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The Joys of Delayed Gratification

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Recession Mama Michele Ashamalla: Whatever happened to saving up for something you really want? I remember (OK, I'm going to really date myself here) my mother saving the Green Stamps that she would get from the grocery store. I would paste them in these special little books and she would rubberband ten books together. Every few days, I would pore over the redemption catalog. I can't remember what Mom ended up getting with all those stamps, but I remember her saving them for a long time .... 


Studies have shown that people have greater and longer-lasting satisfaction with a purchase when they save up for it and anticipate it, thereby delaying their gratification. Some years ago, my daughter saved up to buy her own Game Boy, and she really seemed to enjoy that purchase -- for years

A few weeks ago, my 8-year-old son plunked down two years' worth of savings for ... an iPad. His allowance is between two and four dollars per week, depending on how many chores he does. Every holiday (from Valentine's to Halloween), my in-laws send each child a card with $5, so that adds up. Throw in a little birthday and Christmas cash from my parents and a few First Communion checks from relatives, and he almost had enough. 

For the first year or so, he didn't even know what he was saving up for; he just knew something he really wanted would come along. When he decided, I didn't help financially, but I did find a discount Apple Store gift card on Craigslist that saved him $80. 

At first, I was conflicted. Should an 8-year-old even have an iPad? Then I realized all the things he could have spent his money on, but didn't (candy and Pokemon cards come to mind), and I was so happy. 

I was so proud of him. He is loving his iPad and allows his sisters (and parents!) to use it whenever they like. He is having a blast playing around with it, and his typing skills are really improving. 

Now I am inspired to save up for something of my own. I wonder what it will be? Maybe three college tuitions ....

next: 3-Year-Old Taylor Momsen's Shake 'N Bake Commercial
2 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous November 16, 2010, 10:14 AM

No, an eight year old shouldn’t have an ipad. Nobody should. Apple products are terrible and are never compatible with other software out there. At least microsoft products can generally be played around with, added onto, and freeware added. The same with Linux. Unfortunately, as far as Apple products are concerned, once something goes wrong everything has to be dumped and a whole new computer bought.

The one thing Apple did do was bring aesthetics to computers. That’s the reason so many come in different colours now or headphones are all sleek and shaped differently. Aesthetics are good about making a product popular. They don’t, however, make it worth the money.

Joline Liberto March 27, 2011, 11:37 AM

Excellent contribution,I reckon you’ve without a doubt gained a website I would like to visit on the regular basis. Great stuff.

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