How An Attitude Of Gratitude Can Transform Your Finances8 min read

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How An Attitude of Gratitude Can Transform Your Finances | An attitude of gratitude can have a profound effect on your personal finances. Gratitude helps you in many ways financially. Click through to see these 5 ways it has helped us.

Gratitude is such an important trait to pursue and meditate on as frequently as possible. It can really change the way we think about ourselves, our lives, our health, our finances, among other things. This week being Thanksgiving, I feel sharing things I’m grateful for is important. I love seeing how gratitude has transformed our finances and handling of them.

We have so much to be thankful for this year. We have:

  • A beautiful family of four healthy people.
  • Big, extended family that loves and supports us.
  • Church that we are involved in.
  • A roof over our heads to protect and warm us from the elements.
  • Luxuries in our lives that others in the world only dream of. (This includes things like Internet access, a washer and dryer, two cars, a garage, a cell phone, things like this.)
  • A mentality of abundance that leads to contentment.
  • Food in our bellies and in our home that allows us to think of other things.

These things may seem simple and general to some. However, adapting an attitude of gratitude on these things can really transform your finances in many ways.

An attitude of gratitude affects your money mindset.

Check out these 5 ways to create an attitude of gratitude this holiday season. Click To Tweet

Being thankful instead of being entitled will get you much further in life. If you are going to just focus on things that you think the world owes you, you are going to be disappointed every time. Take a look at the next 5 ways that an attitude of gratitude can root itself deep inside of you and help you have a positive effect on your finances.

Contentment allows for us to spend less.

Gratitude helps us change from being “us” focused to being “others” focused. When we start thinking of others more, we will start to see wants in our lives disappear due to seeing how much we have that others don’t. It’s not that you can’t have nice things, you can.

Quote picture that says "Contentment is the most important money principle."

Contentment is the most important money principle.

Contentment is more about learning to be happy with what you already have and not always chasing that new shiny thing that is being marketed to you. This could include things like higher paying jobs, the newest technology, a bigger house, clothing, etc. Chasing these types of things will never bring the true lasting happiness that you are looking for, rather, just a temporary burst.

Learning to be content is never easy and when taken too far, can result in hoarding or severe frugality. I’m not saying that you need to be on this extreme end of the spectrum. However, learning to make due with what you already have can help you save money on new purchases as well as allow you to end up saving more and giving more to help others. In fact, contentment is the most important money principle. If you can’t learn to be content, you will never have enough money to satisfy your happiness in the long run.

Being generous in our finances helps us realize there are other people besides ourselves to help.

Generosity has changed the course of our finances tremendously. I used to give with a closed hand and mindset, worried that I wouldn’t be able to pay off my debt quick enough or that we wouldn’t be able to live on what we had leftover. But, as I matured and began learning more about why giving and being generous is important, the more I felt a tug on my heart to start giving.

When we were still in our early debt payoff stages, we were only giving about 3% of our money to our church. I felt that the money I wasn’t giving could do more to better my finances and get me out of debt quicker. While this is true on a math level, I would have never learned how to become more content with what I had more and also, more importantly, I wouldn’t have given ownership of the money over to the true owner of the money.

When I realized that I didn’t own the money anyways, it was much easier to start opening up and giving. And the crazy part about it? When we decided to start giving faithfully and bumped up to 10% or a tithe, God sped up the process of our debt payoff and blessed us, stretching the money and speeding up our debt payoff faster then when we weren’t giving as much. This really built up my belief that being generous will ultimately change you for the better.

How an attitude of gratitude can transform your finances. | Being generous helps us realize there are other people besides ourselves to help.

Gratitude encourages us to be patient and focus on the future.

Being thankful and learning to have an attitude of gratitude has helped us become more patient and stop and look at problems differently. When we are thankful for what we have and treasure those around us, we didn’t feel as much of the need to impulse on things and make rash decisions that we would regret later. Also, as we’ve worked through our finances together and learn to save and pay for things, I’ve really learned to focus on our future and what things can look like when we are patient.

