Gratitude Helps Our Budget

I’m convinced that feeling gratitude makes us happier people. When we’re happy, we have all that we need, so impulse purchases happen less often. There’s even some science behind some of the benefits to gratitude. After adding this all together I’ve come to an important conclusion: Feeling gratitude helps our budget!

What do we have to be grateful for?


The other day, I did a calculation on my odds of having been born. Little to say, I’m an extremely unlikely event, in the grand scheme of things. For the gift of being able to live and breathe, I am extremely grateful.

Warren Buffett is fond of giving a similar speech about, “Winning the Ovarian Lottery,” where he described his chances that he could have been born somewhere else in the world. His particular set of skills, as he puts it, were able to be put to use for good in the United States. Had he been born in China in 1930, then it is not as likely he would have become a world famous investor.

In other words, he had 30 to 1 odds of being born in the exact place where he would flourish.

My personal favorite is reminding myself whenever I take a hot shower that kings and queens of old would have gone to war to obtain such a luxury. Let alone, enjoying modern transportation, higher quality healthcare, or the stunning entertainment of our day.

How Gratitude Impacts the Bottom Line


Feeling gratitude can be difficult, because sometimes we find ourselves focused on what’s wrong or what needs to be fixed. I know I catch myself chasing marginal returns that in the end, are not worth the effort.

Sometimes the right move is to stop, take a deep breath, and reflect.

Invite gratitude into your life and you’ll feel less inclined to go after that next big (materialistic) thing.

Once we feel that sense of happiness and completeness, then we feel less of an urge to go out and spend.

As the American holiday of Thanksgiving is this Thursday, I’ve been trying to incorporate small moments in my day where I can appreciate everything in my life. It can be hard to appreciate something BEFORE it’s gone, but I’m going to try to go counter culture on this practice.

Gratitude is Free


In line with our frugality challenge, taking the time to remember the good things going for us is a free activity. All it takes is a moment to consciously take action on something we normally wouldn’t do.

In the end, pursuing financial independence is just one step in a greater journey towards happiness. While we might not be FI today, at least we can start building the right habits that will help us not only to get there, but also to remain.

What are you grateful for?


P.S. I hope you enjoyed the cover photo on this one. I took the picture as our plane was taking off on a recent trip. I had some real luck when it came to the cloud cover! 🙂

7 comments… add one
  • Jay Nov 21, 2016, 6:48 am

    Thanks for the great reminder Matt. I believe gratitude is very important to happiness, and glad you mentioned it. In fact, each Monday morning to help take the edge off I spend some time making a list of 10 things or so I’m grateful for. It really helps me get going.

    The other reason I think this is important is because without gratitude, you will never really be happy! Otherwise it will just be an endless treadmill for more.

  • [email protected] Nov 21, 2016, 8:00 am

    I think I’ve always been pretty grateful – although I need to share it with my parents more. I guess it really hit me last year when four people from our town died that I knew. It was stressful for everyone – three unexpected (in their 40’s and 50’s) and one teenager with cancer. It seemed to change everyone – and definitely increased our community strength and appreciation for what we have. Have a great holiday!

  • Mrs. Picky Pincher Nov 21, 2016, 8:28 am

    Nice cover photo! 🙂

    I have sooo much to be thankful for this year, but I do need to make more of an active effort to appreciate these things. I think it’s easy to fall into a “gimme gimme” mindset, especially when you’re paying off debt and want to jump off the frugal bandwagon.

    But I’m very grateful for the debt-free journey that we’re now on. It’s taught me a lot about discipline, self-awareness, and what we truly need to live (not very much, as it turns out!).

  • Financial Panther Nov 21, 2016, 9:51 am

    Always important to put things into perspective. If you’re reading this, you’re probably in a position that most of the world could only dream to live in. Heck, to even be able to consider chasing financial independence is something that the vast majority of the world can’t do. Just the nature of where some people live, their circumstances, etc, make this a thing that isn’t even possible. I know I count my lucky stars that I was born in the right place at the right time.

  • Financial Coach Brad Nov 21, 2016, 11:50 am

    It’s awesome that you took the time to write about gratitude – such an ignored topic in the world of finance. Kudos!

  • Mrs. BITA Nov 21, 2016, 1:25 pm

    When I feel gratitude for everything that is amazing my life (and there is so much), I end up feeling lucky. And feeling lucky makes me feel happy (it feels nice to think of oneself as the ‘lucky’ one – luck implies getting things we don’t necessarily deserve and that we didn’t necessarily work for, and the animal part of your brain rejoices about getting ‘something’ for ‘nothing’). And when I’m happy, it definitely helps my budget – I feel replete and have no need to consume any more.

Leave a Comment

View the Best Finance Blogs