How Financial Delayed Gratification Worked For Us

Finally, it was over, no more debt, just the two of us with a bun in the oven.

Financial delayed gratification allowed us to pay off $250,000 of debt which was worth every learning curve.

Some people can’t fathom the thought of delayed gratification as if they will miss the trending boat.

As I explain the process of delayed gratification I want you to consider how debt-freedom would make you feel.

Also, are you doing enough to pay off your debt once and for all?

What Is Delayed Gratification?

The easiest way to describe delayed gratification is to return to when you were a child.

For example, you may have gotten an allowance or earned money by delivering the newspaper or offering yard work services.

As a child, some of you may have spent your earnings right away on items you could have done without.

Additionally, there are kids who saved what they earned to buy necessities their parents couldn’t provide.

As sad as it sounds there are children who work to buy what their parents can’t afford.

However, if you were like me you saved it to buy a car that wasn’t a dinky car.

That to me is delayed gratification and where it all begins for us.

Patience Is A Delayed Gratification Strength

I contribute my delayed gratification skills to my parents who taught me to wait.

Wait in line, wait for dinner, wait for tomorrow, wait until we could afford it.

Everything was about waiting and that is where patience is born.

At the moment we do the same with our son so he gets a grip on patience.

Patience is the leading factor in my life which allows me to think before acting.

Although guilt can eat away at you for creating debt you can’t just return it for your money back.

Coming up with schemes to pay the debt by applying for credit cards, bank loans, home equity lines of credit still keep you in the same boat, in debt.

Owning up to mistakes and finding ways to cut expenses is not only powerful but it generates discipline.

How Does Delayed Gratification Factor Into Financial Success?

There are 3 objectives that matter when it comes to delayed gratification.

  • Self-Discipline
  • Willpower
  • Self-Control

All of the above are financial fighting words which mean we have to build through experience.

Self-discipline is saying no and having a back-up plan that continues to help you grow.

Related: How Self-Discipline Will Benefit Your Finances

Willpower is saying no in the moment and walking away.

Self-Control is a mindset and talking yourself out of something or coming up with a future plan.

Although they blend each has something different to offer the user.

You decide where you want to drive your energy, skills and financial goals.

In retrospect they can be used for just about anything that has a positive outcome.

Delayed Gratifications Gave Us Debt-Freedom

What are examples of delayed gratification?

Delayed gratification can be personal or common although as you’ll see below we have a mixture of both.

You’ll find delayed gratification in the form of food, relationship (physical aspect), finances, achievements (education, career, sports), and anything that will offer you value in the future compared to what you have now.

In terms of finance, think about saving for what you need instead of going out and buying it or contracting a service.

Of course, if it’s an emergency situation you may have to just buy it or pay someone else to do something for you.

For example, you’ve just bought a house and need to renovate it top to bottom before you invite your friends over.

Unless you have the cash to do so, friends shouldn’t judge, you shouldn’t care, and take your time.

Don’t create debt just to update your home if you don’t have the money to do so.

I can bet the Queen isn’t coming over for dinner so relax.

We have to trust the process of budgeting, saving alongside building strengths, and removing weaknesses.

What Do You Value The Most?

We’ve lived in our house since 2009 with grand dreams of renovating it all.

Trust me, we are FAR from those goals only because debt-freedom, retirement savings, and our son come first.

As long as things are functional and not creating a problem which could turn into a bigger expense we take our time.

The idea of delayed gratification is to think short-term, present and long-term.

In other words, today, tomorrow and in the future.

By doing so has allowed us to pay off our debt including our mortgage in 5 years.

Debt-Free Vs. Delayed Gratification

Since burning our mortgage papers we’ve been stashing cash as aggressively as possible.

Just because you are debt-free doesn’t mean you stop frugal-living. It worked for you because you followed the process. Don’t ditch what made it all work.

We’ve put money into topping up our Registered Retirement Savings Plan, Tax-Free Savings Account, and our Emergency Savings account.

In fact, we talked about moving another $50,000 into our investment portfolio.

We did this in 2020 and will continue to do so along with projecting future expenses.

Diversify Bank Accounts

Another task I completed was to open an American bank account for business purposes.

Since Canadian Budget Binder is earning a 5-figure income it needed a business bank account.

One of the smartest financial steps that we took (besides budgeting) was to have not 1 but 8 bank accounts.

You’ll notice that all of our money is not going into one bank either.

The only reason we did this is to diversify where our money fits our needs.

By doing so it has allowed us to track our money far better than in the past.

  • Tangerine Savings Account For Emergency Savings and Tangerine World MasterCard
  • Simplii Financial Savings, Chequings, Projected Expenses, and Account for our son. Join Simplii Financial today! 
  • UK Bank Account For Travelling
  • TD Savings Account (Blog) and TD Visa Credit Card
  • American Savings Account (Blog)

Options Come With Delayed Gratification

Whenever You Feel Like You’ve Failed Remember This Quote.

Financial planning has given us an opportunity that we never dreamed possible.

There are some people who ask me what it feels like to be debt-free so young.

My answer, like every other day but with options.

As we continued to learn about personal finance we took the knowledge and applied it.

It’s really that simple, for our situation.

I bet many of you think you will never become debt-free until you retire or even afterward.

