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The Power of Delayed Gratification by Fitz Villafuerte

By Lenddo Article Subscribe to RSS | August 16th 2012 | Views:

How do you save money?

The most common answers are to pay yourself first, create a budget plan and make sure that you spend less than what you earn every month.

Easy enough to do? Not really if you don’t have the proper discipline to follow through with your saving goal.

And if there’s one thing that can really help you get into the right mindset, inspire and motivate you into saving up – I believe it would have to be understanding the power of delayed gratification.

The Marshmallow Test

Back in 1972, a psychologist named Walter Mischel conducted an experiment now famously known as The Stanford Marshmallow Test. He gathered a group of four to six-year olds and placed each of them in an empty room.

He gave each child a marshmallow and told them that if they can wait 15 minutes and not eat the marshmallow, they’d receive another one as reward when he comes back. He then left the room and observed what each child would do.

Some children just ate the marshmallow right away, while others patiently waited until he returned.

More than ten years later, Walter Mischel checked up on the children, who were now college students at that time. He found that those who ate the marshmallows right away suffered from low self-esteem, are prone to envy and gets easily frustrated.

Meanwhile, those who were able to resist the tempation of eating the marshmallow grew up to be self-motivated, and emotionally intelligent individuals who excelled in their academics.

Mischel observed that the children who understood the concept of delayed gratification early on had better and more positive outcomes later in their life.

Delayed Gratification Is More Than About Money

The marshmallow test proves that patience does indeed, build character. And fortunately, for all of us, it is never too late to change and start believing in the power of delayed gratification.

The next time you get tempted into buying something you don’t need – resist the impulse. Every time you see extra cash in your wallet – save it instead of spending them. And when our dreams seem to be so far from reach – just be patient and focus on moving forward day by day.

Always remember that in delaying gratification and by understanding the power that it brings. You are not just saving money for your future – but you are also making yourself better in character; you are not just setting yourself up for financial wealth, but for a successful and happy life.


Fitz Villafuerte is the author behind Ready to be Rich, a renowned personal finance blog in the Philippines, and a speaker at one of Lenddo’s previous meet-ups. This is his first guest post on


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