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YOLO or Delayed Gratification?

YOLO or Delayed Gratification?

So far we have discussed the following Back to Basics personal finance articles:

This time around, we will be discussing the concept of Delayed Gratification.

If you check out our 10-point road to financial freedom below, #9 refers to Enjoy the fruits of your labor. Before you even get into this, it seems like you have to go through 1-8 before you can actually enjoy the fruits of your hard work. Well, though it looks chronologically, okay, it doesn’t really suggest these things to be linear. You can actually enjoy the results of your hard work while you’re going through all these steps!

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Not everyone of us may be blessed to be in families that are well-provided of in basic needs such as food, house, utilities, education, etc. Some of us may be working hard to even support our immediate families. Some of us may not have OFWs or relatives working abroad who in quite a twisted sense act as support to people back home. Hence, you see people toiling hard every single day but end up with no nest egg for their retirement years.

On the other hand, there are some of us in this digital age which travel a lot, explore the world, try adventures, foodie trips, movies, concerts, fashion trends, etc. Go YOLO because You Only Live Once. Go YODO because You Only Die Once.

So which is which? YOLO or Delayed Gratification?

Let’s understand the concepts better.

Delayed gratification refers to in common sense delaying the act of buying something (in material sense) or satisfying your wants for the purpose of saving or investing. If you happen to read the article on compound interest, you will appreciate it better. Your Php10,000 at 10% annual rate for 10 years can be Php16,288.95. If you spent this Php10,000 elsewhere, say by buying a new mobile phone, your mobile phone will depreciate in value whereas your Php10,000 investment could have earned you this much.

Understand that both concepts are not wrong, nor do they have to fight against each other:

· Delaying gratification does not mean you punish yourself by the lack of things. 

This principle doesn’t apply to needs, but only to wants. You shouldn’t be starving your family just for the sake of having money in the bank. But you shouldn’t also be spending all your money just to bring your whole family to Vikings everyday.

· Delaying gratification does not mean you lose the essence of living. 

And by essence of living I mean the beauty that life has to offer. I’m a fan of travels myself. I’m wanderlust. I’m stardust. But if I travel and see piles of credit card bills on my desk when I get back to work is not fantastic. That’s terrible. I go YOLO not to lose my entire savings and be in deep debt. I go YOLO because I seek balance in all these money stuff I write and read about, and because money has allowed me to do so – from savings and investing. There are many ways, cost-free ways to enjoy life. Like walks in the park, cheap entrance fees to zoo and theme parks, public concerts, cheap books and finds. Practicality is the key word.

· It’s not OR. It’s AND. Go YOLO and delay gratification. 

You know you can’t fly to Paris today with your savings now, but if you save then travel, you might just enjoy the romantic view of Eiffel Tower. It’s like the SAVE THEN BUY strategy, something like a dry run. You’ve been rooting for that Honda Civic car. Why don’t you save and simulate monthly amortization payments and assess if you can really for it. If you realize you can’t, maybe it’s not really for you. At a loss? No, since you were able to save some money during your trial run.

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