I received another great e-mail yesterday describing a reader victory. Joshua has been wanting to buy a Nintendo Wii, even though he knows it’s not the best use of his time or money. On Friday, he stared temptation in the face — twice! — and triumphed through force of will. Here’s his story:

I had a great “resist spending” story this weekend, and I had to tell someone. Last Friday I read about No Credit Needed’s idea of “$100-a-day rule to prevent impulse buying. For every $100 that he wants to spend on a new product, he forces himself to wait one day before making the purchase. Want a Nintendo Wii? Wait three days.” 

I was out with some friends later that evening and we stopped by Toys “R” Us. I don’t spend much money there, but my friend wanted to check out their action figures. (He’s a collector.) At Toys “R” Us, they had about a dozen Wiis. I’ve been wanting a Wii but nobody has them in stock. My friend kept encouraging me to purchase one while they had them. I really wanted one, but have a limited amount of cash. I’m a college student and do not have that much money.

I finally decided not to get a Wii and we left. I really wanted one and was barely able to say no. After a quick stop to Target we went back to Toys “R” Us because my friend wanted to grab a Wii and sell it online. Again, I wanted to get one. He gave me a look, like, are you going to get one? But I was able to walk away.

Once I got home, I was so glad that I had enough self-will to say no. I thought about it, and I know I could get one later after I graduate and start making more money. Besides it would just distract me from my study this next year, when I’m a senior. Plus, this would have left me tight financially the rest of the summer. I am very thankful that I have no debt, and that I am able to pay for school and have just enough left over to pay for essentials. I just struggle when I don’t have much money, like you said today in the blog, with desires to purchase stuff. Once I was home, I celebrated by transferring more money into my ING account so I wouldn’t have the money available to spend so easily (and so I can save more).

I’m impressed. Joshua exercised tremendous willpower, and I think he’s going to be happier for it.

During my senior year of college, I’d newly discovered the “power” of credit cards. I bought a new computer (a Macintosh SE) and hundreds of dollars worth of games to play on it. These games didn’t just suck up the money — they sucked up the time. My academic performance suffered.

For one assignment, I wrote a critique of the advertising for Wizardy VI: Bane of the Cosmic Forge. “Aha,” wrote my professor in response. “Now I know why the quality of your work has fallen off this semester.” Ouch. She’d hit the target.

I’m proud of Joshua for making this choice. He’s right — he’ll be able to afford a Wii in the future. I only wish that I’d known when I was his age that there’d be plenty of time for play after I was done with school and had begun saving money.

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