Discipline? Self-control? Are you kidding me? Considering how much modern advertising offers instant results and convenience, these concepts can get downright hokey if not corny and updated. In fact, one would be tempted to think that these values made more sense back in the days of Ozzy and Harriet or ‘Leave it to Beaver’ but not in today’s fast-paced, hectic, mobile, digital Information Age where results come in fast and furious and convenience is king.
Regardless of how outdated these virtues might seem to most of us, they actually hold the key to being successful in personal finance. In fact, self-control and discipline hold the key to succeeding in many other things besides saving and investing. You need these virtues to succeed in school. You definitely need them when it comes to looking for, starting, and building a career. They are indispensable when starting, building, growing, and maintaining a business.
Let’s face it-many people are uncomfortable when the words discipline and self-control are mentioned. That’s precisely the reason they are needed more now than ever. Their relative rarity ensures that people with these traits have a higher chance of succeeding than if they didn’t have these virtues. Read the guide below on how these virtues can lead to a bigger retirement and investment nest egg.
Controlling our urges helps us take our expenses
If all it takes for you to whip out your credit card and make a purchase is a flashy SALE sign at a mall shop or an ad online, you might find it very hard to pay off your credit cards much less save up for retirement or investments. You are not alone. A large proportion of Americans are struggling with big credit card statement balances.
It does not have to be this way. All it takes to reduce our credit card purchases and monthly debt is to control our urges. One effective way to hold our impulses in check is to consciously ask ourselves if we need something or merely want it. If we just want it, we then have to force ourselves to wait until we have enough cash to buy the thing outright. It takes a bit of getting used to, but once you are able to do this, the amount of impulse buying you do will be reduced and the new charges on your credit card will decrease.
Taking action now to prepare for the future
Always remember that the things you do now impact the future. Your decisions now impact your future. The more you do now, the better your future will be. Always think about this when trying to fight the urges to spend on the latest smartphone, gadget, or luxury item. You are building your future by saying NO now so don’t feel too bad by refusing to buy stuff you don’t need.
Also, gain some assurance and feel good about the fact that every time you successfully say no to an impulse buy now is a victory in self-discipline This is something to be proud about and something to be celebrated. Make every day a celebration by exercising some act of self-discipline. Say no more often, you will feel better about it in the future.
Saving now for future enjoyment
One of the biggest reasons why people have a tough time saying no to impulse buys in the present is because they associate buying with enjoyment or positive emotions. Turn this around by feeling good when you save some cash at the end of the day. It does not have to be a lot of money. Just set aside some money at the end of the day and really savor the feeling of having overcome the pressure to spend it. Celebrate the moment and take pride in it.
Do this day after day and after a while you would rather feel good because you have saved rather than enjoying spending money on stuff you don’t need.