I remember when I was about 15 years old, I wanted a new bicycle. Not just any bicycle, mind you, but a Sears Easy Spirit 10 speed – the boys version with the ram horn handlebars. I wish I still had that bike because it was SWEET! It was a beautiful blue color with a blue seat and blue wrapped handlebars. The cost was over $100 which in the mid-1970s was a LOT of money for a 15 year old! That $100 bike would cost close to $450 today.
Mom and Dad made it clear they were not going to get it for me – if I wanted that bicycle I had to save my money until I had enough to pay for it. I don’t remember how long it took but eventually I had saved enough to not only buy the bike but to pay for the assembly, as well. It was true then and it’s still true today – there would’ve been parts left over if I had put it together myself so paying for assembly was a no-brainer. Anyhow, when my mom took me to Sears to pick it up I was SO excited! I got that bike home and rode it EVERYWHERE!
I was so proud of myself. I set a goal and reached it. I had to discipline myself to not spend my money on makeup or clothes or anything else that would keep my teenage self from buying that bicycle.
Sadly, delayed gratification has become pretty much extinct. Instant credit has made whatever we want available at the punch of a key or the swipe of a card. Clothes, shoes, bicycles-all available with little or no waiting.
Have you ever noticed, though, that instant oatmeal and instant coffee are both gross? The real deal you have to wait a few minutes for is SO much better. It’s the same with waiting to buy something until you have the money to pay for it. You still get what you want but without the credit card hangover that comes with instant credit.
I’m not saying to stop shopping or buying things but I am suggesting that you give it some thought first. I want to challenge you-next time you want to buy something, wait a day. Give yourself 24 hours to think about whether it’s something you REALLY want to have. See if it’s something you still want to own after letting it sit for a day. Report back and let me and my readers know how it goes!
Be well and God Bless – until we meet again…