How The HALT Theory Can Rescue Your Savings Account

How The HALT Theory Can Rescue Your Savings Account

This simple acronym will help you avoid overspending money.

Saving money can be a daunting task, especially being constantly bombarded with sales and promos cluttering your email and Wal-Mart open 24/7, promising to satisfy your late-night ice cream craving.

As a busy, independent college student, I often find myself scouring the aisles of the grocery store after a tiring afternoon at work and walking out of the store with bags full of groceries that, at the moment, seemed like something I couldn’t live without. By the time I've hauled my loot into my dorm, however, I often realize the amount of money I just wasted only to satisfy my own momentary food cravings is enough to feed a family.

This same feeling of loss occurs when I visit the local clothing outlet with the intent of merely checking out the clearance rack, but I find myself swiping $50-plus out of my debit card account. Thinking back to the times, these have occurred, I find one common denominator: the HALT theory. The acronym HALT, commonly used by recovering addicts to avoid a relapse, stands for Hungry, Angry, Lonely and Tired. You don't need to be a shopaholic to make use of the HALT theory when it comes to saving money.

1. (H)ungry

You’ve most likely heard the advice to never go to the grocery store when you’re hungry. It’s really a self-explanatory concept. If you’re hungry, you’ll want food. And your grumbly tummy will tell your brain that you need more food than you really do, thus leaving you with an unnecessarily high grocery bill and an array of foods that will likely go to waste when your grumbly tummy is satisfied after eating only a portion. In addition, hunger can cause overspending aside from groceries. Hunger, along with the other three emotions of HALT, is one of the mind-numbing emotions we experience. Hunger kicks self-control to the curb and lets gluttony take the shotgun seat.

The best advice concerning hungry shopping is "don’t." If you're contemplating a trip to the store when you know you’re hungry, find a quick snack that you already have on hand. If you can't avoid the store while you're hungry, be sure to have a specific shopping list made beforehand. This will keep you from spur of the moment buys that you'll likely regret once your hunger has been satisfied.

2. (A)ngry

It may just be me, but when I’m mad, I like to drive. There is my first mistake. Unless it’s a cruise down a secluded back road, angry driving can lead to quick road rage. I know what you’re thinking. "What does this have to do with spending money?" First, driving takes gas money. Second, once I’m out driving around, I tend to find the road doesn’t calm my mind so I resort to the next option: shopping. Angry shopping is shopping without self-control. Anger shortens your attention span and allows you to make rash decisions with a “don’t care” attitude. That item in your basket may cost more than you would usually pay for it, but on a bad day, who’s stopping you? To avoid angry spending, it's beneficial to invest in a calming hobby such as crafting, reading, adult coloring, etc. Make a top 20 calming songs list to play when you are having a rough day.

3. (L)onely

Loneliness is the most difficult of these four to subdue, in my opinion. Loneliness is not the same thing as being alone, but rather a part of not finding a sense of belonging in your environment. Loneliness spurs on boredom. Boredom sends a person’s mind wandering, and in the case of overspending, boredom can wreak havoc on a savings account. Some people may seek out belonging through a new wardrobe, new hair styles or buying everything bigger and better and best. The biggest problem is things won't take away the loneliness. If your friends base their loyalty to you on your monetary value, those friends won't stick around long when you’ve spent the savings. There's a difference between short-term and long-term feelings of loneliness. If you find yourself wanting to go out and spend money for boredom's sake, call up an old friend instead.

4. (T)ired

Tiredness may not seem like an emotion that would make a person stir-crazy and spend-happy, but it can cause a spending problem. Tiredness can impair one’s ability to think logically. It may cause someone to fail to see the best option when making a purchase. Being tired can cause a person to seek out a quick fix to regain energy, such as buying an energy drink or caffeinated beverage at the nearest gas station. Instant gratification does a number on the pocket book. There are much cheaper and healthier ways to relieve tiredness. Stocking up on fresh fruits can save you money compared to that venti soy latte with an extra shot of espresso, and they provide just as much of an energy boost, minus the crash after several hours. Drinking plenty of water can also give a person more energy to get through the day.

Recognizing the warning signs is the first step in preventing unnecessary spending habits. Keep HALT in mind the next time you find yourself satisfying your emotions by diminishing your savings.

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8 Reasons Why My Dad Is the Most Important Man In My Life

Forever my number one guy.

Growing up, there's been one consistent man I can always count on, my father. In any aspect of my life, my dad has always been there, showing me unconditional love and respect every day. No matter what, I know that my dad will always be the most important man in my life for many reasons.

1. He has always been there.

Literally. From the day I was born until today, I have never not been able to count on my dad to be there for me, uplift me and be the best dad he can be.

2. He learned to adapt and suffer through girly trends to make me happy.

I'm sure when my dad was younger and pictured his future, he didn't think about the Barbie pretend pageants, dressing up as a princess, perfecting my pigtails and enduring other countless girly events. My dad never turned me down when I wanted to play a game, no matter what and was always willing to help me pick out cute outfits and do my hair before preschool.

3. He sends the cutest texts.

Random text messages since I have gotten my own cell phone have always come my way from my dad. Those randoms "I love you so much" and "I am so proud of you" never fail to make me smile, and I can always count on my dad for an adorable text message when I'm feeling down.

4. He taught me how to be brave.

When I needed to learn how to swim, he threw me in the pool. When I needed to learn how to ride a bike, he went alongside me and made sure I didn't fall too badly. When I needed to learn how to drive, he was there next to me, making sure I didn't crash.

5. He encourages me to best the best I can be.

My dad sees the best in me, no matter how much I fail. He's always there to support me and turn my failures into successes. He can sit on the phone with me for hours, talking future career stuff and listening to me lay out my future plans and goals. He wants the absolute best for me, and no is never an option, he is always willing to do whatever it takes to get me where I need to be.

6. He gets sentimental way too often, but it's cute.

Whether you're sitting down at the kitchen table, reminiscing about your childhood, or that one song comes on that your dad insists you will dance to together on your wedding day, your dad's emotions often come out in the cutest possible way, forever reminding you how loved you are.

7. He supports you, emotionally and financially.

Need to vent about a guy in your life that isn't treating you well? My dad is there. Need some extra cash to help fund spring break? He's there for that, too.

8. He shows me how I should be treated.

Yes, my dad treats me like a princess, and I don't expect every guy I meet to wait on me hand and foot, but I do expect respect, and that's exactly what my dad showed I deserve. From the way he loves, admires, and respects me, he shows me that there are guys out there who will one day come along and treat me like that. My dad always advises me to not put up with less than I deserve and assures me that the right guy will come along one day.

For these reasons and more, my dad will forever be my No. 1 man. I love you!

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.


Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.


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