Delayed Gratification and a new Mattress

Delayed gratification is something that kids now don’t even hear about anymore . Everything in today’s world is “on demand”. You can get any TV show, movie or video clip on your TV or on the computer, any time you want. Listening to music is no longer a passive activity and you can download any song you like from the web, or right from your phone or music player to listen to instantly. Just about anything you can think of is available in a very short amount of time but is that really good for us?

I could go on and on about the problems instant gratification create such as the credit crisis, obesity, etc. but today I want to talk about delayed gratification.

My wife and I have been married for four years and we have been sleeping on a mattress that was handed down to my wife when she was still living at home. Honestly, I have no idea how old it is but it has been growing ever more uncomfortable as each day passes. I’m not the slimmest guy and my back really doesn’t appreciate the mattress’s shape nor it’s firmness. My wife doesn’t seem to have a problem with the mattress but I believe that’s more an emotional attachment she has created with it rather than her being comfortable or not though she is in much better shape than I.

Lately I have been noticing the mattress more than ever. One of my new years resolutions was to get in shape (surprise surprise) but I have actually been sticking with it this year and worked out in some form every day in January and so far every day in February too. Because of this, I have been pretty sore and much more tired than my previous sedentary self. I wake up in the morning and feel like I slept for only a few minutes.

We have been shopping around for a mattress for about two years now. The first time we decided to get a new mattress was before we started paying much attention to our money but we knew we didn’t want to put it on a credit card and that a new mattress was just too expensive to buy at the time. So we put it off. We didn’t realize we should start saving for one because it didn’t seem like that big of a deal at the time but come around the time when I started paying attention to money a year ago, we started putting a good amount of money away just as an emergency fund. That money and several other money pots have continued to grow since then and this week we were able to buy a new mattress with cash from our savings.

This was a big purchase. Anyone that has ever purchased a mattress will know there are mattresses in the lower hundreds to those costing upwards of a few thousand. Having stopped into the mattress stores half a dozen times over the past two years, my wife and I knew this and we were never able to look past the numbers. This time was very different. I didn’t feel the strain of money in the back of my mind while looking at the mattresses. I was able to focus on the bigger picture, the comfort and rest we will get sleeping on a new mattress. We were able to pick out a mattress that cost more than we would have thought spending on a mattress any previous visit.

This was unprecedented for me, being so money conscious for the past year but it was a good feeling because I knew we had money in our savings, separate from our emergency fund, separate from any money we had put aside for anything else specifically. This was money put away to buy a nice mattress and here we were buying one. Knowing exactly what we wanted and how much we had to spend made me so at ease I was even able to haggle a bit and had a couple hundred dollars knocked off the price.

I only had buyers remorse for about ten seconds as I climbed into bed on the old mattress as the new one hasn’t been delivered yet. As I climbed into bed I thought about the price for a split second..then I rolled over on our current mattress and as my leg and shoulder went numb, the remorse quickly passed but the feeling of satisfaction from having waited, and saved for the mattress will stay with me every time I sleep on the mattress because I know it was a smart, conscious decision.

That is the feeling of delayed gratification.

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9 People have left comments on this post

» YanaNo Gravatar said: { Feb 4, 2010 - 10:02:38 }

Your post was a reminder that my husband and I slept on a twin bed for 6 years before someone from his workplace gave us a queen sized bed. When the apartment manager came here to fix the bedroom window, he said, “This is the guest room, right?” LOL And his friend who helped move the old bed out was shocked that we slept on that. We’ve never bought a bed/mattress, and the one given to us was in good shape. However, since I wake up with back pain and sometimes neck pain, we are thinking it might be time to break down and buy a new bed. If we do that, we still will probably wait until we move to a new place, which we hope to do this year.

Delaying gratification is a great thing. Sometimes you find out you don’t need the thing at all.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Yana, thanks for your comment because your last statement is something I forgot to mention in my post. “Delaying gratification is a great thing. Sometimes you find out you don’t need the thing at all.”. That is another added benefit of delayed gratification, because in reality many of the things we want NOW aren’t necessary and by delaying the instant thought of “I must have it now” we have a chance to put more thought into the decision and will often find your money can be better spent elsewhere.

I will let you know how the mattress improves our sleep and if it was worth it. The total cost was 800$ delivered, with frame for a pillow-top, king (we currently have a queen). I also have a post planned for tomorrow with more info on buying a new mattress so stay tuned for that. I can’t imagine sleeping on a twin..especially since both my little girls end up in our bed by the end of the night ๐Ÿ™‚

» YanaNo Gravatar said: { Feb 4, 2010 - 11:02:02 }

I’ll be interested in tips on buying a mattress, and one thing I’ve learned from our mattresses is that the twin was better quality than the queen that we’ve been sleeping on since 2001. And the twin was purchased new in the early ’80s. It is probably still being used, as we put it outside our front window instead of tossing it (it was clean, too) and one of the neighbors took it. I should have taken note of the brands, but paid no attention. When we do get a new one, I want the best quality and the best value, though not necessarily the cheapest. We’ll get a queen at largest. Our apartment has large rooms, unlike the homes we have been looking at, and comparable bedrooms seem to come with homes that are more like mansions than what we are aiming for.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Yana, the tips are up as of this morning. They were pretty useful when we shopped for ours this week. I can’t wait for it to be delivered Monday. As for your comments, I am one that agrees that they just don’t make things like they used to. Some things I have gotten as hand-me-downs have outlasted new products by decades. Planned obsolescence is a real problem ๐Ÿ™‚

We probably won’t be getting another mattress for ten years, so I wanted to get a king even if it is a somewhat tight squeeze in our current home. That extra foot and a half will come in handy as our kids keep growing because as it looks now, they will never leave our bed ๐Ÿ™‚ jk hopefully soon our oldest will stop the 5am visits.

» Money FunkNo Gravatar said: { Feb 4, 2010 - 11:02:11 }

I hated the matress my husband and I slept on. Kinks in my back. It sucked. So I used my summer savings on a new matress this past year… thought we found a real comfy one…wrong. I hate this one too (husband agrees). But it is too late to turn back. The one I really want is $2500. I think one of these days soon, I am going to slurge on it. Figuring we keep matress at least 8 yrs, I think the investment for sound sleep is worth it.

Looking forward to hearing if your matress was a well worthy purchase.
.-= Money Funkยดs last blog ..Menu Plan Monday =-.

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

I agree, Funk, that the cost is worth it when you break that down over the amount of time you will actually use the mattress. I mean, sleep is a huge part of life! Think about how much a car costs and some people only spend an hour a day in their car at most. I was really worried about the return policy on the mattress and there were only a few that had an unconditional return but they were far more expensive, so I hope we made a good choice but I will be sure to update this post as we break it in. Out of curiosity, how much did you spend on your mattress you hate?

» JarmaineNo Gravatar said: { Feb 5, 2010 - 01:02:56 }

That was a very wise purchase! Really a long term investment ๐Ÿ™‚ Getting a good rest is really important to one’s health, so good decision on your part! Good luck with getting in shape as well, at least you know when you come home after a work out you can relax and rest properly!

Jesse MichelsenNo Gravatar Reply:

Jarmaine, I sure hope it turns out to be ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m really looking forward to a good nights rest and thanks for the encouragement about my health goals! I have seen definitive improvements already in how I feel and look and I’m working really hard this year to keep the goal going all the way to 2011 at least ๐Ÿ™‚

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