Interesting op-ed from the New York Times
While looking online for more information about Daniel Gilbert (I don't like to link to articles written by people until I at least know something about them, lest I link to articles written by serial killers or what-have-you), I discovered this. It's basically an ad for his book Stumbling on Happiness, but I found it to be a persuasive ad. If I had more time to read, I might even buy the book.
Deferred gratification is an interesting issue. I sometimes think about how hard it is for me to save even a small amount of money these days, and how quickly that small amount will be gone when it's time for the next big purchase, whether that is a $1500 vacation or a $5000 car or, I can't even really think about this now, a down payment on a house. It almost seems not worth it to save such a small amount, but since the only other option is to save a large amount, and that's not possible, I guess I have no other options. I guess I could foreswear all large purchases and just live in the moment, but that's not a realistic thing for me to do, either.
Although I do think that there is something to the "mindfulness" movement, something we could all stand to learn a lot from.
One tip I heard not too long ago: anytime you get a raise, increase your savings amount be the amount of the raise...