One of the most interesting relationships is the one between gratitude and your finances.
Most years, Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. Thanksgiving at our place is usually a laid back affair. We have our favorite foods. We hang out as a family. We don't adhere to a schedule. Being able to enjoy Thanksgiving, and take a day out of the consumerism that is our culture really is a blessing.
Reflecting on Thanksgiving has me thinking a little bit about gratitude. It seems unusual to think it, but gratitude and your finances have a relationship that you should be aware of.
How Gratitude Helps Your Finances
When you think of gratitude and your finances, what comes to mind? Your thoughts might jump first to how grateful you are to have enough money to cover your needs — and maybe even some of your wants. There's more to it than that, though. Gratitude can actually help your finances. Here's how:
- Take the focus away from things you want to buy: One of the best ways gratitude can help improve your finances is due to the fact that it takes focus away from things you want to buy. When you focus more on what you already have, and why you are grateful for it, your desire to buy more things lessens. You spend less money, and that means more money in the bank.
- Better emphasis on true priorities: Gratitude also allows you to emphasize your true priorities. Too often, when we don't take the time to step back and acknowledge what we already have, it's easy to lose site of our priorities. Once that happens, you might find yourself spending on things that don't matter to you, and wasting your money.
- Charitable giving: Giving is good for your finances, and gratitude can put you in a giving mood. When you are grateful for what you have, it's much easier to turn around and give to others. Gratitude is just part of that aspect of your finances.
No matter how you look at it, gratitude can be great for your finances since it helps bring a different mindset to the financial mix.
Gratitude and Your Finances: How to Be More Grateful
Of course, before gratitude can help your finances, you need to find a way to increase the amount of gratitude you have in your life.
One of the best ways to improve your “attitude of gratitude” is to take time each day to write down the things you are grateful for. It might seem unnecessary to write them down, but the reality is that writing (or perhaps typing) your list creates a connection to it. Take five minutes each day to list out the things you are grateful for, and watch as positivity enters your life.
Say thank you to others. Make it a point to thank others when you can. Get in the habit of expressing gratitude. As you learn to acknowledge what others do for you, you will be more inclined to look for the good in others, and develop a greater capacity for thankfulness and positive thinking.
Find the lesson in disappointment. Even if you are disappointed in an outcome, it's possible to use it as a teaching experience. Look for the lesson in mistakes you make, or in difficult circumstances. It's not always pleasant, but it will get you in the habit of learning from almost anything, and turning it around to help you do better next time.
Once you are more grateful, you might be surprised at how your finances improve — and how your life improves as well.
Do you focus on gratitude? How has it helped you?