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saving instead of spending / delayed gratification

Jocelyn Campbell

Joined: Nov 09, 2008
Posts: 3118
Location: Missoula, MT
My daughter found an excellent article about how the brain works in spenders and savers.

A quick skim found all sorts of juicy tidbits.

It includes a lovely summary of "the marshmallow study" - one of my favorites.

They've also found that by using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) on the part of the brain that's all about saving and delayed gratification, they can turn spenders into savers.

While I have this big urge to go zap some brains now, barring that, I'm curious:  what are some other things folks do to re-train their brains for taking the long-term view?

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ronie dee

Joined: Mar 04, 2009
Posts: 594
Location: Cosby MO
Every now and then I go to the library and get a book on frugal living/spending. After I read the "frugal book"  I spend a whole lot less for quite a while. Works for me every time.

If I have a goal to look forward to, it helps to know that in the future I'll be getting something better, than I'd get if I spent the money now on instant gratification stuff.

It the professor in the article could have presented the daughter with a goal of what the money could offer her in the future, instead of just offering the money, maybe she would have taken the free education at the professor's university. But who can predict what kids will do at that age...if all the friends, or just one friend is going to another school, they may choose the same path as the friend.

Sometimes the answer is not to cross an old bridge, nor to burn it, but to build a better bridge.
nancy sutton

Joined: Feb 22, 2010
Posts: 446
Location: Federal Way, WA - Western Washington (Zone 8 - temperate maritime)
I find that when I am successful  in keeping my attention/focus on 'here & now' (requires a significant effort), a side benefit is increasing gratitude and the realization that I am very, very wealthy, and actually need very little, if anything, more to be happy.  (I think Alexia was alluding to this perspective.) .I can walk, talk, see, laugh, etc.; that a little hunger makes most everything delicious (beans and rice can go a long way); I can solve puzzles and make stuff (see book "Flow" etc.  Rich indeed, especially when almost half the world lives on $2/dy.  And saved $ makes me even richer! in actuality and potential.

(btw, in my olden days, staying out of stores used to help take the pain out of limited income, but, now with the internet, that strategy doesn't quite work

It's time to get positive about negative thinking    -Art Donnelly
Fred Morgan

Joined: Sep 29, 2009
Posts: 977
Location: Northern Zone, Costa Rica - 200 to 300 meters Tropical Humid Rainforest
What helps me is that I figure you can be an exploiter, or a helper. I try to consume as little as I can, so I have more to help others - and more to acquire land to protect.

My gratification isn't from what I buy, but from what I build. After all, when I buy something, it wasn't me who made it. A tomato I grow is so much more enjoyable than one I buy, because more of me is invested.

I find money cold, so easy to use it, lose it. But land, especially land you are improving, is priceless. After all, if you know what you are doing, you aren't going to starve, if you have land - and we sure aren't going to freeze here, either. 

Sustainable Plantations and Agroforestry in Costa Rica
Burra Maluca
Mother Tree

Joined: Apr 03, 2010
Posts: 7378
Location: Portugal Zone 9 Mediterranean Climate
Fred - I agree totally with the idea of consuming as little as possible and using the savings to buy land. 

I managed to get out of debt, finally, about 18 months ago and have been skimping and saving putting a little cash aside every time I could.  Which has meant that I'm now in the position of being able to afford a lovely little patch of land that's just come up for sale outside my village, which is mostly wooded and should keep us going in firewood pretty well forever.  And there's a grassy patch on it just perfect for any relatives who want to escape and build themselves a log cabin or somesuch.  It seems an amazing reward for a few months of careful spending.

How works

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Shimon Pearson

Joined: Dec 27, 2012
Posts: 5
Knowing to how spend the money wisely and being frugal is important in order to save more money. I think i need to learn more about TMS, who knows I might turn into a saver rather than a spender. I'm pretty sure my wife will be very about it.
I agree. Here's the link:
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