In a world of instant gratification, I would ask us all to take a breath and wait. I have found that if you can push past the urge to purchase, you will find yourself saving money by making fewer purchases. Today I am wearing a new pair of shoes. Shoes that I waited for four months to purchase. Since I purchased them two weeks ago, I have worn them five times. Last month I bought another pair of shoes that I bought because I wanted them. I wanted the rush of having a cute new pair of shoes. I bought them within minutes of trying them on. I wore them the next day for exactly two hours and I have not had them on since. They were a bit too high and I walked like a newborn giraffe in them. They were an instant gratification purchase that I now regret.
When my boys were little they watched the release dates of video games. I implemented a wait and see policy on the purchase of the games. I created obstacles to prevent them from purchasing on the release date. I have used the “save your money” philosophy to get them to realize the cost of the item. Often when they had to use their own money, the desire decreased.
I also have straight out told them we will wait for a few days after the release of the game. I used this delay most often for my oldest son who had a fixation with a particular line of games. I knew we could go out and buy the game for him. But I also knew he needed to learn to wait. We are the parents. In a world of instant gratification, we have to strip that urge away.
I watch this unhealthy obsession with the newly released Pokemon Go game. The amount of downloads this game created was record breaking. I am all for playing a fun game, but at what expense? People are getting physically hurt as people are becoming distracted in their walking while playing this game becoming slowly addicted. Law enforcement officers are warning people to not drive while searching for Pokemon. Wait a few weeks and see if the obsession goes away. Delay the instant gratification that society is telling you to download and play and not miss out on the fun.
Before we tell our children they need to wait, we ourselves need to learn the lesson. Try waiting days, weeks, months or years before making a purchase. I did this three weeks ago with a shirt I tired on at one of my favorite stores. It was full price and I didn’t want to pay full price for it. I came back two weeks later and it was marked down by half. Waiting in this case saved me money.
With larger wants and desires for our children, we like to have them come up with half of the money. My youngest wants a car and this summer, I told him we would match his funds in order to purchase a car. As of today he has saved zero dollars and we are out zero dollars. When my oldest wanted a new viola even though he already had one, I told him we would match his contribution. He mowed lawns for the summer and came up with a nice sum of money that we matched. He purchased the viola and cared for it and never left it on the bus and as a senior in college he still plays in its orchestra.
So the next time you get an urge to purchase something, wait. See if you are purchasing because of instant gratification or for some other reason. Believe me the voice in your head will try to rationalize with you needing the item. You will play games telling yourself that this purchase is a necessity. But just pause. Wait the days, weeks or months and see if that purchase is really a necessity.