The Important Lessons Gratitude Can Teach You About Money

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When you think of gratitude and money, you probably don’t imagine the two go hand in hand, but the connection is undeniable. 

Gratitude has the power to boost serotonin and prompt the brain to produce dopamine, the chemical that makes you feel “good.” So, the more you practice gratitude, the better you’ll feel. It’s not folklore; it’s science!

Applying that positive “attitude of gratitude” mindset to your financial and investment strategies can transform how you view money and the world around you.

How An “Attitude of Gratitude” Can Positively Affect Your Mindset

Your thoughts and feelings are powerful. What you think directly influences how you feel, act, and the choices you make.

If you think through a lens of positivity and focus on being grateful for what you have, it stimulates a positive mindset shift. That change brings contentment and encourages us to continue seeking out that feeling, which impacts thoughts, behavior, and habits. This positive outlook is the attitude of gratitude.

Focusing on what you don’t have can prompt feelings of needing to “keep up” with everyone else. This adverse state of mind can impact your mental well-being and affect how you make financial decisions.

So if gratitude can make you happier, healthier, and more confident, you can imagine that your financial decisions could follow suit. Adopting a mindset of gratitude can encourage intentional spending. Intentional spending puts you in the driver’s seat of your finances.  This can lead you to buy things that bring you joy and can help get you closer to achieving your financial goals.

When you get caught up in “keeping up with the Joneses” and find yourself chasing for more and more, you run the risk of living above your means, which can be dangerous. Living above your means can be anything from buying a house you can’t afford or maxing out your credit cards.

If you find yourself in this scarcity headspace, remember that we’re all different and have different goals. 

What your neighbor is doing might serve them and their goals, but life is not a one size fits all deal. Everyone’s financial plan is unique, so you need to focus on you. Now is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with your goals:

  • What are your top financial goals?
  • Why are they so important to you? What core values do they help you embody?
  • How are you currently aligning your financial actions with your goals and values? 

Being grateful for what we have triggers our brain to be more optimistic and encourages behavior that keeps us in that healthy space. 

Being Grateful Encourages Generosity

A mindset of gratitude can spark a desire to give back to others, the community, or an organization you’re passionate about. This type of giving naturally feeds into what you value, which can bring fulfillment and make you feel good! 

If you’re interested in donating, here are some options for you to consider:

  • Donor-advised fund: This is like an investment account for the sole purpose of supporting charitable organizations. You receive an immediate tax deduction when you contribute, and the funds within the account grow tax-free.
  • Donating appreciated assets: This will help you avoid capital gains and boost the potential value of your donation.
  • Bunch charitable donations: Giving multiple years’ worth of gifts to cross the standard deduction threshold could be helpful if you want to itemize this year.

Don’t stress yourself out if you’re not in a place where you can give money. This could be an opportunity to update your financial plan, so you’re spending money in the areas that bring you joy. 

And, of course, there are so many ways to give rather than write a check. Make it a family experience by volunteering your time or donating other items with your kids by your side. When your kids actively participate in charitable acts with you, they are more likely to cultivate a spirit of generosity.

Don’t underestimate the value of time when it comes to giving. Organizations like animal shelters, food banks, homeless shelters, and National Parks rely on volunteers to keep their operations afloat. You may be surprised at what a couple of hours of your time can do!

Charitable giving encourages you to spend your money more intentionally and can help you live a more full life.

Establishing an Abundance Mindset

One of the most important lessons gratitude can teach you about money is the value of an abundance mindset.

There are two primary money mindsets: abundance and scarcity. Someone with an abundance mindset believes there’s enough to go around for everyone and tends to prioritize giving, whether that be time or money.

Conversely, a scarcity mindset prompts a constant feeling of never having enough. Someone with a scarcity mindset is always chasing more, even if that means sacrificing their financial (and personal) well-being.

If you fear that there’s “never enough,” you may be tempted to make impulse purchases, overspend, and lose track of the big picture (aka your long-term goals). However, if you have the mindset that “there’s plenty to go around,” you make more purposeful, values-based decisions. 

Being grateful can transform the way you approach and think about money. It allows you the time to slow down and truly reflect on your financial opportunities. This flexibility can lower your stress levels, ultimately benefiting your future decisions. 

Aligning Your Money With Your Values

At the heart of every financial plan are your personal goals and values—the things that matter most to you. That could include retiring early, charitable giving, traveling, or even paying off debt. While many strategies can help you achieve those goals, practicing gratitude should always be top of mind.

The connection between gratitude and money is palpable, and if you’d like to explore how to transform your money mindset, get in touch with our team.

By: Kelly Jennings, CFP®, CDAA™


The information provided in this report is for informational purposes and should not be considered a recommendation or solicitation to purchase or sell any particular security or investment strategy. Investments are not insured, subject to market risk, including the loss of principal. Investment strategies described may not be suitable for all investors. Equities are subject to market risk meaning that stock prices in general may decline over short or extended periods. The information contained does not consider any investor’s investment objectives, particular needs, or financial situation. Nothing in this material constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a representation that any investment or strategy is suitable or appropriate. Information in this presentation has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed. Additional information is available upon request.

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