The Clarity That Comes With Delayed Gratification

In case you’re not already familiar with our 5-Year Plan (which, by the way, isn’t 100% accurate anymore…amazing how plans change :-)), it entails the purchase of a truck and an Airstream, after which we plan to hit the road full-time as I begin working as a travel nurse.  That being said…the other day, my wife and I nearly brought a brand-new (the horror!!!  lol!) Chevy Silverado 2500HD pickup truck.

Having spent the past couple months discussing it, along with my researching of various trucks, including used ones, we had test driven and settled on what we wanted.  Our initial plan was to get our Jeep paid off and then purchase the truck closer to our yet-to-be-determined departure, keeping the Jeep in storage during our travels.  We “love” our Jeep and have often said that we are planning to keep it forever, even making it our son’s first car one of these days.  However, we have come to realize that, while the Jeep is awesome, it’s not really the Jeep that we love.  I had wanted this Jeep for two years while we were in college and was super happy when we made the purchase after graduation but what we love are the memories that we’ve experienced with it:  for instance, my wife drove it out here to South Dakota when we altered our course from Texas; we brought our son home from the hospital and I strapped his legs in wrong as I hurried to get him in because it was so cold and snowing out; and we took him to his first St. Louis Cardinals game during our first ever visit to Denver.  You get the idea…it’s those memories that we now and will forever cherish.  Realizing this allows for the understanding that we will continue to make new and amazing memories; it’s just going to eventually be in a different vehicle.

Knowing what sort of things we were looking for in a truck, I did what any decent PF-blogger would do and I began looking for a used one.  I was looking for one that was in the 2-4 year old range and sadly, my research resulted in trucks that fit into either one of two categories.  One group had an average of 40,000+ miles/year driven on them; the second consisted of trucks that hadn’t necessarily had the crap driven out of them but were damn-near just as expensive as a brand-new one.  Neither scenario suited my wife and I so we then turned to looking at new.  We stopped by a dealer last week, test drove one, and then went home to sleep on it while I, of course :-), ran the numbers.

Over the next couple days, I figured the trade-in value of the Jeep versus our pay-off, the increased monthly payment, insurance, and fuel costs, and then detailed out the increased costs and broke it down to how much extra the truck would cost us out of each paycheck.  We knew the math, were comfortable with it, got pre-qualified with our bank, and decided to head back to the dealership the following day.

We drove the truck again, along with a couple others for comparison, determined for certain that it was what we wanted, and had the salesman (who was truly not your typical salesman and a genuinely awesome guy) run the numbers.  We sat down, he slid the paper over to us with the numbers (that I already knew and expected!) and I froze.  After coming to my senses and realizing that we had already prepped for this, I called my bank.  The loan officer, who happened to be the only one that could help me, just so happened to be out on a late lunch.  We decided to head out and get some food, as well, and told our salesman we’d be back.  Unfortunately for him, lunch was just the opportunity we needed to talk more and realize that there is no rush to buy this particular truck and that waiting another 12-18 months will allow for us to be in an even better position financially.

Since we had kept him busy through lunch, we actually took our salesman a Subway sandwich and explained that, having thought more about it, we were going to hold off that day.  However, I explained to him our reasoning and thanked him for his time, as this opportunity allowed us to fully realize that the particular truck we had driven was exactly what we wanted and that we will be back to buy from him as soon as the time is right.  Maybe this wasn’t the best thing to say from a negotiating position but, honestly, I don’t really care.  We walked away from their offering of a very respectable deal, without any negotiating on our part, so I anticipate similar treatment the next time we go back.

The fact of the matter is, when our time comes to live on the road full-time, our Jeep will be all but useless to us.  Even if it had the available towing package on it, the thing could barely pull a wheelbarrow, let alone an Airstream.  All-in-all, choosing to practice delayed gratification with this truck purchase will allow us to continue improving our financial situation and decrease the cognitive dissonance that often accompanies large purchases.  We will also have the opportunity to ease our way into the increased costs associated with the truck over our Jeep.  For instance, now knowing the increased insurance costs, I went ahead and increased the automatic paycheck allotment to our Ally bank account set up for our auto/life insurance premiums.  By the time we buy the truck, we will have long forgotten this increased cost and its effect on my paychecks.

