We live in the NOW generation. We want to hear a particular song NOW. We want to see a particular movie NOW. We want to read a particular book NOW. Because of internet and smart phones, everything is at the tip of our hands. It scares me to think that if this much is at the tip of my hand, what is the future for my kids like. To get back to the point, the internet has programmed us to have everything now, we want a particular dress, even though we can’t buy it now, we can have the satisfaction of ordering it in the meantime.
Internet has spoiled us so much that we feel handicapped when we don’t have fast internet, lose signal or we have an internet fault, then the telecommunications guys take their sweet time to get to your house to come and fix the internet. Between me, you and my walls, I know for a fact, that the Telkom guys are actually getting paid by individuals to fix faults privately. Don’t ask me how I know that.
Though it is a fact that we live in a NOW generation could it also be that we are genetically engineered not to have self control. Have you heard these sayings;
“Be fully present”
“You only live once”
“Fear of Missing Out”
All these sayings are geared to trigger that subconscious part of us that has no self control. Have you ever noticed that when you hear yourself saying “You only live once” or “Fomo”, nine times out of ten, you are about to make a bad decision. You are about to eat that chocolate cake that you know you shouldn’t, you are about to use your credit card on something that you know you will regret in the morning, you are about to do something you know in your heart is stupid.
All the above relate to a bias that’s intrinsic to a lot of us called Self control Bias. It is the self control bias that stops us thinking objectively about money. Our goals could be well defined but we get into the shop, all that flies out of the window. Shops put chocolate, gum, sweets, etc by the counter because they are manipulating our self control, they know that it will be hard for us to resist.
I am busy writing a blog right now, (gaining short term satisfaction) at the sacrifice of studying for my exams in December (long term gain). This is a bias that affects a lot of us, we need to be aware that it exists and then work on minimizing its impact on our finances. If you constantly find yourself in debt because of self control, give yourself guidelines,
1. I will not spend more than $x per day
2. I will wait 3 days before buying something more than $x
3. I will not go to the shops hungry
4. FOMO and YOLO can pass me by.
How much self control do you have? Are your finances always in order, if so, what’s your secret?