Financial experts and others usually agree that when it comes to buying something, you should save up the money and then buy it when you have enough saved. As consumers, we don’t always do this very well (see problems with consumer debt, as one example).
I don’t consider myself very patient. I strongly dislike waiting and grow restless when I have to do so. This presents multiple problems, but especially when it comes to buying things. For example, I hate waiting on a book from the library. I would much rather buy it right away. But this is the main reason why I have so many books on my shelves, mostly ones I haven’t read. Another example is grocery shopping. Instead of developing a list and going shopping once or twice a week, I go multiple times because I think of something I need and immediately need to buy it.
I’ve been working on my patience, in fact I waited and saved almost two years before buying a new television this February. I do still need to work on the book and grocery shopping thing, though (baby steps).
But recently, I’ve felt the impatience creeping back in. A new version of a popular tablet was launched a couple weeks ago and my first instinct was, “I want now.” I’ve been wanting one for about a year or so, and when they announced the new version, I knew it was time to get one. But when I went to get mine, they were all out. All the stores in the area were out. I was so upset and this just made me want it even more. But then I asked myself why?
Why does being told we can’t have something make us want it more? Is this why we have problems with saving for things? Why using credit is so much easier? Because we get what we want when we want it?
I think this is why saving is so boring. There is no immediate gratification to saving money. We don’t get to hold a shiny new toy for putting money into our emergency savings or retirement accounts.
Learning patience and to accept delayed gratification is extremely difficult. I wonder if I should start small; maybe delaying my grocery shopping. If I run out of something, then I need to wait until the weekend. I could make it into a challenge for myself.
I think it would be interesting to see if I could wait. On another note, I put myself on a waiting list for above-mentioned tablet and should (hopefully) be receiving it this week.
How patient are you?