Debt Regret Day: A Haphazard Holiday


Debt Regret Day is the day that business owners around the world observe that the loans they took for their business are eating up the cash flow from operations. The observed date is February 23, but the actual regret happens every day of the year.

Holiday History

Poorly planned debt is one of the biggest destroyers of businesses, both small and large, that ever walked the earth. There’s hardly a business around that hasn’t had a run in with it and quite a few that haven’t lived to tell about it. Because the payments (or debt service in jargon) have to be paid when they’re due regardless of how much cash the company has, this date has been called out as a warning and set aside for commiserating and mass sighing over statements.


On Debt Regret Day many business owners look at their bank balances and ponder how to pay both the rent and the utilities after the required loan payment. Some of the more desperate ones resort to juggling who gets paid first. Some areas have parades of wishful thinking and remorse. A few business people observe the day quietly at their desk holding their head in their hands.

While Debt Regret Day is widely observed, it is not a public holiday and businesses and government offices remain open. At times, businesses observing the day may choose it to permanently close when the debt load is too great. There may be some disruption due to unexpected closings, so call ahead.

Symbols and Traditions

The internationally recognized sign of Debt Regret Day is the negative sign (or parenthesis in some places) denoting the negative cash flow that poorly planned and conceived debt brings on.

Various traditions have sprung up as well. Some people practice telephone avoidance where they don’t answer the phone when the bank calls. A regional variation is email or correspondence avoidance.

There have not been any reports of particular foods being associated with Debt Regret Day though some business owners are known to gather at what is called the “Business Lunch” to seek advice from various legal and accounting professionals.

Tell Me

Are you thinking about taking out a business loan or using a credit card? Have you checked your cash flow? Let’s talk about it – leave a comment, send a note or give me a call. Let’s mark Debt Regret day right off your calendar!

(Haphazard Holidays are entirely made up and any resemblance to real people, places and things is purely accidental.)

Creative Commons License photo credit: alancleaver_2000

4 thoughts on “Debt Regret Day: A Haphazard Holiday”

  1. This is such a good point. Its SO easy to get into debt {especially when cash flow is lumpy} and then so difficult to claw out of it. A good point to think about before going there {written as someone who has just paid off a laptop after about a year and probably paid double for it in interest payments ;-( oops}

    1. Helen! Yes, it’s so easy to take a loan and often seems like the best course. I think most businesses would fare better with even a rudimentary analysis of the actual costs and cash flow for repayments. Of course, that spoils the impulsiveness of it all 🙂

  2. I’ve always been kind of allergic to loans. My excuse is it makes the math too complicated! But I was also raised on a ranch with a never-ending cycle of debt: every spring you got a loan to pay your input costs and every winter you paid it back and if you were any money ahead it went to taxes. That’s no way to live. So I don’t run businesses that require loans. I’ll get a real job instead.

    1. Hey Shanna – you’re right on both counts! It does complicate the accounting and the cash flow proposition can be ugly. Your background has given you a good lesson here. I’ll add that not all debt is bad – sometimes it’s the only way to move forward but it needs to be well planned and executed. Taking a loan shouldn’t be an impulse buy 🙂

Comments are closed.