How Instant Gratification Impacts Personal Finance?

What if I say, we all have become a slave to the feeling of instant gratification. Yes, that’s true. 

Feeling bored– we start watching insta reels, youtube videos or scroll through the feed of social media channels

Feeling hungry– we go one step further and order a high-calorie treat on Swiggy or Zomato

Feeling good– go out with friends for drinks and party or go for a long drive

Feeling bad– hit the shopping mall, buy things that makes feel good

Or, spending recklessly on items that have very less utility or add very less value to life, etc. 

What does it actually mean and how does it impact finances, let us understand. 

What does instant gratification mean?

In the dictionary, the meaning of the word gratification is a source of pleasure

The temptation to do things without delay for instant fulfilment of short-term desires, by foregoing future long-term benefits is commonly known as instant gratification. 

What is the harm in instant gratification?

The rise of the problem of instant gratification can be attributed to the marketing strategies of brands that promote the feeling of FOMO and YOLO.

  • FOMO: Fear of missing out
  • YOLO: You only live once

The very problem with the FOMO and YOLO factors is that you tend to lose your long-term view and start working on fulfilling your short-term desires. 

Instant Gratification Impact on Personal Finances

It directly hits your ability to save and plan your long-term goals effectively. 

When you start focusing on fulfilling more short-term desires, you spend recklessly and cut down on savings for meeting long-term objectives. You lose financial foresight which leads to financial instability in the near term. 

For example, when you are choosing to spend 1000 on shopping that is not planned, just to satisfy your short-term desire, you are not only saving ₹1000 less, but you are stealing your future financial stability. You will be more financially vulnerable during a period of crisis. 

How to Avoid and Overcome the Problem of Instant Gratification?

Not having a financial plan is the biggest reason, why most indulge in instant gratification

If your finances are sorted and you make proper allocation of your income towards meeting long-term objectives, savings, essential expenses, and other lifestyle expenses, you can easily overcome the problem of instant gratification.

You will become more responsible for spending your hard-earned money.

Think twice before you spend

If you are spending your money on unplanned things, slow down a bit and think twice before you spend. You should ask yourself, is it important, what value will I get, and how will it affect my finances.

It will help you to reduce impulsive buying and take a logical approach in deciding, whether to spend or not. 

What’s your circle of friends?

Research tells that you are the reflection of what you surround yourself with. It’s human nature and is very difficult to avoid. 

If you find yourself in such a group that is leading to the problem of instant gratification, or you are spending too much money on things that have low value, you should consider limiting your interactions. Friendship and personal finance should not be mixed. 

Bottom Line

Instant gratification not only impacts your personal finance but relationships and your mental peace in the long term. Yes, it’s difficult to hold on to the temptations but practising resisting the impulse to do the thing that gives immediate reward in the hope for a more-valued reward in the future.