The most powerful tool I have come across that has drastically reduced my expenses is practicing gratefulness.
Gratefulness is simply being appreciative of your resources and your circumstances. When you practice being grateful you force your mind to focus on what you already have and how incredible your life already is. By doing this, you realize that you already have more than you could ever need and that buying more stuff probably won’t add any additional value to your well-being.
Before I make any purchase I practice being grateful.
Recently I was looking online for a new pair of shoes. I eventually found two different shoes I couldn’t decide between. But before I made a final decision on which ones to purchase I instead stopped and thought about all the pairs I already had. I looked in my closet and counted six different pairs, three of which I actually wore on a regular basis.
I thought about how blessed I was to have the means to even buy that many shoes. I also thought about how ridiculous it was that I owned six pairs but somehow in my mind I decided that one additional pair would increase my happiness substantially.
This transformed the inner discussion in my head from:
“Should I get the new Nikes or the new Under Armours? I can’t decide, this is such a big decision.”
“Do I even NEED a new pair of shoes? I only wear 3 of the 6 pairs I own right now anyway.”
I decided I obviously didn’t need a new pair. I didn’t choose the Nike or the Under Armour, but instead I chose to be grateful for the abundance I already possessed. I even decided to donate two of the pairs I hadn’t worn in years.
This habit of practicing gratefulness is effective in helping evaluate all purchases, both big and small. My shoe example seems trivial, but consider the same example but with cars. Before you try to decide between purchasing a new Subaru Outback or a Forester, take a step back and be grateful for the car(s) you already own. Think about how incredible it is that you even have access to a car, let alone the money to decide which car you want to buy.
Being grateful helps us take a step back and admire all the stuff we already own, most of which we barely even use or complete forgot we had.
Gratefulness isn’t meant to deprive you of the stuff you want to buy, it’s meant to make you aware of how fortunate you are and how you probably have far more than you already need.
Instead of being caught up in the decision of what to purchase next, practice being grateful for everything you already possess. Too many times we get caught up in the idea that we have to keep advancing up the ladder of consumer purchases to maintain our well being.
Gratefulness is the tool that helps fight this excessive consumption.
Not only does it reduce your expenses, but it genuinely puts you in a great mood. It’s pretty tough to be angry or depressed when you force yourself to think about how blessed you are.
Gratefulness also has the ability to improve your physical and psychological health.
Being grateful is the most effective way to drastically reduce your expenses. And best of all, it’s completely free.
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