Giving thanks can make you happier; focusing on gratitude has been known to help with anxiety and depression. But can gratitude make you richer?
Greed and gratitude have long been regarded as opposites — just consider Scrooge’s transformation in “A Christmas Carol.” However, gratitude can come with some financial benefits. Here are just a few.
Improved Financial Planning
Gratitude can improve your financial planning. Impatience and greed can promote impulsive financial decisions. But if you’re grateful for what you have, you’re less inclined to overspend on what you don’t. Gratitude is a remedy for the spending impulse that can shatter financial dreams.
If you want to cultivate this habit, simply take stock of the things you have to be grateful for. Family and friends might top your list, but it’s okay to be grateful for a place to live and a car that runs. Finding joy in your current situation can keep you from impulsively trying to seek out more.
Improved Investment Decisions
Gratitude is all about finding contentment in what you already have. And that kind of attitude can prevent you from the need to have it all — or the need to have it all right now. That can lead to better investment decisions.
Instead of risking too much on that hot new startup, you might be better off investing in a “buy-and-hold” stock or mutual fund. These investments won’t bring a meteoric return on your investment, but they will provide sustainable, long-term growth.
Try an experiment. Think about where you want to be, financially speaking, 10 or even 20 years from now. Now, consider the kinds of investments that might get you there. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make a few high-risk investments, but you’ll be better off with a stable, large-cap stock or even an index fund.
Improved Career Prospects
A life of thankfulness can make you more content with yourself. And that can change the way you handle your career. Think about the negative side for a moment. If you’re not grateful for your current job, you might just be miserable. You’ll be less likely to invest in your role, or even to engage your coworkers — unless it’s to complain.
However, if you can really see the positive side of having a job, then you’ll be more likely to give it everything you have. That sort of “can-do” spirit won’t go unnoticed by your employers. Being grateful for your current role can therefore help you achieve a promotion. Alternatively, at the very least, gratitude for your job might save you from looking through the want ads during a tough labor cycle.
Gratitude Benefits Your Wallet and Your Soul
Without gratitude, you’re condemned to the curse of Mick Jagger: you can’t get no satisfaction. But being thankful for what you have can make you feel fulfilled and spare you from the quest for something more.
That’s good news for your wallet as well as your soul. Thankfulness for your current financial situation can prevent you from impulsive financial decisions and provide you with greater stability in your investments and your career.