Delayed Gratification is controlling yourself in response to an instant reward with the vision of receiving highly valued rewards in the future. Delay of gratification promotes self-control and helps in taking better decisions while blocking the impulsive flow of emotions. It is backed by one of the most intriguing experiment in behavioral psychology – The Marshmallow Experiment. (you can learn more about the experiment here)
This psychological gem helps develop characteristics that do wonders in health, life, and work. But, how? Let’s run a quick scan of your daily chores and find out the benefits of delayed gratification.
1. If you watch less TV or short your time on Instagram, you get more time to focus on studies and hence completing the homework before time.
2. If you exercise daily, although you do not like it at times will improve muscles, mind, and everything in between. The benefits are numerous.
3. If you lower down the consumption of junk food against your will and tastebuds, then your body will be more sustainable and energetic in the long term. It will thank you in ways you could possibly not think of.
That’s the impact delay of gratification can have in your life. Such examples compel us to explore its uses in different spaces. One such space where delayed gratification shows promising results is Money Management. Let’s explore how it helps us in managing our expenditure and make it future-ready.
Imagine a situation – You are offered a certain pocket money every day to do your favorite stuff. Maybe hanging with your friends, going to the arcade or just having ice-creams. One fine day, you decide not to spend all of it in one go and save a certain amount for few days. Now, let’s do the math – If you save 50 rupees daily for a month i.e 30 days (50*30 = 1500) and so on. This is what controlling your emotions and impulses can do to money. We tend to shift to a disciplinary and analyzed approach rather than an erratic and emotional approach.
The world is full of distractions and when it’s come to money, these distractions are infinite. Delayed Gratification lesson helps get your intellectual hats on and think long-term instead of chasing short-term pleasures. This is how it blocks unnecessary distractions and hence expenditures. As a result, we end up saving more.
Unfortunately, we tend to overspend when dominated by emotional drives that later turn out to be a toxic practice. The best way to deal with these traps is to create concise systems and trick our psychology accordingly. Let’s discuss some of them here.
1. Create a smart budget – Create a list of things you do with your pocket money. Make a budget around necessary expenditures and save the amount in hand. It doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy things you love doing but keep a check on what you are doing for yourself and what for gaining social approval. Status and approvals are short-lived and no one honestly cares about them.
2. Invest more, spend less – Investing at a young age means focusing on yourself and learning good things and values. Your mind and body are the most valuable thing you possess right now. Invest your pocket money on books, plays, interviews, healthy food, and experiences. If your friend buys a new phone, you need not buy one just for status in your circle. These are times when you need to ask yourself – “Do I really need it?”
3. Have a long-term mindset – Life is not a sprint but a marathon. You need to move slow and smart for winning it. Think of the future and what can you do in present to shape it. Distractions and short-term pleasures fade reality and create a delusional world that does not exist. Don’t fall for it. Develop a long-term view of what you want from life and work towards it. When the mindset is aligned, expenditures are automatically controlled.
The main motive is to find a balance in expenditures and savings and find ways to reduce the losses and expand profits when it comes to money. Delayed Gratification exercises should be practiced. Understand what needs to be done and what needs to be laid off for a better life. It’s not about how often to use delaying of gratification but where to use it is what really matters.