Patience allows us to step back from the situation and think it through before acting.

Gratitude helps us keep an optimistic attitude by seeing the positives or silver lining in situations.

When we are focused on things that we are thankful for and not what we feel that we need, we tend to see more of the positive outcomes in life before the negatives. This opens us up becoming more solutions focused rather than problem oriented. We are thankful for our education and what we’ve learned along the way and keep a positive outlook about our lives. When we continue to keep a positive outlook in our mind, we will eventually get a break and end up ahead.

So many people complain about saving up their initial emergency fund of $1,000, only to have an emergency come up and have to use it. I try to remind them that this is the whole point of having an emergency fund. The good news is that they had the money saved up. Additionally, they didn’t have to use debt to take care of it this time.

In the past, we’ve had emergencies come up and had to use our emergency fund to fix something too. Initially, we aren’t happy with it either. However, stepping back and realizing that we had the savings in place to take care of the situation was actually a huge win for us. Gratitude actually allows us to have many advantages in our finances. We’ve been able to buy two vehicles in cash, gone down to one income, and invest regularly without having to worry about cashing it out if something goes wrong.

At first, it may be harder to see that the future will leave you stronger because of your thankfulness. Being optimistic in different situations and rebounding from them, you become more grateful each time.

Gratitude allows us to take advantage of a financial windfall.

Having a financial windfall is a very exciting time! A loved one may have left money for you because they love you. Or you may get an annual bonus. Extra money in your pocket can go two ways. You will either spend it frivolously or wisely.

How not to spend a financial windfall:

I have received large sums of money a couple of times in my life. While younger, I received back pay at a job I worked. My employer at the time wasn’t paying a fair wage according to a union picket. They ended up paying me a lump sum for the whole summer I worked. This money was a lot of money to me at the time and I wasn’t very financially literate about money.

Receiving the money, I lived high on the hog making purchases I probably didn’t really need. I was a young adult at the time. I had the mindset I could out earn my debt and excessive spending. Instead of saving the money for the future, I wasted it on luxuries of passing pleasure.

A better approach that has a lasting impact:

The second time that I received a financial windfall was when my wife received an inheritance. It was a nice sum of money that allowed us to make great financial decisions. Spending the money this way also should make the giver, as far as we know, proud. We gave some, saved most and spent a little on things that were most important to us. To this day, both my wife and I still feel blessed by this money. We’re very grateful for the help that it has provided.

Since learning to handle money better, we spend money we receive smarter. We’ve learned to make it stretch much farther than in our past.

What are you thankful for?


No matter what your situation is today, I’m sure there is quite a bit that you can find to be thankful for. Take some time this week to make a list and start reflecting on them. Find people that you are thankful for as well and tell them. Start trying to see things from a positive viewpoint and work to become patient enough to let the attitude of gratitude bless and transform your finances.

What are some ways that gratitude has played a role in your finances? I’d love to hear your comments below. Thanks so much for reading and taking the time out of your day to share a moment with me here at MyFamilyOnABudget.

What are you thankful for? How an attitude of gratitude can transform your finances.

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Steven Goodwin

Owner/Blogger/Consultant at MyFamilyOnABudget
Steve Goodwin, a stay-at-home dad of two girls is passionate about finances and is helping others just like you get out of debt and build wealth handling money God's way. His goal is to inspire people like you to gain control of their finances by destroying debt and building wealth using their cash flow.
Posted in Budgeting, Finances, Wealth Building and tagged , , , , , , , , .


    • Very true Andi. Usually, upping your personal finance game will change your entire life too since finances touches every area of our life and process. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Yes!!! This! I’ve struggled with being content with what I have and where I am in life. This year I’ve really focused on being #obsessivelygrateful. It’s a huge change. When you try to be grateful you realize how much you really do have! It’s amazing what an attitude adjustment can do.

