How Often Do You Delay Gratification?

Do you save up before purchasing an item you really want or do you just wing it and buy it on credit? If you save up for something do you purchase the item as soon as you’ve saved enough money or do you wait a bit longer to make certain you really want or need whatever it is you were saving up for? Do you ever save up enough money and then postpone the purchase indefinitely?

J. Money
recently got me thinking about these questions, when he asked readers if they ever choose NOT to purchase an item they CAN afford and really WANT. In thinking about this I reflected on the countless number of times I’ve postponed a purchase and delayed gratification in my own life.

Take the remodeling project my husband and I planned to complete over eight years ago. Since the day we moved into our 50+ year old home we’ve thought about replacing the windows and remodeling the bathrooms. We’ve requested cost estimates a number of times and we could certainly afford the high priced bill, but somehow or another we always convince ourselves to postpone the purchase just a little bit longer.

Delayed gratification recently paid off for us in a very big way. We used the money originally intended for remodeling as a portion of the down payment on another rental property.

If we moved forward with home remodeling we definitely would not have been able to afford another property. More importantly we might have missed the opportunity to purchase property in a depressed real estate market. In our case we postponed one relatively short-term goal in exchange for an even larger, long-term one. Not buying something we originally wanted provided us with the opportunity to buy something we wanted even more!

3 thoughts on “How Often Do You Delay Gratification?”

  1. There's something else to consider re replacing the windows…the tax credit, which is only good for 2010. (It was available in 2009, too.) We've also put off doing this for some time, even though we had the money. But the tax credit is worth grabbing. I think we'll take advantage of it before the year's out.


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