Here’s the thing, if you can’t motivate yourself to be successful you’ll always be stuck.

Get rid of the feel sorry for yourself mentality and ramp up with the “I can do anything” attitude.

Delay or Pay

These are some ideas of how delayed gratification has allowed us to build our net worth.

In the meantime, we’ve also paid our son’s life insurance so by the time he is 18 he never has to worry about it again.

Just remember that every little bit you save helps to fund something more important.

  • Avoid eating out including bringing food when we stay in a hotel
  • Planned and saved for road trips and travelling (the last trip was to the UK and Spain)
  • Shopped at second-hand stores instead of buying brand new
  • Waited or searched for coupons or coupon codes before making purchases
  • No Cell Phone or Data Plans (I have a phone now with data for $21.99 for work purposes) Mrs. CBB has a phone and has never had a data plan with Rogers Wireless.
  • Saved to pay cash for a used but new demo truck and drove old vehicles
  • Rented a room until we saved enough for a 25% down-payment for a house
  • Avoided buying new furniture until our house is renovated and our son is older.
  • Created a gym in the basement instead of getting a costly gym membership
  • Watched movies at home instead of going to the movie theatre
  • Planned date night at home inside or in the back garden.

Some of you might not consider any or all a delayed gratification but for us it makes sense.

Delayed Gratification Brought Us Closer

Despite the hardships of moving to a new country when I was 30, we’re the happiest we’ve ever been.

We’ve been put through the ringer many times on our journey and continue to grow.

What we both can say without regret is that getting rid of debt although tough was the best fight of our lives.

There’s nobody I know that has had a perfect run at paying off debt including ourselves.

My advice is to only learn from those who have lived it and succeeded. If they have a story to tell, listen carefully and find ways to apply their process to your lifestyle.

Debt-Freedom is not about winning it’s about peace of mind, comfort and growth.

Discussion: Tell me something that you’ve done that involved delayed gratification in the comments below.

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  1. I’m 22 and just started a high paying job. I was raised dirt poor by parents who swear by instant gratification. My mom and dad were both minimum wage. We would have a brand new car and 50” TV, but I slept in the same bed than my brother up until I was 14 because we had a very tiny appartment.

    When I grew up and started seeing the expenses my parents made for their own comfort, at first I was angry. Not at them, but angry because I had spent my entire life wondering if it would ever get better, only to find out that it could’ve been better had it not been for my father’s spending habits. I have a lot of love for them but that is something that definitely stuck with me.

    Got my first job at 11 (worked with my dad every week-end at the factory), and then once my 80$ paycheck hit i’d spend it all. That’s what i had been taught, and it felt good. Then I had to start spending it on essential things, around age 13 when my parents got in too much debt. I think that’s when I started exploring how I felt about money. When I got my first appartment, I realised I felt way better having less/older things and less stress, than a lot of things but a lot of stress.

    Anyway, I feel like i’m oversharing and rambling, but I thought this post was great. I’m kind of nervous about my good job, because I’m scared that now that I ACTUALLY have money, I’m gonna go back to my old ways. But discipline is important.Thanks!

    PS: Sorry for my english, i’m in Quebec.

    1. Your story sounds very familiar to someone else I know. She didn’t want to grow up broke and worrying about paying the bills. Today she is a millionaire and still saves money and keeps life simple and frugal. I think what you are doing is great and never be scared about the money just have an action plan in place and the rest will follow. Thanks for sharing your story and your English is perfectly fine.

  2. Delayed gratification taught me how to better organize my wardrobe, save money, get an education while remaining stylish. Like a lot of people my age, am in a female in my early 30s,I spent a lot of money on fashion. This always resulted in me going over budget or not having enough funds to do other things I really wanted to do like travel and go back to school as I was pivoting in my career and would benefit from having a diploma to go with my experience on the job. I decided to do a no spend year to curb my clothes shopping habit. The first year was tough. I place a lot of emphasis on looking good so how could I look good when I wasn’t shopping the latest trends. I joined the capsule wardrobe bandwagon but I couldn’t shop for new items but wear what I already had. That year taught me to better organize my closet that by the following year, I had gotten over my shopping addiction. I could browse websites without feeling like buying anything because, in my mind there was no money in the budget for new clothes.I only went to the mall when I needed something specific and would only go to the one or two stores then leave. In that time, I was able to save money for travel and took a few great trips- Scotland, Portugal. I was also able to start taking classes towards my career because I had extra money left to direct towards things that mattered. With school I took one or two classes at a time because I was still working full time. This helped me to save up for each class before the class begun and pay for it. I didn’t get any student loans as many advised me to do. To quit my job and just take a year and take these classes. I couldn’t afford to quit my job, I have a mortgage to pay. I also didn’t want any other debt.2.5 years now and am graduating this spring with my diploma. And no one at work have noticed yet that I wear the same 5 sweaters in rotation. Quality sweaters though, I have had them for 4 years.

    1. Hi NDI,
      What an awesome story to share with us at CBB. I love reading how people can turn their lives around when they are mindful of spending habits. A budget sure goes a long way provided the user properly adheres to it and as you pointed out it was tough. Have you shopped at second-hand stores to find quality clothing? We find some great bargains that last years and years. Thanks for sharing this wonderful story and congratulations. Mr.CBB

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