There’s no shortage of things to be grateful for. Yet in the middle of our busy lives, we can easily forget to stop and express thanks. When we do get around to jotting down a Gratitude List, we can easily find things to fill it with – our family, friends, career, great health, our home, cell phones and all the binge-worthy shows on TV. However, there always seems to be one important thing that is missing from the list: our finances.
It’s pretty easy to express ‘not so thankful’ thoughts and words towards our finances. We’ve all been guilty of it at some point - wishing we had more, feeling like we never have enough, worrying that the money won’t stay or won’t arrive. These types of thoughts steal our financial peace and create a strain on our relationship with money. Over time, these thoughts develop into our internal beliefs about money and shape our everyday money habits and decisions.
When you feel like there’s never enough, you avoid looking at your bank account, mismanage your finances, and spend frivolously. When you’re grateful for the money you do have, you take better care of it, spend it wisely and manage it well. Gratitude can change your perspective from ‘not enough’ to ‘more than enough’.
If you’re looking to improve your relationship with money so that you can live with more financial peace and less financial worry, expressing gratitude is the first place to start. This simple practice will have you shifting your perspective about money and get you ‘feeling good’ about your finances. Here are 3 quick ways to increase your financial gratitude:
Open Your Bank Account and Express Thanks
A daily practice of looking at all your bank accounts (Chequing, Savings, Investments, etc.) and expressing thanks for each of the balances is the perfect way to start. Not only does this help to release those tendencies to dodge your account, but it also connects you to what you have. No matter what the balance, when you express thanks you are shifting your connection to money and over time this will raise your financial confidence.
Express Thanks Each Time You Pay a Bill
Who loves paying bills? Just about no one. Instead of seeing your bills as a necessary obligation or a drain of your precious cash, focus on what the bill has provided for you and your family. For instance, each time the hydro bill is paid, express thanks for having the means to pay for electricity so that you can keep your home warm, cook a meal for your family, access the internet, charge your phone, and the list goes on. When you connect to the way that this bill has allowed you to enjoy life, you will no longer have disdain towards it. Instead you feel grateful and glad to pay it.
Express Thanks to Your Debts
This may be the most unlikely way to express thanks to your finances, but it is one of the most powerful. Do you express frustration, shame or guilt towards your debt? Or do you see it from a place of gratitude and appreciation for what it has helped you achieve in life?
This doesn’t mean it’s okay to hold lots of unnecessary debt. There are always good and bad uses of debt. If you have debts due to shopping and overspending, you may want to do some digging into what is causing these habits. But if your debt has helped you get ahead in life (ie. schooling, starting a business, etc.), you can’t express gratitude for where you are, and then a lack of gratitude towards the way in which you got there.
One simple way to do this is to write a “thank you letter” to debt. Write down all the things it has helped you with or supported you through in life, such as paying bills to keep the lights on, running your business, taking a trip to recharge and maintain your sanity, investing in yourself to further advance in life, and so on.
If you can express gratitude towards debt, you will shift your perspective and be able to look at debt from a place of power and begin to see new possibilities to actually pay it off.
Gratitude is the key to creating better money habits, as it’s pretty hard to mismanage something that you are truly grateful for. So, the next time you write a Gratitude List, be sure to include your finances and use these three financial gratitude practices to bring more financial peace into your life.
Vanessa Bowen is a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and Master Neuro-Linguistic Programming Practitioner (NLP) and the Founder of
Mint Worthy, a personal finance coaching platform that helps women shift their relationship with money and take control of their finances.