Step 1 – Practice deferred gratification
The most important step and the foundation to financial independence is deferred gratification. Ever since we were kids we wanted quick wins. Whether this meant having that new toy without having to wait until Christmas or chocolate before lunch quick wins have always been the preferred option. As grown-ups the great thing about pay day means that we can have that new dress, pair of shoes bag or go for a big night out whenever we want. To be clear, I am all in for a treat, especially when it’s well deserved and earned through hard work. However, treating yourself comes with a downside. When doing so, be careful as you could end up setting precedence. Whether you treat yourself on or around payday, it’s up to you. This is perfectly adequate provided that it doesn’t take you away from your financial independence goal. It’s easy for habits such as Friday night drinks to become a regular occurrence and before you know it’s a well instilled habit that you find very hard to give up. Same goes for shopping, getting a take-away and all other instant gratification examples.
Step 1 is simple: something has to give now, in order for you to benefit later. You must have heard the phrase that money doesn’t bring happiness. In continuation to this, extensive studies have proved that fulfilment is the secret to happiness. Try this: set out a plan to save £1,000 quickly as an emergency fund through hard work and sacrifice first. Then treat yourself and fulfil one of your instant gratification choices. This way, you have my word that you will get fulfilment. If you get impatient along the way, stay strong! Imagine, on the other hand, that you continue to buy items and treat yourself first without giving anything in return or paying away the credit card instead. The result? You will most likely end up with buyers’ remorse. I sincerely wish for the readers of my blogs what I wish for myself: health, happiness and prosperity.
An example of something I did to break the Friday night drinks habit this year is dry January. I absolutely love celebrating the beginning of the weekend with a drink. Not having this makes me temporarily annoyed every Friday evening, especially around 6 pm. However, having gone dry for over 3 weeks now I am so proud of myself… I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. Feeling excited about being able to enjoy a glass of wine at the end of next week, ah the anticipation! Looking forward to the feeling of fulfilment when this happens. Having also done the same with shopping and refraining from buying new shoes and clothes in the past, I now find it very rewarding when I treat myself to something I want. Try it!
So, I encourage you to do the same, take the short term pain and enjoy the long lasting fulfilment. You will feel stronger and successful in your pursuit. And you know what the great news about doing it once is? It gets easier each time and you are getting closer and closer to building your wealth and financial freedom.
To Your Financial Success!