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! 🙂