Immediate gratification is not a sin. Most people want it and it isn't just for kids. In their book "Boom: Marketing to the Ultimate Power Consumer, the Baby-Boomer Woman", authors Mary Brown and Carol Orsborn describe the female baby boomer's need for immediate gratification. William D. Novelli, CEO of AARP calls it "speed of value". Don't let marketers steal your joy. You can save for the future and keep the economy afloat with your share of consumerism. Here's how:

Harness Happiness Brain Chemicals
The psychological theory of neuro-linguistic programming uses powerful brain prompts to control thinking. Basically, you can psych yourself into feeling happy. Basically, it's easier to think of new ways to change your situation if you don't waste your time focusing on bad stuff.

Take Charge Of Your Economics
Don't wait around for someone to tell you the economy is getting better in order to feel good about your finances. Regardless of what the economy is doing, you can change your own personal outlook on the situation. Assume things will eventually get better and start acting like it will. Think positive!

Keep looking for ways you can profit from an economic upturn and be ready to act on it. You don't have to feel guilty about it either. For example, trim that long list of stuff you want to buy but can't afford. Keep a top ten list and don't add a new item until you've taken one off the list. (Learn more in Gauging Major Turns With Psychology.)

Change Your Mindset
Understand that rich does not mean happy. Ever hear people who come from humble beginnings say they never knew they were poor? That's because they never felt "in need". Evaluate which things in life are truly necessary and which are just luxury. Practice appreciation; you will realize the wealth you have - no matter how much money is in your wallet.

The key to feeling satisfied right now is itemizing and prioritizing. Don't take the pennies for granted, but don't count them as if they are your only source of happiness. Don't focus on the numbers, but on how you feel. Make decisions regarding the most important things and celebrate every step you make towards them. Don't wait, do it now! (You might also want to read Consumer Confidence: A Killer Statistic.)

Related Articles
  1. Fundamental Analysis

    5 Basic Financial Ratios And What They Reveal

    Understanding financial ratios can help investors pick strong stocks and build wealth. Here are five to know.
  2. Investing

    What Investors Need to Know About Returns in 2016

    Last year wasn’t a great one for investors seeking solid returns, so here are three things we believe all investors need to know about returns in 2016.
  3. Economics

    The Basics Of Business Forecasting

    Whether business forecasts pertain to finances, growth, or raw materials, it’s important to remember that a forecast is little more than an informed guess.
  4. Economics

    Forces Behind Interest Rates

    Interest is a cost for one party, and income for another. Regardless of the perspective, interest rates are always changing.
  5. Term

    Three Ways to Profit Using Call Options

    A call option gives an investor the right, but not the obligation, to buy a stock at a specific price, known as the strike price.
  6. Investing

    New Year, New Investing Strategy: Exploring ETFs

    Whether you’re a seasoned investor or new to the markets, you need to learn as much as you can about the present environment and how to navigate it.
  7. Term

    How Statistical Significance is Determined

    If something is statistically significant, it’s unlikely that it happened by chance.
  8. Term

    Understanding Rational Choice Theory

    Rational choice theory assumes an individual will always make prudent and logical decisions that yield the most benefits.
  9. Active Trading Fundamentals

    New Traders: Trade the Market in 5 Steps

    New traders shouldn’t throw money at securities without knowing why prices move. Follow these five steps to tilt the odds in your favor.
  10. Investing Basics

    The January Barometer: Is it Still Relevant?

    The January Barometer has been historically accurate. Will that be the case in 2016?
RELATED FAQS
  1. What is finance?

    "Finance" is a broad term that describes two related activities: the study of how money is managed and the actual process ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between positive and normative economics?

    Positive economics is objective and fact based, while normative economics is subjective and value based. Positive economic ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. How do mutual funds split?

    Mutual funds split in the same way that individual stocks split, but less often. Like a stock split, mutual fund splits do ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. What is the utility function and how is it calculated?

    In economics, utility function is an important concept that measures preferences over a set of goods and services. Utility ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How can I use a regression to see the correlation between prices and interest rates?

    In statistics, regression analysis is a widely used technique to uncover relationships among variables and determine whether ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. How do I calculate a modified duration using Matlab?

    The modified duration gauges the sensitivity of the fixed income securities to changes in interest rates. To calculate the ... Read Full Answer >>
Trading Center