Gratitude and Finances

Wednesday, November 12 at 09:40 AM
Category: Personal Finance

November is often seen as the month of gratitude which culminates on the fourth Thursday of the month with Thanksgiving. But, once you think beyond family and friends, are you having a hard time coming up with something else to be grateful for?

Is there any relation between gratitude and finances?
Researchers from Northeastern University, Harvard and the University of California at Riverside report grateful investors are willing to wait for a return on their investment. More specifically they found,* “(a) the emotion gratitude reduces impatience even when real money is at stake, and (b) the effects of gratitude are differentiable from those of the more general positive state of happiness.”

How did the researchers come to these conclusions? They had three groups of people write about a personal experience. One group wrote about a happy experience, another group about an emotionally neutral experience and the last group about an experience that ignited gratitude. After the writing exercise, participants answered questions about potentially receiving money ($11-$80) now or waiting for a larger amount at a later time. The group who was grateful was the only group who chose to delay the money for the future. Gratitude may just be better for your finances in the long run!

Tips to increase financial gratitude

  • The next time you’re getting ready to make a non-essential purchase, pause and think about what you’re grateful for. You may just realize you don’t need that tech gadget upgrade or extra pair of shoes after all!
  • Rather than purchase something for yourself, buy something for someone in need. Your wallet may be out the same amount, but you’ll have a greater feeling of goodwill. 
  • Manage your resources wisely. When you know you’re making smart decisions with the resources you have, you’ll feel less need to seek for something more to bring satisfaction. 

Whether you’ve been practicing financial gratitude for awhile or are a newbie, you’ll likely see a result!

Links marked with * go to a third-party site not operated or endorsed by Arvest Bank, an FDIC-insured institution.

Tags: Financial Education
Laura McCormack on 11/17/2014 at 3:30 PM
Thank you for the tips. Grattitude and thankfulness for what you have is a priceless feeling. Managing what you do have is getting more difficult which makes it essential to use it to the best advantage. Having a bank with your interests in mind is amazing. No where have I found a financial institution that treats me with as much respect as Arvest. Thanks for the confidence in me.. Laura

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