The key to getting ahead financially is putting one foot in front of the other. There is no silver bullet or secret weapon. The only thing that works: Patience.
In a post for the National Debt Relief website, a blogger (who only goes by the first name Diana) offers a convincing outline about the role that patience plays in our efforts to stay on the right financial track. The article is worth the read, even if you’re not currently experiencing any financial challenges. But it’s important to remember that financial challenges aren’t just limited to conquering debt or budgeting with limited funds. Even people with plentiful resources don’t always have a good handle on their own checks and balances. No matter where you are in your financial life, if you’re trying to be a wise about your spending and saving, practicing patience will be to your benefit.
“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.”
When you are patient about money (how much you earn or how often you spend), you’ll learn a couple lessons. The first lesson is delayed gratification. Or, as Diana writes, “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.”
The second lesson is endurance, which is otherwise known as the payoff of continued hard work applied over a sustained amount of time. Winning the financial race, according to Barbara Dafoe Whitehead of the John Templeton Center for Thrift and Generosity, “involves slow, steady, disciplined effort before it yields substantial results. It means passing up short-term pleasures for longer-term gains.”