    • Absolutely! Contentment can mean a huge difference between whether you will be able to create margin and be happy with it or you will continue to always be chasing the next best thing! Well said, Samantha!

  2. “Gratitude allows us to take advantage of a financial windfall.”

    Great point!!

    We are coming into a bit of money soon and this really helped me think about it correctly.

    Im not good at receiving gifts or windfalls. It just feel odd. However, like you said, just being grateful allows me to accept the windfall and use it correctly.
    Derek recently posted…Three reasons to start using Tiller for your monthly budget. (Plus a free budgeting video series!)My Profile

    • So awesome when you have the knowledge to use the money well and let it impact your life long term versus just living for the moment and purchasing the new shiny object that’s out! Happy Thanksgiving to your and your family! Can’t wait to hear your story about how your wrap it up and use it for good!

  3. Yes. I think the most important thing of all is to take action when it comes to finances. Make changes. And it’s easy to do that without ruining your quality of life, too.

  4. People say money is not important and it doesn’t buy happiness. I disagree. I think money does buy happiness and yes, family and friendship give a more content happiness.

    • Money is important and I would say that it can buy some happiness, but true happiness is more in the experience not the thing. I don’t get my happiness from money though. I’m not trying to tell people not to buy stuff, just to make sure that stuff they are buying has a meaning to them and that they are not mindlessly consuming. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  5. oh the things to be thankful for. Just having a great job, dishwasher, a home. the list could go on. It’s amazing how much people spend on themselves and still wanting more.

    • Yes! We all do have so much to be thankful for. I don’t mind people spending, they just need to be sure they are spending on meaningful things and not just mindfully consuming. However, I’ve never had more joy than when I’ve helped people that can’t help themselves.

  6. Yes! Material things do not bring happiness. The relationships we have with others is the key to contentment.

    • Bingo! Yes relationships are so important to bringing contentment into our lives. I’ve spent part of my life chasing after “things” and have found they always do bring some joy, but it is just a fleeting joy. True joy has always, for me, come from helping others help themselves and creating lasting memories that I can treasure. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

    • Absolutely correct! No amount of cute grey suede shoes, pearl jewelry, the newest iPhone, the latest piece of David Yurman will bring happiness. Then why do we acquire them? Having material goods elevates one above others, camouflages deep insecurities and permits one to justify any purchase. A sad and vicious cycle.

  7. I always try to be grateful!

    There is so much I’m grateful for: my family, my health, my books, chocolate…
    Amber Myers recently posted…Why You Should Give Shari’s Berries As A GiftMy Profile

    • It’s great to take time out of our busy schedules to show gratitude and ponder on what we have to be thankful for. I think it helps right-sides our attitude and puts a positive spin back on it! Thanks so much for reading and commenting Amber! Have a great Thanksgiving!

  8. There’s so much to be thankful for, indeed! I think it’s better not to spend a financial windfall and save it for the future, in case you’re planning on taking the family on a trip of something like that. It’s good to have savings, not just for a rainy day.

    • Thanks for stopping by Elizabeth! I agree, when you can save a financial windfall for the future and help extend the legacy that it provides, it can really go much further than just spending on material things that will be quickly forgotten. Have a great Thanksgiving!

  9. I think your attitude will make a big difference for a lot of things. Finances is just one thing. Happy attitude…. Happy outcome.

    • Absolutely Jacqui! Finances may just be one thing, but if you think about all the areas that our finances touch, it can make a huge difference. That’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about getting better control of finances so that they don’t get you stressed out and make things harder than they already are! I hope you’re having a wonderful Thanksgiving! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    • Yes, I read and commented on your article! What a story about God getting your attention and getting you to focus on priorities! Hope you are enjoying your Thanksgiving and thanks for stopping by and reading/commenting.

