The Road to Wealth is Paved With Patience — Too Bad It Passes Right by a Whole Lot of Tempting Side Streets

You’ve heard the platitudes before: slow and steady wins the race, patience is a virtue, good things come to those who wait, etc.

But oh, sometimes it’s so hard to be patient!

Because I want what I want, and I want it right now! (Are you channeling your inner three year old along with me?)

Of course, I want stuff like a large enough net worth to reach financial independence, and maybe even a large enough net worth to be able to make some major investments. (Like buying houses for cash…)

I see things out there that I would just love to invest in or to try my hand at, and I’m just not there yet. So I stick to the plan, and just feel impatient inside instead.

I try hard not to let impatience lead to unwise action, because a lot of those tempting side streets along the road to wealth are really just dead ends. Or worse, they lead to somewhere that’s nothing like what the travel brochure advertised.

If your financial goals seem a long way off, there are things you can do to help curb impatience, unwise side trips, and backtracking.

Think back to when you originally started — maybe you knew nothing about money at all, or were making all sorts of classic mistakes — and see how far you’ve come since then. Often the progress is more substantial than you realize.

Compare what happened in the past when you got impatient or overly enthusiastic. How did things turn out then? Usually that’s when we make the most (and biggest) mistakes. A good look at those is usually enough to prevent a repeat for me.

What types of things have worked for you when it comes to gaining the patience to take the steady (and ultimately rewarding) route?


  • My husband and I are impatient people and are trying to work on that now. We’ve gotten very lucky that our impatience hasn’t cost us much.

    What helps us now is that we set actual on-paper goals. We just repeat to ourselves our goal for early retirement or to fund two Roth IRA’s this year…that helps us ignore our immediate cravings and budget for them instead.

    Oh, and it helps me to stay busy with inexpensive hobbies. My blog, visiting family, and hanging out with friends takes up almost all of my time now…that leaves much less time to actually spend money. Tonight, we are having a Girls’ Night in with DVDs we already own while eating snacks we’re finding in our pantries…cheap but it will be so much fun!

    • Budgeting, those sound like good ideas. Reviewing your goals helps remind you what you’re going to accomplish, and keeping busy with inexpensive hobbies sounds both fun and smart.

  • Patience is for losers who can’t get sh!t done in a timely manner! Yes, that is my motto. Apparently, the Universe/God/Martha Stewart does not agree with me. ‘Tis ridiculous.

    Anyhoo, I’m with Budgeting in the Fun Stuff–hobbies and posting goals where I see them also helps. But when in a real pickle, I always turn to the bottle. Ain’t no want on the planet a good bottle of wine can’t fix. :P

  • Ken

    What keeps me in check is “Can I pay foe that with cash?” “Is that a want or a need?” I’m tired of payments.

  • Ken, being tired of payments is a real motivator, especially once you start seeing what a difference paying for things in full makes.