How To Practice Delayed Gratitifcation

Yesterday I asked if delayed gratification still exists? Today I want to provide you guys with a few tips for practicing delayed gratification. I hope I don’t come off as a know-it-all because if anyone loves instant gratification it’s me. The tips below is just advice that has worked for me and could potentially work for you.

Turn it into a challenge

See how much more money you could save than your friends or get more bang for your buck so to speak. For example, I have been looking for a new gym for a few months now because I knew I wouldn’t be able to access my school gym during the summer. There’s one particular gym that I really wanted to join but the price wasn’t right. Location was perfect, equipment was perfect, atmosphere was perfect but it was just too expensive. A few people that I know joined the gym while I debated my options. Fast forward a few months later and the gym is now offering a 2 for 1 membership. Just by waiting and considering all of my options (and a little luck) I was able to save tons of money and know that I’m paying less than others for the same service.

Make the research fun

Research doesn’t have to involve you reading books or boring websites online, you could meet up with friends and bring it up in conversation. You could even use it as a an excuse to meet someone new or a conversation starter. Whenever you see someone with an item that you desire all you have to do is compliment them on the item and I’m sure a conversation will begin.

Think about what others are doing to have those items you wait to save for

I have a friend that has literally everything before I do, the only difference is when I finally get the item I know it’s all mine while he’s still paying off his credit card. I can sleep better at night because I know I have no debt while this friend has to stress all the time about how he’s going to pay off his credit card. I’m not saying that you should look down at others but  sometimes the best motivation can be found around us.

Think about the bigger picture

Sure you may not wear the trendiest jeans or drive the fastest car but maybe you will pay off your mortgage and live debt free before anyone else. I have considered buying a new car many times but then I would probably end up driving everywhere which would a. cost a lot of money and b. cut out physical activity from my life. On top of that I would not be able to reach my goal of graduating college debt free. We all have different long term goals that will only be met if we practise delayed gratification. Sure it would be nice to keep up with the latest trends but retiring early or paying off your mortgage will be nicer.

What helps you guys practice delayed gratification?

5 thoughts on “How To Practice Delayed Gratitifcation”

  1. Not only do I look at the long term goals I want to achieve but I go as far as setting up a list of everything that I want but don’t need and put it into a list of excel or something and find the retail price if I just bought it right then for everything. Then I’ll wait till it goes on sale or find online coupons and other deals and try get the lowest price from what the original retail is. That way as I eventually amass what I wanted, I get to track the amount of money I still have that I can put towards my long term goals and didn’t waste on my wants.

  2. Clair Schwan of Frugal Living Freedom

    For me it’s always been a matter of prioritizing what is really important so I deliberately create my future, instead of just letting it happen to me. You mentioned this with “the bigger picture.” This is important, but for me it’s more than the big picture, it’s also the longer view.

    If we believe that we have one day to live, then there isn’t much value in planning or prioritizing. Many people take that “live for today” approach and dig themselves a deep hole and hop in it. When the future arrives, and it always does, they’re in a deep hole singing the blues.

    It’s easy for me to delay gratification because I know what’s important – being debt free, retiring early and having financial freedom. I also know what I want to avoid – being indebted (enslaved) to others for unimportant things.

    So, I keep focused on the rewards of being a financial conservative, and make that a priority in all of my thinking and actions. In effect, I channel myself into a comfortable and debt free lifestyle through my deliberate planning and execution of the plan.

    All of this requires dedication and effort, but I think it’s much more comfortable to climb a hill than it is to fall into a hole.

    Some of the keys to success are understanding the difference between…

    – need versus want
    – essential versus discretionary
    – short-lived gratification versus long term satisfaction

    …and so forth.

    Much of our success is in how we learn. Some of us need to have personal experience, even if it’s bad. Others don’t necessarily need that personal experience to see a better approach.

    Regardless, we all have to live with the consequences of our decisions and actions. In the end, we usually get exactly what we deserve.

  3. Research is key. Last year I really wanted a big screen TV and could have paid for it right away if I really wanted to, but would have had to been very frugal afterwards. So I saved and waited 8 months to do proper research and have enough to comfortably pay for it, and then when I did the price came down as well and a lot. So I got what I wanted for less. I would always go to Best Buy just to talk about TVs with guys who worked there, it was fun research.

  4. Turning delaying a purchase into a challenge doesn’t seem too useful as a long-term strategy. And what do you get for winning other than saving some money? The ability to say “I bought it three weeks later than you?”

    Doing proper research is a good way to both delay gratification and get the most for your money. I always research big ticket items and electronics. I also “research” movies by letting my friends see them first. If the reviews are good I go. If the reviews are bad, I skip the film.

    I find that thinking about opportunity cost is a good way to delay gratification. Everything you buy is actually something else that you aren’t buying. In most cases one of these potential purchases is going to provide more meaning and value to your life than the other one. I try to steer my money towards buying those things that I think will make me the happiest for the longest period of time.

    This is exactly why I don’t have an iPhone. Is it cool and trendy? Yep! Do I really want one? Yep! But the opportunity cost of getting an iPhone and its associated service contract means that I’d have to give up traveling for a year. And I’ll get more lasting happiness out of the travel than the iPhone.

  5. Like you mentioned the bigger picture is important. It’s really strange but when I’ve saved up for a holiday and budgeted how much I can take with me for spending money I feel this weight off of my shoulders.

    Despite the cost of holidays perhaps being higher than other purchases I never feel guilty going on them (despite my friends insisting that I should do). The difference is that all the time I spent during my summer working at a job was put towards this holiday so I did earn it. When I actually went on holiday it was incredible. I felt completely relaxed because I knew I had PAID for it.

    As a student, I also feel like during term-time there isn’t really that much time to spend money except on the essentials. I find my time is taken up by a second job and studying at the library. I meet up with friends during breaks at the library and also meet up with them at their flats for a dinner party because most of us are too knackered to go out from studying so hard!

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