When it comes to money, it’s easy to get lost in the “what ifs.”
Inherently, the industry can be so future-minded that it’s all too simple to lose sight of the beauty in the here and now.
Today, we encourage you to slow down, embrace the “stop and smell the roses” mindset, and center yourself on the many things, financial and otherwise, you can be grateful for.
By recognizing where you’re fortunate and how far you’ve come, you may be able to build some momentum in your financial life.
Gratitude has immense power over all aspects of your life, including your financial one. Learn how to embrace gratitude and infuse it more effortlessly into your financial life. You may be surprised at just how much more meaningful the experience can be.
GRATITUDE HELPS PREVENT OVERSPENDING
Life is busy; of that, there’s no doubt. But in the minutiae, you may find yourself spending money on things that don’t really matter to you or align with your present and future goals. These expenses can easily get swept up in the weeks and months until you realize just how much you’ve spent on things that clash with your goals and values.
COMMON CAUSES OF OVERSPENDING
- Keeping Up With the Jones: We look at our neighbors, family, friends, colleagues, and ask “Why don’t we have the things they do?”. We have a hard time resisting the urge to compare ourselves to others. It can be your wallet’s fatal flaw.
- Short Term Satisfaction: Let’s face it, retail therapy is a real thing. It can feel good at the moment to make a flashy or extravagant purchase. But in time (usually quickly), that joy wears off, and guilt and financial anxiety take their place.
- Desire For More: For whatever reason, many people link more “stuff” or money to success. Forgive the cliche, but money can’t buy happiness. Money is a wonderful tool to help you reach your goals; it’s not the goal itself.
At the end of your life, you won’t wish that you worked harder or bought more material things. Still, time and time again, people work 80 hour work weeks so that they can overspend on materialistic things.
What if, instead of falling into that carefully laid societal trap, you took the time to reflect on what you’re grateful for? Who are the people in your life that bring you joy? What are the activities you like to do with them? What are your fondest memories with those people?
If you have clarity on the people and activities that you are most grateful for, do you think you may be less likely to overspend on purchases that are unaligned with your values?
GRATITUDE PROMOTES PATIENCE
Instant gratification riddles the modern world. But gratitude is the perfect antidote.
Being grateful for the life you’ve built allows you to slow down and make intentional money decisions that align with your goals and long-term happiness.
This trait has a profound impact on your long-term financial success.
PATIENCE AND PERSONAL FINANCE
- Long Term Investing: When you have a plan in place, you are well prepared to be a long-term investor and you can spend your time enjoying life’s other milestones. You aren’t as reactive to short-term market fluctuations or news headlines intended to promote fear and insecurity. Most importantly, you have stronger defenses against investing FOMO (fear of missing out). Gratitude helps you become a more patient, thoughtful, and strategic investor.
- Strategic Spending: Countless studies have indicated that spending money on time, experiences, and memories makes the most fulfilling purchases. Before you make a big purchase, think about why that’s important to you. Perhaps a new house will put you in a better school district, closer to family and friends, and closer to your work. In this case, that home purchase is improving several areas of your life. Focusing on the “why” behind your money promotes spending, saving, investing, and giving habits that are healthy for you.
- Clear Decision Making: Patient people can make strategic decisions that align with their long-term well-being. Where should you live? What career should you pursue (is it time for a career change)? What hobbies should you spend your time and money on? These decisions get much more effortless when you are not concerned about increasing short-term happiness.
GRATITUDE GENERATES GENEROSITY
When you’re well taken care of, you have the capacity to give to others, whether that be personally, professionally, or financially.
This sentiment introduces the idea of a scarcity vs. abundance mindset.
A scarcity mindset constantly chases the idea of grasping “enough”—enough time, money, things, etc. You likely aren’t in a position to make the most beneficial money decisions when you’re stuck feeling like you’re running a race you can never win.
On the other hand, an abundance mindset flips this idea on its head and embraces the idea that there’s enough, plenty even, for everyone, including yourself and others around you.
If you’re in a state of long-term gratitude and happiness, giving to others becomes a logical next step. Not only are you helping those in need, but you’re helping yourself grow along the way. Think of it as one spoke in the wheel of your personal and financial life. Creating success and happiness for you and your family is foundational. Doing the same for others makes the entire process that much more fulfilling and sustainable.
MAKE GRATITUDE A REGULAR PART OF YOUR FINANCIAL LIFE
Remember, when you’re sitting around the Thanksgiving dinner table, it’s not your new house or job promotion that your family cares about. The memories you’ve made and will continue to create together far outweigh any status symbol.