There are many virtues that you need to implement to say that you have mastered personal finance. When we say mastered, we mean you know that you are on top of your financial situation and you are in complete control of where your money goes.
Of all the virtues that is applicable in your financial life, none of them is as important as patience. If you think about it, this particular virtue will lead to a lot of financial habits that will allow you to improve your personal finances.
The role of patience in our financial behavior
Among the things that you will be encouraged to do is planning for major financial decisions. If you think about it, every decision, big or small should be part of a greater plan in your life. This is the only way that you can align all your decisions and make sure that everything that goes on in your life is leading you to a future that you want to have. But when it comes to planning, that means you have to exercise some patience. You need to think about every little detail of what you want to happen in your life so you can plan them realistically.
If you are impatient, you will exhibit impulsiveness that is fueled by your need for instant gratification. That is never a good thing when it comes to personal finance. Nobody excels in their finances with these traits. You need to take make the necessary plans that will take you to your goals and implement it one step at a time. That is how you can achieve what you set out to do.
According to a survey done and published on Gallup.com, American consumers are noted to be more careful in their spending but there is still a huge percentage that leaves a lot of room for improvement.
The survey revealed that 38% of the participants still make impulse purchases and 27% admitted to spending a week’s worth of pay for a major expense. Not only that 16% of the respondents said that they agree to the notion that when they get money, they should spend it immediately. Almost 3 out of 10 also believed that their lifestyle convenience is more important than saving.
While we deserve to spend our money for our convenience, it should not be done at the expense of our future self. If we fail to be patient enough to save for tomorrow, what will happen to us if the economy collapses again?
Our impatience is the one trait that puts our future in danger. that is because it is impatience that leads us to think that using credit to finance our purchases is always okay. This is not always the case and it is one aspect of personal finance that we need to tread carefully.
2 lessons about finances that you will learn from being patient
When you are patient, that are two important lessons that you will learn. These will prove to be very useful in your attempt to improve your personal finances.
It is not possible to have it all immediately.
We all want the American Dream and we want it immediately. There is no such thing as a quick get rich scheme that lasted long. Think about the lottery winners. Most of them splurged their money and ended up poorer than when they started. Being handed everything a once will make you irresponsible. But if you are patient enough to accept that you can only take one step at a time, then that is something that will make you more cautious of whatever personal finance achievement you will make.
One of the best illustrations that we are suckers for that quick acquisition of wealth is our gambling statistics. According to data found on an article published on Mint.com, Americans spent $60 billion on lottery tickets back in 2010. Casinos in the country had revenues of over $125 billion. Although some of these gamblers won, you can bet that they quickly went through these winnings and lost them all again in gambling.
You have to accept that being financially successful requires hard work and most of all, patience. You want to be aggressive, that is true. But it has to be done under the right context and with the right plans in place.
Building up your savings will take time.
The other lesson that you will get from being patience is that savings will take time to grow. We cannot save a big amount at once because our limited income is bound by a lot of financial obligations. We are lucky to have anything to save at all. We need to keep ourselves from feeling frustrated when our savings seem to be slow going. Remember that a dollar a day will eventually grow. Just be consistent about it and it will grow. It will just take time so you need to be patient.
According to statistics from Mintel.com, only 10% of Americans save their extra money. The rest will spend it and will not think twice about saving. This percentage is for 2014 – it used to be double in 2013.
To say that we need to improve is not enough. There is a need to improve and that need has to be acted on immediately. We cannot wait any longer because opportunities that we are getting right now might not last.
Results of applying patience in your financial life
If you are unsure about how you can start, then begin by practicing the virtue of patience. You can start with another aspect of your life until you reach the personal finance side.
Do not be blinded into thinking that what you need to focus on right now is increasing your income. This will never be the right solution. You have to understand that you can be debt free on a $30,000 a year income. It is not the amount that comes in but your behavior when it comes to using that money. When it comes to behavior, you should know that patience is among the top virtues that you need to work on.
Here are three results that will emerge from your financial patience.
- You will have no debt. This is a dream for a lot of us – having no debt that can compromise our limited financial resources. When you are patient, you will not feel the need to use credit for purchases that you want to make. You can find it in you to wait so you can save up for certain expenses that can be availed in the future.
- You will always have well planned purchases. Since you are taking your time, you will have well planned purchases. You do not have to rush through your spending. You will feel at ease in finding the time to plan when you can afford to make payments for what you want to buy. That way, you can set up your personal finances so that you are working for future expenses, and not slaving away to pay for past expenses. If you did not know, that is the scenario when you are in debt.
- You can achieve your financial goals faster. Managing financial goals is no easy feat. But if you are patient enough to manage your finances wisely to avoid debt and to make smart purchases, then you will have more extra money to invest and grow your wealth.
Patience may seem like a farfetched virtue to be effective in improving your personal finance. But it will help you develop a lot of habits that will be beneficial to your pursuit of wealth.