The Joys of Anticipation

When you were a child, do you remember how excited you got at the thought of your birthday or the holidays? Looking forward to celebrating or opening presents was sweet torture.

When was the last time you got excited about a purchase? When was the last time you bought something and it really made you happy for hours, days or even weeks?

As adults, we have the ability to buy what we want, when we want, whether we can afford it or not. A sad byproduct of this type of consumerism is the lack of anticipation. You no longer look forward to making a purchase. You just buy it on credit. Instead of the joys of anticipation, you often experience the dread of your credit card bill.

The items you purchase, outside the genre of toilet bowl cleaner and gas, should bring you happiness. It is possible to bring this type of joy back into your life. In fact, there are many positive side effects to using anticipation as a way to make purchases.

Even if you can afford an item right away, consider waiting before making the purchase. Anticipating an item gives you time to think about it. If you wait a day or a week and you are still thinking about it, chances are it will continue to make you happy. If a day or a week later you have forgotten about it, then you have saved money and clutter! This is an easy and useful habit for filling your home only with things that you love.

Using anticipation as a way to curb impulse purchases is an enjoyable way to control a harmful habit. Impulse purchases steal your focus from the financial goals you have set, whether it is a vacation in Italy or achieving a certain amount in your savings account. Using anticipation will help keep you focused to spend the money on the things you want.

Waiting to purchase an item adds to its personal value. You will appreciate the item you waited for so much more than anything purchased on a whim.

Are you ready to experience the joys of anticipation? Decide what you want. Write it down so you can stay focused and include the date that you want to make the purchase. Then, revel in the anticipation!

Melissa Tosetti is the founder of, an online lifestyle magazine about smart spending and rich living. Her book, "Living the Savvy Life" will be in bookstores later this year.