The marshmallow experiment, part 2Posted: January 11, 2012 | |
There it is. My chocolate bar. If I wait, I can really enjoy it, instead of simply receiving instant gratification followed by the disappointment that it’s gone and I can’t afford another one.
I’m trying the marshmallow experiment with spending money too. I’ve always been something of an impulsive shopper, but I’m trying to change that.
The one big “purchase” I would like to be considering right now is signing up to a new Japanese course (to improve my Japanese and learn more about the history and culture). I have various options, but I believe the most satisfying one will be saving up for an MA. I’ve looked into various evening classes and, while I’m sure they would be fun, I want to feel like I’m working towards something. (Actually, if I’m really honest, I want to do this course, but it’s an undergraduate degree and I don’t think I could ever afford it.)
Looking at the state of my savings account right now, saving up for an MA feels a little bit like starting to climb mount fuji right from the bottom. The mountain looms before me, and I have no idea how I will make it to the top in time for sunrise.
This MA course costs £2,826 (per year, for two years part-time) right now but fees are going up this autumn. Still, going by the current price, if I wanted to save up the total cost in advance I would need £5,652. If I wanted to have that amount within two years, I would need to save up £235.50 per month. Which, frankly, is entirely impossible on my salary. Over three years, it would be £157 per month – still impossible.
So I have a choice. Do I save up anyway, hoping to gain extra money along the way somehow to speed things up? Or do I go with the (still expensive) instant gratification of signing up to an evening class? Or, a final option, do I continue trying to convince myself that I can study by myself? I do have all the textbooks…