Instant gratification is the desire to experience or have something right now. It’s you hitting the snooze button on an alarm, eating chocolate the second you crave it, or buying a sweater you found while casually scrolling through social media. Instant gratification is the lack of patience and willpower – and guess what, it costs you money. Three ways you can kick instant gratification are to:
Monitor Smart Phones.
Monitor how much time you spend on your phone. It’s no secret that the norm for today is to have your phone on you 24/7. You may have a watch connected to your phone as well. Constant notifications and messages can be distracting – not only to your daily lives but also to your financial goals.
To help, try to treating your smart phone like a landline phone. Keep it in a set location and only check it when necessary. If you have a hard time staying off of social media, log out of your accounts after a certain time. The need to type in your passcode will remind you you’ve reached your limit for the day. If you need a more accountable solution, some phone have a settings options that lock you out of social media after you go over your set time limit. There are apps that do that as well. Turning off notifications can help keep distractions to a minimum.
Social media is a breeding ground for comparison. It’s important to keep a healthy mindset, and remember that while the grass tends to look greener, that is generally not the case. Remember that the stage you are in right now is where you are meant to be. Your purchasing decisions now determine your financial future. Waiting a few days before purchasing something can help determine the level of necessity, as well as the true desire to have the product.
Write Down Your Goals.
Grab a piece of paper and a pen and jot down your financial goals for the year. Maybe your goal is to pay off a loan, a credit card, or a car. Write down the total amount owed, what you want to pay this year, and then break it down into a smaller timeframe – monthly or weekly.
It’s vital to keep your goals attainable and measureable. If they are not, you won’t stay on track. This can lead to discouragement, stress, and financial struggles. Be gentle with yourself and your budget!
Once you set goals, track your progress! You can do this through an app, but it’s also fun to have a chart on a wall at home. An app can be easily avoided, whereas a chart on the fridge or a wall is a great motivator to keep going and a great reminder to save money!
Rely on the People Around you.
Have a couple friends or family members hold you accountable. It could be as small as seeing a clothing ad on social media and calling a friend to talk to them about how you want to buy the clothes but you are trying to save money. While finances are different for every person, everybody has debt they’ve incurred or something they are saving for. You could get a group of friends or family members to be your “savings buddy”. People have gym buddies, so why not? It can be as little as $5 a week – but you keep each other on track.
By exercising your willpower, you can resist instant gratification and save more money. In the end, it’s all about your personal health and wellbeing. To learn about the psychology behind instant gratification, click here. For more ways to save money, visit our blog post 5 Tips to Save Money.