Ugh, I don’t know about you, but the mere thought of talking about financial matters with my husband (and finding out things I probably don’t want to know) or dealing with taxes (which are more complicated than an IKEA furniture instructions) or going over my expenses while making a budget (and seeing the reality of just much of my retirement I’ve sunk into macaron cookies) really puts me on edge. Whenever it’s time to do any of these things, I suddenly discover the toilet needs an immediate scrubbing, the floors need to be mopped and waxed and the shed needs a total reorganization.
But, of course, money matters still eventually need to be dealt with.
Since there’s a best time of your monthly cycle to do just about everything, surely there are best days to handle sticky financial matters, too, right?
I was thinking of this yesterday when I was paying bills and made an unexpected discovery in one of my bank accounts. I had planned to discuss it with Douglas, but then I stopped myself. It’s my premenstrual Week 4 and plunging estrogen is already playing keep-away with my patience. On top of that, I could feel premenstrual anxiety about the situation quickly ratcheting up. Since I realized that this particular problem could actually wait to be addressed, I decided I’d deal with it on a better cycle day.
So, what is the best time in a monthly cycle to deal with difficult money matters?
There’s no scientific study examining this, so I’m basing my suggestions on the way hormones tend to impact mood, patience, flexibility, resilience, stress and anxiety. Taking all these into account, in my opinion, the best days to handle sticky financial situations would be the second half of your Week 1 through the first half of your Week 2 (approximately Day 4 to Day 10). On these days estrogen is rising and has reached a level that makes you more upbeat, patient and resilient. But, it’s not so high (like it is in the second half of your Week 2) that it triggers a more intense stress reaction and anxiety, which super-elevated estrogen has the potential to do.
Another good time to deal with money matters is the second half of your Week 3 (four to eight days after ovulation). This is a time when the combination of rising estrogen and progesterone is making you mellower and less easily ruffled, so stress and anxiety are low. Just be sure you eat before addressing the situation. Progesterone can make some women more sensitive to dips in blood sugar between meals, which can trigger sudden anger and worry, nixing all that rising estrogen/progesterone calmness.
If you need to deal with a financial problem on a less-than-ideal cycle day–for instance, when plunging estrogen in the first half of your Week 3 or throughout your Week 4 drags down your mood and amps up anxiety–try to keep in mind where you are in your cycle, then do what you can to counter any negative hormonal effects, such as talking with a trusted friend or family member or taking a short break from the situation to let your stress or anger simmer down.