Podcast Episode #011 – How Practicing Gratitude Can Improve Your Finances
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Did you know practicing gratitude can actually help you save money? Learn how in today’s episode.
Your action task for this week is to start a gratitude habit.
Tack on a daily “Today I’m grateful for ____” prompt to your morning or evening routine to help establish the habit.
Here’s the link to the study about gratitude and it’s effect on impatience:
>> Can Gratitude Reduce Costly Impatience
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Below is the transcript from today’s show. Or you can download the full transcript as a PDF.
Welcome to the Go From Broke podcast where you'll learn how to take control of your money so you can stress less and save more. If you're tired of living paycheck to paycheck or constantly wondering where your money is going, you are in the right place. This podcast is all about giving you actionable tips and advice so you can get started improving your finances today. It's Thanksgiving here in the US and in honor of that I thought I'd spend today's podcast talking a little bit about gratitude and how it can help you improve your finances. We live in a consumer driven world. All day we're bombarded with ads exposing us to all sorts of temptations. Whether it's that Olive Garden email that has you suddenly craving pasta or that Apple commercial that has you convinced you'll be a better artist if you only had that new iPad Pro. We're constantly exposed to things that make us think we're missing out on something. So it's no surprise that the amount of household debt keeps rising each year. We're being conditioned to react to our immediate desires, regardless of the consequences. It's not about trying to keep up with the Joneses anymore, but trying to keep up in general. So how do we avoid these temptations and the debt they inevitably lead to? By practicing gratitude. Did you know, gratitude actually helps you resist temptation? Psychologically, we tend to value immediate rewards more than future awards. It's probably not new information for most of us, but gratitude can turn that around. There was actually a recent study that showed gratitude increased people's patience and their ability to wait for greater rewards. Basically the
simpleact of being grateful is powerful enough to resist any immediate desires you have. How cool is that? I put this to the test recently and tried to curb my drive-thru habit so that every time I caught myself yearning for the convenience of the drive-thru I would think of how grateful I am to have the amazing kitchen I have in our new house. Or how thankful I am to have access to pretty much any food I could want at my local grocery store or even online. And it worked, I haven't gone to the drive-thru nearly as much. I won't claim to understand the psychology of it, but it's definitely a nice little tactic to have if you struggle with impulsive spending. Another benefit of gratitude is that it makes you more content. We often seek instant gratification as a means to increase our happiness. We think, oh, if we could only have that thing that we want, we'll be happy. But the truth is we'll never be satisfied that way. We all actually have a base level of happiness that we return to, regardless of life's ups and downs. It's called hedonic adaptation or the hedonic treadmill and the basic gist is that regardless of any increase or even loss, we create a new standard in relation to it that causes us to maintain the same level of happiness we had before. For example, while you may have an initial excitement and elevated happiness when you buy a new car, eventually the novelty wears off and you return to your baseline level of happiness. But gratitude can actually help us avoid the trap of trying to buy happiness by making us content with what we already have. When you start budgeting, the first thing you probably feel is scarcity. It seems like there's simply not enough money to pay for everything. But when you start prioritizing and become super clear on what your goals are, you start to recognize the things you have to be grateful for. This clarity helps you reduce your expenses and eliminate the things you don't really value. Not only does gratitude make you more content, but it'll also save you money. So the message this Thanksgiving is to make gratitude a habit. Practicing gratitude isn't hard, but it does take some effort to be consistent. The more you do it, the more you'll begin to notice how appreciating the things you have makes it easier to avoid feeling bummed out about the things you don't. And if you can establish a gratitude habit, you'll be better able to avoid temptation and start saving more money. There's always going to be things we want or need, regardless of how grateful we are. But looking at those desires from a perspective of appreciation will help you become more intentional with your spending decisions so you can avoid temptations that don't really align with your values, and you'll be more content with what you have. So for your action plan this week, I want you to start practicing gratitude. Instead of waiting for a special dinner once a year to say what you're grateful for, start doing it once a day. Tack it onto your daily journaling habit or your nightly prayers, or even just as you're brushing your teeth each morning. And in the spirit of practicing what I preach, I want to say I'm grateful for you. Your support means the world to me. And I'm super thankful that you took the time out of your day to listen to today's episode. So if you enjoy this podcast, share it with a friend and make sure to hit subscribe so you never miss an episode. As always take action and make it a great day.
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