The next delayed purchase will be the Airstream, which we are planning to check out next week on our trip to Denver.  I’m extremely excited and hope it’s as awesome as I’ve been building it up in my head for the past several months.  I’ll let you know!

What are some major (or minor) purchases you’ve made, having practiced the art of delayed gratification?  Are you delaying something right now?  If so, are you doing so with the hope that your desire for the purchase will fade?  Or are you simply waiting for the “right” time?

– RN on Fire

P.S. – I’ll continue searching for the “right” used truck in order to save us some dough, as well.  If you have any suggestions on any sites to check out, please let me know!  🙂


27 thoughts on “The Clarity That Comes With Delayed Gratification

    • Thanks a bunch, man; we’re happy with our decision to wait. I’ll go ahead and admit it here though…I imagine we’ll end up buying new when it’s all said and done.

      My wife (and admittedly myself) are partial to not worrying about what may/may not have been done to a used truck that we will be travelling across the country and living in for an unknown amount of time. I fully realize there’s not much rationalizing to be done with regards to the depreciation aspect of a new vehicle but, in the end, we’ll just have to decide whether our peace of mind is worth the extra costs.

      Who knows, though? I’ll keep scouring the internet and watching the used market; maybe I’ll run across a diamond in the rough. The beauty of delayed gratification is that we don’t NEED a truck RIGHT NOW! so we have the luxury of making sure we make the best decision for us…whatever that may ultimately be.

      Thanks a bunch for commenting. I’m really looking forward to seeing our potential future home next week!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I have been searching for a “new to me” car to replace my 20 year old beater for over a year. I am hoping that my current car lasts another year or so, so that when I am ready to buy I am able to pay in cash and I will know exactly what I want (I already have a rough idea). I can’t imagine how hard it was to walk away from what you wanted though! Congrats on practicing restraint!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for commenting…and for following along with my family’s journey. It’s a pleasure to have you along! I really hope you find what you’re looking for; that’s incredible that you’re planning to pay cash for your next car.

      Please refer to my comment to Fifth Wheel Physical Therapist for my full disclosure confession but, it won’t matter whether we buy new or used, the truck will have to be financed. It was tough to walk away from what we wanted but it was ultimately the smartest decision right now…so thank you for the congrats. 🙂

      Again, best of luck in finding what you’re looking for!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was just about ready to shout “NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!” at the screen, so I’m glad to hear that you’re going to wait a little longer 🙂 And I believe you are totally spot-on with your title – clarity does come with delayed gratification. This has never come easy for me, but I’m starting to practice it with the little things so that I can master it with the big things someday. I think I’ve told you this before, but I waited like 5 months to buy my Kalita Wave. Seriously, it’s only like a $30 item, but I wanted to buy it with my money – money that came from gifts, side jobs, etc. I didn’t want to pull money from my paycheck for this so I just waited, and waited, and waited. It was a great exercise in delayed gratification.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ernie; I’m glad you didn’t yell at me! lol!! 🙂 And I was rather proud of that title so I’m glad you like it. 🙂

      Delayed gratification never has (and, honestly, still doesn’t) come easy for me either. That’s still awesome that you waited so long for your Kalita Wave. I still haven’t bought one and continue to be okay with our Keurig for now. Maybe I’ll upgrade in the next few years for when we hit the road. I’m not sure what sort of power the Keurig uses but coffee pots, in general, use a considerable amount of energy, which wouldn’t be too great on an Airstream’s batteries if we’re not hooked into a power source.

      While I would love to already have our truck sitting in the driveway, we are content with our decision to wait until we get some other, more important matters, taken care of first. Buying the truck now wouldn’t have destroyed our capabilities to continue what we’re doing but it would have hampered it so it was definitely the right move for now.

