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Discount Diva: How giving thanks can make you a richer person

Thanksgiving can make you a richer person.

I don't necessarily mean the holiday. Sure, cutting your Thanksgiving celebration short and heading to the stores can save you hundreds of dollars on a TV. But that’s not what I mean. In fact, it’s sort of the opposite of what I mean.

I’m not shaming Black Friday shoppers (I love you guys!). But studies show most people who shop on Thanksgiving are not buying Christmas presents; they’re shopping for themselves. And I’m guessing the TV you have right now is just fine.

Someday, you’ll be glad you spent those last few Thanksgiving hours with your family members instead of leaving for the mall . I know it seems endless, but you only get so many holidays with your loved ones over the course of your life. One day, your TV will be gone. So will many of your relatives. Want to guess which you’ll miss more?

Besides, you may save 50 percent on a doorbuster, but you’d save 100 percent if you just stayed home.

But that’s just a tiny way that focusing on gratitude bulks up your bank account. Here are a few more.

You’ll build up your savings account. A study published in Psychological Science showed that people who focus on gratitude have better ability to save money.

It turns out, gratitude helps you practice the patience and willpower needed to resist the instant gratification that spending brings.
Those who practiced gratitude were 12 percent better at holding out for greater monetary rewards than those who didn’t.

You won’t want. If you ever really stop to think about how it feels to want something, it feels pretty miserable. Romeo and Juliet wanted each other and just look at what happened to them.

We spend a lot of our time wanting things. It’s human nature, helped along by companies that spend billions of dollars marketing their products to us day in and day out.

But when you consciously spend your time focusing on what you have and being thankful for it, all that yucky wanting melts away. You’ve got a defense against those marketers and their wily ways, trying to get you to buy stuff you don’t need and – honestly, if you really thought about it – don’t want.

When you begin taking stock of all you have, you might even start to feel overwhelmed with just how good you have it. That might lead you to scale down. And there’s nothing better for your wallet than downsizing.

You won’t feel empty or remorseful. Have you ever seen a kid beg and beg and beg for an expensive toy as if their life depended on it? Once they got it, they played with it for two days then forgot it existed? And every time their mom saw it shoved – dusty and ignored – into the corner of their kid’s room, they got a disgusted little pang thinking about the money they wasted on it and where it could have been better spent.

Sometimes as adults, we end up being both the needy kid and the nauseated parent. We have the part of us that cries out for that shiny, new thing, then gets bored with it very quickly. Then we go into parent mode, feeling buyer’s remorse, beating ourselves up and feeling the emptiness that comes after the initial thrill of a new purchase. Gratitude helps you avoid that by showing you how what you already have fills your needs.

email:  schristmann@buffnews.com

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