As we approach the end of the year, many of us have activities and events planned with friends and family. It's a time set aside for getting together, looking back at how the year has passed, and looking ahead to what's to come. Traditionally it's also a time for thankfulness (with Thanksgiving and all).
Certainly our personal finances play a large part in our level of thankfulness, even if we don't talk about it openly with friends and family at such occasions. It's easy to be thankful if you've been blessed with great finances.
But what about with finances that have been a little rougher this year, in one way or another? I'd argue that that would be the time to be more thankful for what you have than you would normally. I think we've all heard about the many benefits of having a cheery disposition rather than a worrisome one, so being thankful even in tough times will encourage positive change — or at the very least help you to feel better.
Here are some reasons to be thankful for your finances, even if things are a little leaner than they have been:
- If you live in the United States, you're almost certainly rich by global standards, so be thankful for that. For a single person living at the 2012 U.S. federal poverty line ($11,170 in income) this is nearly the 87th percentile worldwide for income. In other words, for every person at this level, there are almost seven people below that level. Even a person making only $1,000 per year is above average!
- If things are starting to feel tight, be thankful for recognizing that. The reason why your finances are tight may already be obvious, and you may already recognize it, and that's great too. But if upon reflection you finally recognize the habits that have gotten you in financial discomfort or outright problems, then that in itself is reason for being thankful, because knowing the problem is half of the battle. It's then time to get back to the basics to make the finances better.
- If your basic needs are being met, be thankful for that. Food, clothing, and shelter are basic needs. Transportation to work approaches being a basic need. If these are taken care of — meaning that you have them and a job to drive to — then you have the means to at least survive. That's reason for thanks.
- If you have friends and family that can share in your joy (or sorrow) then be thankful for that. Friends and family mean more than all the money in the world, anyway.
- Above all, if you know you have a Savior, be thankful for that. That transcends all of the difficulties mentioned above.
In what ways are you thankful for your financial circumstances?