  10. You make some really great points, especially the first one for me anyway about contentment! When I am content I do actually spend less and when I’m restless and unhappy in my life, well it’s retail therapy tying to make myself feel better with stuff!
    Jimmy and Tina recently posted…Trip Planning – Don’t Let This Happen to You!My Profile

    • Hello Jimmy and Tina! Thanks for stopping by and reading/commenting here! Yeah, contentment plays a huge role in our lives that if we aren’t content, we will be constantly seeking new things to find happiness when it’s probably right there in front of us. The retail stuff sure does get some people into trouble. I know my weak spot is usually new technology as I love the new shiny stuff. Thankfully, I have my wife to hold me accountable and to help me make my stuff last a bit longer! Hope you are having a great Thanksgiving!

  11. I live life with an attitude of gratitude but this is a perspective on gratitude I haven’t considered. Very cool. Thanks.

    • Hi Jill! Thanks for taking the time to visit and comment on my post here! I’m glad that I was able to give you a new perspective to look at the subject of gratitude through! I hope you are having a great Thanksgiving!

  12. I love the comment about how Gratitude allows us to spend less, it’s so true and such an important reminder to be happy and grateful for everything that we have in life!

  13. This is an extremely good piece.. thanks
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  14. This is very true, I noticed that in myself. Thanks for sharing this great reminder! something to ponder on this thanksgiving.

    • Hi Darina. It’s always good to reflect on gratitude and contentedness. I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We just celebrated our third and last one last night!

  15. Excellent post! When we’re content, we definitely spend less. There isn’t any of that have to keep up with the Jonese mindset that causes so many people to spend money they don’t have.
    Plus it’s not our money. It’s really God’s. He’s just letting us be good stewards of it.

    • Hi Debra! Thanks for stopping by and reading/commenting here! I agree with you 100%! I love it when people get the “ownership” of money down and realize they are just managers! Have a great weekend!

  16. I am so content with the stuff that I have. When I was younger I wanted more and more. Now I actually want to sell my 4 bedroom house and go smaller.

    • Good for you Glenda! I think a lot of us go through that “gathering” stage and seeking to try to find happiness. When we get older and more mature, we start seeing stuff as clutter and start to minimize! Hope you are successful on selling your house! Thanks for reading and commenting. Have a great weekend!

  17. Such a beautiful post and you have covered a wonderful topic that could be a great reminder on how we must be thankful for what we have with us. Being generous in our finances will always help to understand others need and there is a pleasure in giving back too!

    • Thanks for your kind words Lisa, they are much appreciated! Being generous is a lot of fun and allows us to see others needs before our own, which is life changing and shows us how little some things actually matter in our lives! Have a great weekend, thanks for reading and commenting!

  18. Isn’t it amazing how when you are faithful to the Lord how He pours His blessings back on you. Great testimony and I feel like I consistently hear from people who trust in the Lord and receive that type of blessing. Congrats on your faithful stewardship!!!
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…How Much To Spend On ChristmasMy Profile

    • It sure is amazing! I really am still amazed to this day how God has really changed our lives through our giving. We are in such a better place than we used to and are giving way more! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  19. I really love this. Being content with what you have is a good way to spend less. When you are thankful for what you have, you don’t need a lot of extras.

    • Christina, thanks for the kind comment and for taking the time out of your day to stop and read this! Being content can bring an ultimate happiness that you just can’t get from anywhere else. It allows us to make sure that we are focusing our source of happiness on the more important things in life. Thanks again, have a great day!

  20. Great points! If we’re always searching for the next “thing” to make us happy we’re constantly spending $ and constantly disappointed. Things only give us short term satisfaction where as experiences and time spent with friends/family offer us long term happiness. In appreciating what we already have we realize what we don’t need and can save money (and space) on things we only think will bring us happiness but simply empty our pockets.

    • Well said! I’ve found focusing on more experiences as of late has helped out quite a bit! Our girls are learning to look forward to places we go vs things we get! Thanks for sharing! Glad you liked the post!

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