How Gratitude Can Impact Your Finances
Gratitude and contentment can help make us happier and healthier. But how can gratitude and a positive mindset affect our financial well-being?
November 4, 2021
When we think about our lives and our finances, it’s easy to focus on what we don’t have.
Often, we want more — more money, more power, more things. And too often, we associate these desires with our happiness.
“When I just get that promotion, I’ll be content.”
“When I can afford a Tesla, I’ll be happy.”
But what if that is the wrong approach? What would happen if we simply focus on what we do have, and have a gratitude mindset?
Gratitude, a real-life superpower
Having a gratitude mindset is simply being thankful for what we have. It is a feeling, a state of mind, a skill and perhaps even a superpower.
Many of us can think back to a time when we felt truly grateful for something: a helpful gesture, a thoughtful gift or just some kind words during a difficult time.
That feeling of contentment and gratitude can be applied to any aspect of our lives. And when we actively cultivate a sense of gratitude, we can improve our lives dramatically.
Gratitude can be seen as a superpower because it has the ability to make everything in our lives feel a bit better.
Instead of feeling frustrated about what we don’t have, we can feel grateful for the things we do have. Instead of forever chasing the next thing, we can sit back and feel content and satisfied.
That feeling of gratitude can help us keep a positive mind and cultivate a successful mindset regardless of our circumstances. It can apply to our relationships, our health, and yes, even our finances.
Gratitude and our finances
It’s easy to see how gratitude could improve our relationships or our mental well-being, but what about our finances?
A sense of gratitude can improve our financial decision-making, while also helping us appreciate the financial situation in which we find ourselves.
In short, a gratitude mindset can:
Help us feel more content with the resources we have
Help us avoid impulse purchases
Help us have more patience when making financial decisions
Help promote a sense of generosity
We often associate happiness with physical objects and purchases. This can lead us to spend more money as we try to obtain things that we think will make us happier.
If we cultivate a gratitude mindset, we can take a step back from this cycle and learn to appreciate what we have.
This sense of contentment can genuinely improve our happiness, while also helping us avoid impulse purchases and unnecessary spending.
Impatience can lead us to make poor financial decisions. We don’t want to spend the time making lunch at home, so we go out for a $15 work lunch every day. We are frustrated that our year-old smartphone is not quite as fast as it was, so we upgrade to the latest model.
Gratitude can help inspire a sense of patience, helping us avoid these costly mistakes.
This concept was proven in a 2014 study published in , which showed that people who are feeling grateful are more likely to have the patience for a bigger payout. On the other hand, those who felt neutral or happy were more likely to opt for the immediate, but smaller financial reward.
Applied to the real world, this data shows that grateful people will generally be more likely to build wealth rather than spend frivolously. They might focus more on investing and paying off debt instead of purchasing the latest electronics and new clothing.
Finally, a gratitude mindset can help us prioritize the things that really matter. This can be applied broadly throughout many aspects of our lives, but it’s particularly helpful to apply prioritization to our financial decisions and purchases.
For example, think about the last 10 purchases you made and how each of those made you feel. Think about which purchases or experiences brought you the most joy or satisfaction and which purchases could have been skipped.
Through a practice of gratitude we can begin to analyze our spending habits and eliminate purchases that aren’t serving us. We can use these insights to build a better budget that serves our long-term goals and helps us improve our financial situation in the long run.
It can be hard to feel grateful for any debt we need to pay off, but having patience and working diligently toward being debt-free can lead to greater financial freedom. If you need assistance, check out Tally† — a credit-card debt payoff app that can help you manage your payments, and potentially get you out of debt faster.
†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 - $300.