Giving Thanks

First, thank you to all the readers of The Paycheck Chronicles.  I am thankful that you read what I write, and that you allow me to have a job that I love.

Studies have shown a direct correlation between being thankful, sometimes called gratitude, and personal finance.  When you are thankful for what you have, it is easier to be content.  Discontent, with your clothes or your house or your car, is a primary driver in spending.  Thankfulness, and therefore contentment, decreases the drive to spend money.

Being grateful can be hard.  There are inequities in this world, and sometimes life is difficult.  Some people legitimately have bad luck.  So, is there a way to learn to have gratitude even when it isn’t naturally bubbling out of your heart or your mind?  I think there is.

Read About It

Writers have been talking about gratitude and thankfulness for as long as people have been writing.  It’s all over the Bible.  Ancient philosophers like Epicurus and Seneca speak of the virtues of gratitude.  Classic writers like Ralph Waldo Emerson  praise the value of thankfulness, and there are innumerable modern books about the subject.

Write About It

Countless self-improvement advocates will tell you why it is valuable to keep a small journal of things for which you are thankful, and add to it every day.  It bolsters your awareness of the good things in your world.

Writing letters is also a powerful way to remind yourself of all the positive things in life.  You can write to yourself, or write thank yous notes to others.  The latter will make both of you feel good!

Speak About It

“He who forgets the language of gratitude can never be on speaking terms with happiness.”  Author unable to be verified.

The vocabulary of gratefulness is a lovely thing, filled with words like blessings, joy, luck, gifts, and thankful.  Not only do they sound pleasant, but they make your heart feel good.  Consider your words and try to incorporate positive words of thanks into your daily speech.

The habit of gratitude can be developed through your reading, your writing, and your speaking.  Even if they feel unnatural at first, they will soon become habit, and eventually you will discover that they are genuine feelings.

Even more amazing, to me, is that there is some connection between your internal state of thankfulness and the way that things unfold in your world.  Call it karma, or luck, or good vibes, but happy people seem to attract goodness.

That was way more philosophical than the “have a happy Thanksgiving” that I intended to write today.  Perhaps I need to be a little more thankful myself.  I hope you are able to enjoy this holiday of gratitude and have a great day!

About the Author

Kate Horrell
Kate Horrell is a military financial coach, mom of four teens, and Navy spouse. She has a background in taxes and mortgage banking, and a trove of experience helping other military families with their money. Follow her on twitter @realKateHorrell.