Delayed Gratification

I have an 820 credit rating. I’m rather proud of that. I think that’s because I absolutely HATE paying interest for anything. You might say I have no interest in interest. To me it sort of feels like taking that money and setting it alight. Poof. Gone. And nothing to show for it.

So whenever I want to buy something, I put off getting it until I have the cash. I try not to charge anything unless I can pay it off that same month. Of course there are exceptions to that rule. Emergencies, for example, or things that are time sensitive. But my absolute goal in life is to not be in debt. Even a small amount causes me undue stress.

You will never see me rent to own anything. If I need a flat screen TV that badly, I’ll wait until I’ve set aside enough money rather than winding up paying two or three times its actual value just so I don’t miss the season opener of House of Cards in high def.

I seem to be the exception to the rule in this credit-loving society. I give my mother credit for that (pardon the pun). She got me into this habit at a very young age, long before I was old enough to qualify for a credit card or buy a car. It would probably be much harder to adopt this practice once you’ve taught yourself that you don’t have to wait for anything.

Delayed gratification is very gratifying in the end. If you can’t embrace this philosophy yourself, at least try to teach it to your children. They’ll thank you for it someday.

2010.07.02-dog
[Image credit: evolvedmale.com]
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11 thoughts on “Delayed Gratification

  1. Credit and debt. Literally JUST this morning not 20 minutes ago, I was discussing my mode of operating since 2003 which is not to carry debt. The Bankruptcy of 2003 forever changed my feelings about revolving credit and partnerships. Happily since 2003, I have literally been getting by comfortably (and more than) on what I earn, what I didn’t purchase, and how I purchased what I did. Financially literate again and emotionally wiser as well, I can say that both of those bank accounts feel healthy and grounded as I write this comment today. It was a lot of work to reset patterns that chased instant gratification and replace them with being spontaneous and pragmatic in the same space.

    It was tough at times having a growing daughter with impulses for instant gratification–but she is learning financial literacy early and knows the values of spending, saving, and sharing. That first #Moonjar…I remember getting her one when she was all of four years old from the wonderful children’s bookstore Hullabaloo in West Seattle where we lived back then.

    Funny thing is this metaphor of credit and debt and instant gratification works for how we do relationships too. She’s a teen now and does alright with money, but for the boy who doesn’t quite get it yet….she is realizing she was ready and he was not. He’ll get there in his own time–hopefully. 🙂 She’s bouncing back now.:)

    I know you were writing literally about spending currency you don’t quite yet have. That seems to be what people do sometimes when they launch into relationships–not realizing they don’t have the stamina or skills to sustain it long-term. And, for every lopsided pair with one existing on memories and fumes after the honeymoon period, there are future wiser people within who will learn how to engage in relationships with fiscal (emotional) responsibility. Giving and taking and wanting and needing in a balanced, supportive, and evoving way. At least that is what I am hoping for my sweet teen who is mending a bruised heart this week.

    I know it is a stretch to–my analogy–but that is what your blog post sparked in me as a response this morning. I enjoy reading your posts first thing each day–even if I am not commenting daily. Thank you for being an inspiration to this full-time wordsmith.

    Cheers!

    1. Wow! Just… wow. Epiphany! You just made me re-frame my current, unsuccessful search for love. I need to stop shopping at the bargain basements of life in the desperate hope of finding someone who will fit in a quick and easy way. I need to delay my gratification, get my emotional house in order, and make a responsible choice. Thanks Deb, for inspiring me once again, and for what will no doubt be future blog fodder!

  2. lyn sutton

    Delayed gratification comes easy when you have nothing and know you will never have anything. It’s not a choice. I tell myself I chose not to have any credit cards or loans for the last 15 years but truth is I’m too poor to carry any debt responsibly and I hate to owe anyone anything. So being poor means I’m very experienced in gratification delayed as evidenced by my ability to delay commenting for 6 days. 🙂

      1. lyn sutton

        I find reading your posts and commenting on them to be very gratifying, especially since I don’t have to incur a debt to do so. I often find gratification delayed turns into gratification denied… as in never gonna happen…happily this doesn’t occur with your blog. 🙂

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