Delayed Gratification Is Poverty Mindset?

Delayed Gratification , Or Deferred
Gratification, Is The Ability To Resist The Temptation For An Immediate Reward And Wait For A Later BIGGER Reward.

The conversation started innocuously enough.

Samsung’s new Galaxy Note 8 smartphone now costs $1,000. Just like the new iPhone 8.

At a modest exchange rate of ₦360 to $1, that’s pushes the price of this nice toy to close to ₦400.000. An amount that would buy an acre of land in my vilage Or, set up some people in small business. Thus is what some graduates make in a whole year, And in a country where minimum wage is ₦18K, it gives food for thought.  

Someone says,

At my present economic level, if I buy this device , my wife will divorce me, then my parents will disown me.

I would disown him too, as it would be completely foolish  to spend that much on a phone at his level of financial underdevelopment.  The irony we keep seeing.. people without ownership of a car, a plot of land / house of their own, employees, spending jaw_dropping amounts on what is essentially a wasting asset (a phone).

For every expenditure, there is an alternative forgone.

My point of view is, unless you make a living using a tool, why spend this much acquiring that tool (phone) when there are alternatives costing 15% of this amount, that offer the same level of functionality?

Predominantly, the productivity you get from a device like a phone is mostly based on the array of software. Ironically, many people who buy top-of-the range device for top prices do not have the interest / knowledge of how to get the best out of their devices – using adequate software.

We are always upgrading to the next shiny phones, without pausing to think if this is the best way of spending the money we go through so much stress to get.

This led someone to opine,

People upgrading to new phones all the time are shallow or don’t have better things to do with their money or life.

I have my antediluvian views about wasting good money on toys ..

Someone had this notion that people splurging good money on the new Samsung without a whimper means they are having economic progress.

Hear this..

More people pre-ordered this device than the cheaper one of last year. This is sure indication that their economic level got better year over year, compared to what we are having  our here in Nigeria, with the recession problem.

There is this guy who is spending money to buy gadgets, replacing, upgrading. Perpetually.

An employee.

There was this interesting image online of Mark Zuckerberg  and Bill Gates sitting on a sofa, discussing  You wouldn’t find any ostentatious trappings of wealth on these two guys.

Ironically, this is a very busy person who hardly has time to make use of these ‘adult toys’ – a monumental misapplication  of resources.

Asked to reassess his addiction to expensive gadgets that are mostly a needless financial leak, the answer was:

If I make good money, with year over year improvements in financials, I will enjoy best things in life. Why not?

What is the essence of money if not to spend to create happiness?

There was a counterpoint of the fact that very many rich people live a frugal life, despite being able to afford far far more .. like Warren Buffet who you would not catch spending a fortune on an automobile despite being able to take a major position in, say, a Tesla Motors.

“That’s their choice. It does not mean others can not choose to adopt a different lifestyle” , was the retort.

The lemming mindset of attempting to keep up with the Joneses (which often forms the backbone of going for certain items) was exposed with this further declaration…

A friend’s younger sister just bought the 2017 Nissan Armada for $67,000. She lives in Canada.

My advice to you is, if you earn good money, brother, enjoy it. You are not a cat with nine lives You have just one life to live.

My own understanding is, enjoying life it is not same as necessarily going for the most expensive things, especially when there are cheaper equally functional alternatives. Especially when you are an employee without enough passive income or personal business to enjoy that level of ostentation.

Besides, objects, or external things don’t create happiness.

Some will have so much but choose not to spend their money. I don’t belong to that school of thought. If what gives you a kick is to buy a big house with swimming pool inside, go right ahead

There is this maxim that, the more you earn, the more you tend to spend. This is called Parkinson’s Law  You then get trapped in the mindset that, the more you have available to spend on expensive gadgets, the more you are enjoying life.

I think It takes character to NOT be subject to that law.


Of course, all the talk about parsimony / frugality may just be the result of poverty mentality. Since we are the product of our environment, upbringing, etc, which definitely affects our reasoning.

But I am of the firm opinion that it is better to be really rich, than appear rich through the ostentatious use of objects that project wealth.

If your employer lives in a modest  ₦1.2 million / annum apartment, and you, his employee, stay in a mansion costing multiples of that, it is either you are very very smart in being able to earn far more income independently of your primary employment, or you are very much short-sighted.

Here is a scientific / psychology-of-money-saving-spending-habits perspective of better understanding why you act the way you do.

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