|Harrine Freeman is a personal finance expert and the author of, "How to Get
Out of Debt: Get an "A" Credit Rating for Free Using the System I’ve Used
Successfully with Thousands of Clients. She is the CEO of H.E. Freeman
Enterprises, a credit repair and personal finance services company. She is a
member of the American Association of Daily Money Managers, SPAWN, AAUW,
Toastmasters, NAWW and the Women Network. For more information on how to get out
of debt or to buy her book please visit
hefreemanenterprises.com She can be reached via
As a baby when you cried, your mother or father came running to take care of
you. As a toddler when you cried, your parents hugged or talked to you until you
stopped. As a teenager when you wanted something, you talked really nice and
sweet to your parents to get it. Throughout your life, you may have received
gratification instantly. So as an adult, it is only natural for you to believe
that you should continue to receive this treatment. Unfortunately, this attitude
affects every aspect of your life, even your spending habits.
It can be difficult to resist the temptation of the instant gratification
culture of America, which I call the "instant grati factor." Advertisers make
consumers believe everything can be obtained instantly by creating instant
cereal, instant coffee, instant meals, instant messaging, instant credit card
approval and online shopping. I have labeled this behavior as the "instant
gratification syndrome" or "instant grati syndrome." To determine if you are a
victim of "instant grati syndrome," ask yourself the following questions:
||If you see an item online or in the store, do you buy it immediately?
||Do you buy an item even if
you don't need the item or the item is not in your size?
||Do you buy an item with
your credit card even though you know you don't have the money to pay
the bill when it arrives?
||Do you get upset or
defensive when someone questions your poor spending habits?
||Do you rationalize your
poor spending habits by saying things like "I work hard. I deserve it",
"Why can't I have it?", "You are not my father. I can buy whatever I
want", "I just had to have it", "I don't have to answer to you", "I want
it now", or "I can buy it with my credit card"?
||Is your home filled with
unused items you purchased or items that still have the tags on them?
||Do you go shopping with
money already set aside to pay a bill?
||Do you hide items you have
purchased from your spouse, children, or significant other?
||Do you buy a new outfit
every time you go to an event or gathering?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, you are a victim of the
"instant grati syndrome." Here are 6 ways to avoid the "Instant Grati Syndrome":
||Make being debt free your
||Stop listening to the
instant gratification messages.
||Live your life like an
||Surround yourself with
people who are investors or people who are in a better financial
||Enjoy the little things in
||Stop being depressed.
This behavior is difficult to change, but it can be changed. Don't buy on
impulse - think before you buy, and determine if the item is a want or a need.
Embrace the old values of working hard and saving your money to buy something.
So, the next time you buy something with a credit card, ask yourself, am I a
victim of the "instant grati" syndrome?