Let’s be real. We live in a society that promotes instant gratification, not delayed gratification. If we want it, we can order it (with one click) and have it delivered the same day. While this may be a very convenient way of doing things, it doesn’t help promote proper budgeting and money management skills.
Now, I’m not saying I don’t take advantage of the instant convenience we’re blessed with today. But, I make it a point to only do it when necessary. Otherwise, I practice delayed gratification.
Delayed gratification is the ability to say “no” to current wants so you can say “yes” to your future goals and desires. Essentially, it’s your willingness to practice self-restraint towards the things that you currently want because they don’t help you achieve your future goals.
I’ve been practicing delayed gratification for years now and it’s been a total game changer in the success I’ve experienced. I’m sharing 6 ways delayed gratification helps level up your money situation. Also, be sure to check out the CGS Podcast Episode How Practicing Delayed Gratification Sets You Up for Financial Success for more insight!
6 Ways Delayed Gratification Helps Level Up Your Money
#1 Delayed gratification keeps more money in your account
Because delayed gratification requires you to say “no” more than you say “yes” when it comes to your spending, it automatically helps you keep more money in your bank account. Directly or indirectly. Directly if the money you spend comes from swiping your credit card. Indirectly if the money you spend comes from swiping your credit card. Either way, the lack of swiping any type of card will help you keep more money in your account.
The more money you’re able to keep in your bank account, the more your net worth will grow. A higher net worth takes you to new levels financially. Over time, you’ll be motivated to watch your accounts continue to grow, so it’ll get much easier to say no to spending.
#2 Delayed gratification helps you practice restraint
Another way delayed gratification helps you level up your money is by forcing you to practice restraint. If you’re a “yes girl” – meaning you never turn down an offer, then delayed gratification will force you to stop saying yes and start saying no. Practicing restraint can be incredibly hard, especially if you’ve never really done it before.
Like anything though, practicing restraint is a skill that can be mastered. The more you practice flexing that restraint muscle, the easier it will be for you to start saying no to things that keep you from reaching your end goals.
#3 Delayed gratification makes you think about what really matters
When you’re forced to practice restraint and say “no” to most spending events, it forces you to really think about what matters. With delayed gratification, you’re no longer aimlessly spending money. You’re thinking about each purchase and deciding to forgo the purchase if it isn’t in line with your goals.
By default, this makes you think about things that truly matter in your life, not just your spending. You start making decisions based on your goals and values. Delayed gratification with your money eventually turns into delayed gratification with all things in your life. The more you make decisions in line with the things that matter most, the more fulfilled you’ll feel in your life.
#4 Delayed gratification means you’re in control of your spending decisions
A welcomed side effect of practicing restraint is self-control. When you practice delayed gratification, you’re practicing restraint. When you’re able to restrain yourself from spending money you shouldn’t, you now become in control of the situation.
Most people think they’re in control when they’re spending money, even if it’s money that shouldn’t be spent. But, that’s not control – it’s actually a lack of control. The real control comes when you are okay with NOT spending money. Think about that for a second. Spending money isn’t control. Not spending money is control. The only exception being when you’re intentional with your spending – meaning you’ve thought it through accordingly.
#5 Delayed gratification gets you closer to your goals
This is probably obvious to you but hear me out anyways. When you’re not spending money on things you don’t need, you’re able to put more money towards your goals. The more money you put towards your goals, the closer you get to achieving them!
Since delayed gratification requires you to say “no” to any spending that isn’t in line with your goals, a direct result will be you reaching your goals faster. If you’re motivated to reach your goals as quickly as possible, delayed gratification can help you do it.
#6 Delayed gratification fosters a better relationship with money
The final way delayed gratification helps level up your money is by helping you foster a better relationship with money. Everything listed above ultimately requires a shift in how you think, how you act and how you determine your goals. Those shifts are what help you respect the money you do have.
When you respect your money, you never want to disrespect it by sending it somewhere it doesn’t belong. More importantly, you never want to disrespect yourself and the things you value. Spending money that isn’t in line with your values is a strong form of disrespect. Delayed gratification helps you build that respect towards your money and your personal goals and values.
Delayed gratification isn’t always the most fun thing to practice, but the benefits are worth the effort! As you work to practice delayed gratification, start thinking through each purchase. Whether you make the purchase or not, the fact that you’re giving it thought is what will help you eventually say “no” to things that won’t help you in the long run.
Do you practice delayed gratification? What helps you stay consistent with it? Drop a comment below to share!