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Instant Gratification – The Downfall to Building Wealth

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How did we become a generation that wants things now, no matter what? It seems as if instant gratification is ingrained in us. The recent economic downturn has made us aware of this fact. This mindset affects virtually every aspect of our lives. Our grandparents were a generation of savers but it seems we are a generation of spenders.How many people do you know who are looking for the next get rich quick scheme? They are the ones that want to be shown through a video or online webinar how to get rich overnight instead of learning solid business techniques they can apply to build a successful business. They are seeking instant gratification in their professional and personal lives.They are also the people who spend hundreds of dollars on crèmes, gels, and even botox to gain instant youth the minute they see a gray hair or wrinkle in the mirror. Are they vain or is it simply that we live by instant gratification.Most of us believe that faster is definitely better and slow is inefficient. We live in the fast lane, enjoy fast food, demand fast service, and expect fast technology. We want it now!So How Did We Get Here?Some people feel that technology plays an important role in this instant gratification syndrome. Technology offers a way to do more in less time. We can communicate with one another instantly through texting, e-mail, cell phones, and social networks like Twitter and Facebook.Industry exploits our instant gratification. We are not only inundated by billboards on every highway, but besieged with advertising on every website we visit. Each message tries to stimulate us to impulse buy.Before the current economic downturn, credit card companies offered high credit limits while realtors and financial institutions qualified homeowners for houses they could not afford. They were selling the American dream and we bought into it. Their mantra was, why wait when you can have it now? Or, buy now, pay later!How Has Instant Gratification Affected our Monetary System?Our current economic downturn is global and affects all of us. Governments have overspent to the point of bankruptcy in some cases while banks, financial institutions, and even private business have liquidated assets. Our society has a high unemployment rate forcing many to start living within their means, sometimes for the first time in their lives.Has Instant Gratification Put You In Debt? If So, How Do You Get Out?You may be living the life of instant gratification and not be aware how it is affecting your personal wealth building goals. You probably buy impulsively more than you think. The easiest easy to find out is keep track of what you buy for a thirty-day period. You may find you have an “I want mentality”. We seem to focus on what we want instead of what we really need. The only way to break the instant gratification cycle is develop an “I need mentality” instead.Look hard at your thirty-day purchases and highlight any frivolous spending you find. Add up all the frivolous spending and take that same amount, whether it is $10 or $100, and put it in a savings account or use it to pay down debt. Get into the mindset of asking yourself “Do I really need it” before making any purchase at all. After a little practice, it will become second nature.You will probably be surprised at how much extra money you have left in the bank at month end if you simply practice this approach.Other Ways to Get Back on TrackIf the current economic downturn has made you realize that you are one paycheck away from financial ruin, you can get back on track. Start practicing the following:
Do not overspend. Put together a budget and live by it. Get rid of any frivolous spending by training you and your family to live within your means.
Try to pay cash for your purchases. Use credit cards in emergencies only. Take them out of your wallet or purse and keep them in a safe place at home. This will help you from making impulse buys you do not need.
Reduce any expense that is not necessary. Replace that $40 movie night with a netflix subscription. Have a movie night at home instead.
If you cannot pay all your bills with your income, drop those expenses that are not necessary. You may have to stop the newspaper subscription or eliminate cable temporarily until you gain control of your expenses.
Pay down debt as quickly as you can. If you pay a little extra on your credit cards each month, you will be able to pay them off quicker.
Do You Have Too Much Debt?Even though you might be getting by and are even able to save enough for a family vacation every few years you are probably carrying too much debt. How do you know? Some of the following will help you decide.
What is your income to debt ratio? Your income to debt ratio is determined by dividing your monthly debt by your monthly income. Ex. $2,200 monthly debt divided by $4,400 monthly income = 50 percent. You may think this is crazy, but anything over 20 percent is too high. You need to pay down debt to get control.
Your credit card is maxed out. If you have a large balance from month to month, you need to stop using it except in emergencies.
If you are living check to check and cannot save then you need to start cutting back on expenses and live within your means.
This may sound elementary but the only way to get control of your personal finances is to save more, spend less and avoid bad debt. Money does matter and you will not be able to survive without it. You need to respect and manage your money before you will see a change in your finances.

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Written by davisjeffery24

July 21, 2013 at 7:02 am

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