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Delayed Gratification

November 15, 2010

Hey all,

Take a look at this!

http://rayhigdon.com/top-mlm-tips-your-questions-answered/

I am featured near the bottom of the article. Whoo!

Anyway, to business.

Do you practice delay gratification?

Do you forfeit a current pleasure for a greater, future pleasure?

Let’s look at an example. You have $1000 of disposable income in your account (baller!) and you pass by the Apple store and see an iPad. You really want an iPad even though you know that you don’t really need it. Will you buy it or not?

Maybe that’s a bit of an extreme example. Most of you guys will say, “No!”

How about this: You have $50 of disposable income in your account. That’s all of your disposable income for the paycheck. Since you have fifty bucks, you go and treat you and your family out to a fifty dollar dinner! And you do this every paycheck. I mean, it’s disposable income. You’re not taking money away from your bills or anything. You’re just getting dinner with your family. What’s wrong with that?

Well, nothing… unless you’re one of the 80+% of Americans who does not save any portion of their income. 401K’s don’t count, I’m talking about savings. Saving consistently and saving all the time. 5%, 10%, anything, as long as it is consistent.

Now you can start asking yourself. Is sacrificing a dinner every two weeks worth a good financial backing in your future?

We want to think long-term. Not short term. Instant gratification makes you happy now, but does not necessarily make you happy in the future. Delayed gratification means putting off your current pleasures in order to pursue a greater one. It can be either in money, relationships, time, etc.

You can save your money now and have a lot to invest later. You can be patient with your loved ones now and experience a relationship with less stress later. You can take some time to plan now, ahead of time, in order to save some time later.

Exercise is another one. Who likes to get up at 5am to exercise? Well, if having a toned body is worth it to you, you will sacrifice a little bit of sleep to get that body you want.

That’s why it’s always important to ask: what do you want to accomplish in the future? Will your small activity hinder that goal?

When I was in high school, I was in the habit of buying an energy drink… well, quite often. They were expensive (around $3 each) and not good for my health. So eventually I figured I’d just stop drinking energy drinks so often, both for my wallet, and for my health in the long run.

More recently, I used to be in the habit of buying a soda a few times a week. I prefer cold beverages over hot beverages (I have burnt my tongue all too many times!). Sodas were cheaper than energy drinks and since they don’t have the crazy herbs in them, they are also “healthier” (note, sodas are not very healthy, but healthier than most energy drinks out there). Sodas are also cheaper ($1.50). However, it still takes a toll. Right now I’ve limited myself to one soda per week (sometimes I just need a caffeine boost), but I’ve also increased my intake of fruits. Ideally I’d like to quit soda altogether, because it’ll save me some money and it’ll lead to a healthier diet. But I’m slowly weaning myself away from sodas.

But here’s the question. What’s the soda cost? Many people buy lattes every day. What’s the latte cost?

Let’s say $3 latte. That’s cheap for a latte.

$3/day * 7 days/week = $21/week

$21/week * 52 weeks/year = $1092/year.

Do you know anyone who could use an extra $1092 per year? I do. Oftentimes I see them buying lattes every day.

And many of them buy lattes for the entire family of 3, 4, 5! That’s $3000, $4000, $5000 per year! You know anyone who can use a $5000 raise? They can give it to themselves by dropping the latte!

And that’s what delayed gratification is about. Looking at the entire picture. Thinking long-term.

Here’s another thing to think about. Do you drive when it is just as easy to walk? Grocery store’s a 15 minute walk away. Do you take a 5 minute drive to go there and back? Well, a 5 minute drive takes around .2 gallons. To and from, that’s .4 gallons. If you go to the store 2-3 times a week, that’s .8-1.2 gallons per week. Over the course of a year, that’s around 52 gallons that you could have saved. Gas costs $3 per gallon, you could save a whopping $150 per year. Does that seem like much?

Well, to me, it is. A lot of times I find myself regretting, “I shouldn’t have spent on X because I’d have X more money in my account and I’d be able to invest it in my business!”

So is $150 worth an extra few minutes of walking, which is also exercise? Heck, kill three birds with one stone and bring a friend, spouse, sibling, and chat with them while walking. Make it fun to save money!

So I’ll let you ponder that for a bit. Until then, stay sharp!

To your abundance,

Rasheed

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