Frugal Strategies: Practice Delayed Gratification

“Waiting can be hard. Children know it, and so do adults. We live in a world offering fast food, instant messaging, on-demand movies, and immediate answers to the most trivial or profound questions. We don’t like to wait. Some even feel their blood pressure rise when their line at the grocery store moves slower than those around them.”
          — President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, “Continue in Patience” from the April 2010 General Conference.

I agree!  We are so used to getting everything we want when we want it.  That is just the world we live in.  Credit Cards and the internet have allowed us to spend without thinking.

  • Have you ever been at the grocery checkout lane and grabbed a candy bar as the cashier was just about finished?
  • Have you ever gone shopping for food and came home with toys, office supplies, movies and clothes?
  • Have you ever seen a great new technological toy and had to stay up all night in order to be the first one to have one?
  • Have you ever bought something you couldn’t afford simply because you *HAD* to have it?

I’m not saying all of these things are terrible, I’ve done every one of them, but if we allow these things  to *ALWAYS* happen we will find ourselves heavily in debt and horribly unhappy.

Delayed Gratification is simply the practice of waiting.

I have a list of stuff I’d like to buy.  For the House, for myself, for the kids, for my food storage.  Right now the list is in my head, but what I’d really like to do is get it down on paper.  Next to these items I want to have an estimated price and a priority.  Nothing will be too trivial or too large.

  • Flipflops for the kids, a number 1 priority, $20.
  • Rug for my living room, a number 2 priority, $80.
  • Popcorn (bulk), storage bucket, microwave bowl, seasonings, a number 2 priority, $40.
  • Brown Boots for me, a number 3 priority, $50.
  • Jeans for me, a number 1 priority (mine just ripped…think embarrassing rip), $10.
  • Finish the basement, a number 2 priority, $ ????
  • Tile the kitchen/bathrooms, a number 3 priority, $ ????

Some major advantages to this kind of system are:

  • No more imperfect lists floating around in my brain (my mommy brain will forget!!!).
  • Watching for a good sale or deal.
  • Some things disappear from the list because we realize we don’t really need them or we found another cheaper/free solution.
  • Pre-made gift list to hand grandma and grandpa at birthday/christmas time.  (Hi Mom!)
  • Know what needs to be bought when we go under budget, get a bonus, or tax refund.  (Yay for child tax credits!!!)
  • Keeps us on track with our budget.  We only purchase what we know we have money for and are able to budget for things we want/need from our list.
  • We take care of things that must be bought first instead of using up all our cash on fun stuff.  (not that fun stuff is bad…)
I’m planning on having a discussion with the Fishographer this afternoon and figuring out what form our list will take:  old school notebook, spreadsheet on the computer, or something else.  I want the whole family involved so the list needs to be accessible and utilized by everyone who writes.
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2 thoughts on “Frugal Strategies: Practice Delayed Gratification

  1. I’ll check at Ross and Walmart for a nice pair, but I only need an “around the house” type so I might end up at DI (Deseret Industries). I’m not super picky about what I get since I’m still hoping to loose more baby weight.

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