Our 'want it now' attitude hampers property plans
Sep 26, 2021
A need for instant gratification is hampering people’s ability to plan for their financial future. This includes short-term goals such as saving for a holiday, medium term such as a house purchase and long-term goals such as building a pot for a child’s education.
New research by HSBC UK has revealed that nearly half of Brits (49 per cent) say the modern world has made them develop a ‘want it now’ attitude and almost two in five (38 per cent) Brits confess to feeling impatient in life.
When it comes to finances, four in ten (40 per cent) people admit to spending more money to get what they want quicker, rather than waiting and making savings that could add up over time.
The study also found that despite saving an average of £1,279 over the last year – likely to be due to lockdown – almost two in five (38 per cent) of young adults aged 18-34 have never considered investing it. Almost one in five (19 per cent) say that the time it takes to see returns would put them off investing.
The survey found that 57 per cent of this age group blame the rise of technologies like smartphones for this unwillingness to wait, which also applies to finances. This instant gratification is costing them. Four in 10 are willing to spend more money to get the things they want sooner.
To help impatient Brits take control of their longer-term finances, HSBC UK has partnered with psychologist Jo Hemmings to help people conquer their short-term outlooks and set themselves up for longer term success.
“Social media, online shopping and FOMO have all encouraged our brains to rewire, so that instant gratification becomes an everyday way of life. There are a few simple things we can all do to help us retrain our brains."
The ability to stick to our long-term goals is often referred to as willpower or self-control and delaying gratification is a central part of this behaviour. Practicing makes perfect.
Write down goals and break them into smaller ones
This way you’re protecting yourself from instant gratification by making some decisions for yourself beforehand. This is very useful when trying to hit financial goals, such as saving to buy a house, or a wedding.
Actions have consequences
Just like self-control can help you achieve your goals and improve your physical and mental health, a lack of self-control can have adverse effects on your self-esteem, education, career, finances, relationships, and overall health and well-being.
Set realistic deadlines
Work out what you can definitely afford, without unrealistic sacrifices you may not be able to keep. Look at extras you can do without and you are much more likely to succeed.
Celebrate small gains
When you hit smaller goals – like saving to a figure that ends in a couple of 00’s for example – treat yourself to an evening out or a ‘gift’ to yourself like a takeaway, or the clothes you’ve wanted for a while.