I’m generally an impatient person. If I had done the marshmallow experiment as a kid I would not have waited for the second marshmallow. The idea of that study was that those who were able to wait for the second marshmallow by using self control and being able to delay gratification one would have better life outcomes.* Being impatient and not delaying moves or quitting jobs has cost me a lot of money. One area where I usually can be patient is when making purchases.
For example, I wanted a Kindle Fire when they first came out, but the price tag of $200 was more than I wanted to pay. I decided to wait since I didn’t really need a Kindle Fire and also because I knew that the price would come down over time. Consumer electronics of this type have steadily been coming down in price so waiting was a pretty safe bet. Since the Kindle Fire first premiered they have come out with a second generation of Kindle Fires, that allowed me to pick up a refurbished first generation model for only $90. Waiting allowed me to get my Fire for less than half of what it would have cost me if I had purchased it the moment I wanted it.
Of course, I could have saved even more if I hadn’t purchased the Fire at all. This is another way that waiting to make purchases can save you money. Sometimes, when you delay making a purchase you decide you don’t need the item at all. There is nothing wrong with an occasional splurge, but waiting to make the splurge can save you money.
* I also found this followup to the marshmallow experiment interesting. This study questions some of the conclusions of the marshmallow experiment. It might become the basis for a future post.