Anticipation Increases Value

Well, we are about two days away from Christmas. And if you are a child or around lots of children or just very childlike, you are extremely excited for Friday. You are out-of-your-mind excited for this magical morning that you wait for all year where you are going to have all this Christmas magic unfold before you.

And part of the reason it is so magical, is because there is so much anticipation. This is backed up by research, for which I cannot site. As we increase the time that we anticipate the thing happening, there is more satisfaction and more inherent value derived from that thing.

So, if you are going on vacation, and you say, “Hey, we’re going tomorrow! Spur of the moment!” That’s fun. That is a cool surprise. Love it. Or you could say, “You know what next year, we are going to Germany.” And you talk about it at the dinner table. And the kids learn more about Germany. And you research and plan the things you’ll do. The longer you have to wait, to anticipate something, the greater perceived value of the end result.

And Christmas is the exactly this. We start seeing Christmas trees in the stores in September. We have to plan months ahead for travelling to see family. We have to buy gifts and wrap gifts. And plan parties and attend parties. There are Christmas lights and Christmas music. Lots of time to just get more and more excited about the whole thing. And because of all the waiting—all the dreaming, all the planning, and all the anticipation—there is more joy.

How is this like budgeting? Simple—Rule Two.

As you look ahead and decide what you want your money to do, there is some waiting time built in. You are saving, and waiting and planning, and in so doing, you are increasing the value of whatever it is you are saving for.

The fact that you didn’t get the instant gratification, you didn’t just decide you wanted it and order it that day, that time—and the paying in cash—makes it so much more satisfying. You’ve actually increased the joy this thing will bring you.

Just something to think about.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! I hope you have a great time with family, turn your phones off, unplug and enjoy the season.


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