a run, or hanging out with friends—that will boost your mood and minimize your compulsion to spend.”

Now, I don’t know about you. But this information is a real-eye opener. The fact hormones and menstruation affects spending urges explains a lot. Now, I need to do additional research the impact of perimenopause on a women’s finances. Based on the information above, The Lady might be f#cked!

What is your reaction to this article? Are women a victim of their hormones? Any stories to share about shopping regrets or PMS purchases? 

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