This topic might seem a little out of left field for me to be discussing. My baby is numbers, and I love to show you ways to increase your profits and decrease stress. But seeing as it’s Thanksgiving, I wanted to show you just how much gratitude can impact your finances.
Gratitude is something I practice daily. When my alarm goes off in the morning, I hit the snooze button and lay there thinking about all the things I’m grateful for. I get to go downstairs and make lunch for my kids instead of rushing off to work before they even wake up. I slept in a warm bed. I have security.
It might sound a little frou-frou, but this simple mindset shift every morning helps set the tone for my day.
Feeling grateful can reduce impulse spending
Because I am a numbers girl, and numbers are so black and white, I wanted to find you some evidence to back up my claims.
I discovered a study in the Journal of Psychological Science that said feelings of gratitude can combat a tendency towards instant gratification. Eliminating our urge for instant gratification also decreases our need to swipe our credit cards.
When you’re feeling blue, what are you most likely going to do to feel better? Treat yourself! A new pair of shoes, a new purse, a hot fudge sundae… no matter the treat, you had to buy it. Practicing daily gratitude can override those feelings that lead you to shop the blues away. And it saves you money!
Shift your mindset to focus on the things you’re grateful for
This creates an inherent happiness in you.
When I wake up, I could grumble that I have to go downstairs and make eggs for everyone. Instead, I choose to be thankful that I didn’t have to get a job that means I leave the house before my kids are even awake. I get to spend that time with them.
Gratitude is a practice. It’s not something you just wake up suddenly knowing how to do perfectly. It’s not a one-and-done deal. If you’re consistently taking time each day to focus on gratitude and the things you’re thankful for, you become happier. And with that happiness comes a reduced need for the instant gratification that comes with spending.
Practicing gratitude improves your mental state. I’m sure you’ve heard of shiny object syndrome – being attracted to spending and wanting the next big thing like a magpie. The contentment that comes from a daily gratitude practice means we stop being so distracted by the shiny object. We stop needing the next hit of gratification.
I feel strongly that everything in life comes back to money. When we’re not feeling content, or happy, we see it as a problem. As humans, we have a tendency to try to solve problems by throwing money at them. When you’re experiencing the happiness and contentment that comes from having an attitude of gratitude, the ‘problems’ become reduced – and you’re less likely to spend money trying to ‘fix’ them.
There is something to be happy about every single day if we choose to focus on it. What we focus on, we create more of; when we’re grateful and content, we bring in more of that feeling.
Feeling grateful promotes generosity
Particularly relevant at this time of year, we should all be searching for the generous part of our hearts.
There’s a famous saying: Misery loves company. Well, so does gratitude! So does happiness! The happier you feel, the more you want to spread that feeling to others around you.
The urge to Spread the Love leads naturally to feelings of generosity, and looking at ways to give back to those around you. There are ways you can give back without parting with any money, and I’ll share those with you in a few blog posts’ time, but for the most part when we think of giving we think of donating. And donations usually mean money.
When you’re in a place of wanting to give back, it forces you to look at your budget.
“What Can I Afford to Give?”
If you don’t have a clear understanding of your budget, you won’t know how much you can give. That feeling of gratitude and generosity almost forces you to look at your spending and find ways to improve your money management skills!
You want to make more money to allocate and spread the love!
Being grateful makes you happy
These simple mindset shifts – deciding to focus on the things you’re thankful for – increases your feelings of contentment and happiness. Being thankful and appreciative of what you have causes you to create even more gratitude so the feelings keep growing.
It’s all cyclical. It gets you to an ever-increasing state of contentment, and when you’re happy, you’re not chasing the latest trend to purchase – saving you a ton of cash!
It might seem like I’m straying out of my lane talking about this, but as with the experience of pulling myself out of entrepreneurial poverty, I have also lived this. I practice gratitude daily, I’ve experienced how much it’s improved my life and my bank balance, and so I think it’s important to share with you today.
Make sure to watch this YouTube video where I talk even more in detail about the impacts that an Attitude of Gratitude can have on your bank account – and your life. Try to fit in a short practice of gratitude every morning or evening; it’s a great way to start or end your day.
But most of all, remember nobody’s perfect: we get to choose what we focus on. You might be surprised by the change you’ll see from focusing on the good.
Also, check out my website to learn more!