      FYI…please be sure to read my response to Fifth Wheel Physical Therapist for my full disclosure confession so that, one of these days, you won’t be super shocked! lol 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Can’t tell you how many times we’ve done the same thing! Two years ago we were sitting in the sales office of a RV dealer (he was the typical salesman!). As he “ran the numbers” on the used travel trailer we were there to see, something in my gut screamed noooo and we bolted for the door. No goodbye, no sandwich for our salesman. Thank goodness we didn’t buy that camper! As it turned out it wasn’t the right time for us to set off on a full-time travel adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s incredible and I totally relate to that feeling. I can’t really describe it but that’s pretty much exactly how I felt when I looked at the paper with the numbers on it. Like I said, I already knew exactly what those numbers were going to be and had accepted it but, in that moment, it just didn’t feel right.

      I need to call the bank loan officer and thank her for taking that late lunch! lol 🙂


  4. Not so much delayed gratification but putting off completely a landscaping project in advance of our house sale in two years. No chance of recouping the costs with work like this. Perhaps partial but not close to full return of investment.
    We wil use the money to keep working for us and maybe roll into plans for our mountain home that we will FIRE to in two years. Moving to the mountain home will be enough gratification in itself!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s an interesting way of looking at that decision and makes perfect sense. We’ve done some landscaping updates to our rental home. Nothing overly costly; more so for our own enjoyment and the activity of being outside. Also, it’s a lot of fun to watch our kiddo as, this year, he is getting old enough to participate in the fun and watch the flowers sprout and talk about the “berries” and “tatey’s” that are coming along in the garden, as well.

      That’s so incredible that you guys are a mere two years 😐 away from FIRE; it’s going to be here in no time at all. I’m very happy for you guys and look forward to continue watching as your journey unfolds! 🙂


    • Priorities are definitely key. Like I told Ernie, I would love to have that truck sitting in our driveway right now but having the forethought and realization that waiting will allow us to better position ourselves financially over the next year or two is remarkable. My entire life, I’ve never been someone to delay gratification, so it was a rather profound moment for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. There are things my wife would like to do: the kids rooms and the out door lightning… O keep pushing it back… no real reason, the budget is there, but is it really needed?
    The outdoor light was not there the past 8 years, does not look to be vital to me…
    The kids room, well they for now only sleep in it and have plenty room for their clothes. Why change?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Nice story. I think we delayed gratification when we bought our house, partly because we wanted to save up a bigger deposit and be in a more stable financial position. And then we renovated the inside and paid cash but then delayed the outside deck until we had saved up the cash. I think it meant more to us too because we had to wait longer.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you; that’s awesome to hear your utilization of delayed gratification, as well. You’ve made me realize that I actually forgot an incredible quote that I intended to incorporate into the post: “what we obtain too cheap (easily), we esteem too lightly.”

      Thomas Paine, author of Common Sense, The American Crisis, and The Rights of Man during the days of the American Revolution, was talking about freedom with this but I feel it certainly pertains to material possessions, as well.

      The “easy” thing to do would have been to just buy the truck, but delaying the purchase will allow us to better appreciate its eventual purchase due to the work we put in to accomplish other important goals first. I just might have to work on expanding that quote into a post of its own. Thanks!!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I love how you guys are setting aside money now for the increase in insurance premiums you will expect. My husband and I do this as well. This is something we haven’t done but will probably need to look into in the near future, but we will need a second car once our family grows. We have done well car pooling and getting by with one vehicle for the last 4 years but things will become difficult. We haven’t started planning for that expense yet in terms of putting it on paper. There are just so many other things to save up for. It will be used and Japanese,that’s about all I know right now.
    Its great that you guys listened to your gut on delaying the purchase.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! While we’re still not settled in the new versus used debate, we’ve definitely come to realize that we are good for now and the truck can wait a little while longer. And that’s awesome you use it often…thanks for stopping by! If you enjoy the blog, I hope you’ll decode to follow along. I’m gonna head over and check out your site, as well. 🙂


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