Nearly half of unemployed persons have been out of work for at least 27 weeks, according to July 2011 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. It's tempting to immediately shift into spending mode once you find a job. "Pent-up demand for things that you weren't able to afford is common," says Torabi. "That's a knee-jerk reaction to sudden income."
Before spending big, make sure you're on stable financial footing and don't bank on getting a raise. "It's OK to indulge occasionally as long as you can afford it and it's planned for," says McGrigg. "But to live a life where you're assuming you're always going to have an increasing income is dangerous."