Remember the brilliant albeit creepy classic film “Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory?” Remember the scene where Veruca Salt the snotty girl with the rich dad wants one of the golden geese, even though Wonka says no. “I want it now!” she screams at her father and she demands instant gratification. Here’s the scene in case you forgot how great this cult classic is:

Apart from connecting you with your childhood we want you to think of what Veruca gave up because of her impatience. Not only did she not get a golden goose (and a trip to the furnace for her petulance) she missed out on scoring Wonka’s entire chocolate factory, just because she couldn’t wait to have something she wanted. We do the same thing when we refuse to wait to make important purchases and give into our inner Veruca. There is a much greater prize waiting to be won, doing more with your hard earned dollars. Do you really need it now? Our guess is the answer is probably no. Patience is the most powerful financial virtue because it can help you save on almost all of your purchases. Embrace it and enjoy the lifetime savings that accompany it.

Push-back Is Welcome

Now of course many of you will say “some things need to be purchased in an emergency sometimes you cannot afford to wait.” we couldn’t agree more. If your appendix is about to burst we hope the words “be patient” DON’T flash through your mind. Unquestionably there are purchases that simply cannot be put on hold. Don’t put off going to the doctor hoping for a better price later, that would be ridiculous. Don’t put off replacing your broken furnace until after winter because you want to get a good deal. However there are thousands of purchases we make in a lifetime that we could have gotten for cheaper if we had embraced the money saving virtue of patience.  Let’s look that an example of something that people often struggle to wait to buy, their car.

Where Patience Costs Us-Our Cars

We all know the cliches about buying used “when you drive a new car off the lot it loses 30% of its value” and we don’t want to insult your intelligence by listing them out. Seriously though, do we even understand how much being patient in a car buying decision can save us? The average car loan is now at just over $30,000 for 68 months with an average payment of $503 per month. If the average military member earns about $30,000 per year that car loan is a burden few can afford to carry. What if instead you chose to save $10,000-$12,000 and buy a used car you can pay cash for? Beyond saving the $20,000 in extra purchase price you would also save all of the financing as well. For a depreciating asset it makes sense to keep your costs as low as possible.

Or what if you were the epitome of patient and you showed up at the dealership and wrote a check for $30,000. How much of a bad-ass would you feel like if you did that? The salesperson would be shocked and you would walk away without paying a dime extra for that car. In truth almost everything that we buy can be had for less if we choose to wait. Time causes prices to drop and also gives us time to think seriously about our purchases. Embrace patience, you’ll have more money in your pocket.

Have any good stories about how embracing patience paid off? Post a comment below.