Even during the unprecedented times we find ourselves in, we all have something to be grateful for. Studies have shown that gratitude can have a monumental, positive impact on your mental and physical health.
According to Harvard Medical School: “In positive psychology research, gratitude is strongly and consistently associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”
That’s tough to argue with! One way you can start to practice more gratitude in your life is by leveraging your wealth to give back, or contribute to things that increase the level of gratitude and contentment you feel in your daily life. Let’s explore a few ways your finances can be used to embrace gratitude, and how you can implement these strategies in a way that compliments your financial plan.
How Can Gratitude Show Up In Your Finances?
You can express gratitude in your finances in several different ways. Let’s look at a few examples.
The most common way our clients pursue gratitude in their financial lives is to give back in an impactful way. Through charitable giving, you can use your wealth to support causes, organizations, and groups that you’re passionate about. At FPC, we find that clients who want to feel more grateful for what they have often turn to charitable giving to remind themselves that not only can their wealth support them, their family, and their goals – it can also be used to do good in the world and start to build a legacy of giving.
Supporting Those in Need
While this can be viewed as a kind of charitable giving, supporting those in need closer to home may not have the same tax benefits as donating to charity directly. However, many people feel pulled to use their accumulated wealth to do good in a more personal way. This might look like:
- Helping a family member cover unexpected, hefty medical bills.
- Making a donation to your child’s school to buy certain supplies (like equipment for underprivileged kids who are doing virtual learning this year).
- Rallying behind a local family who are down on their luck.
Although these may not be “traditional” ways of donating your wealth, they can still make an impact and act as a way to focus on gratitude with your finances.
Aligning Your Spending with Your Values
Even if you don’t plan on giving to charity or donation in another way right now, you can still create an attitude of gratitude with your money simply by aligning your spending with your values. Think through the things in life that bring you fulfillment. Maybe you enjoy spending time with family, experiencing new things with friends, or traveling new places. As we look ahead to a new year, consider focusing your spending in these categories, and soak up the feelings of gratitude that come with being able to support expenses that leave you feeling content.
Exploring Charitable Giving
If you’re considering charitable giving, there are a few things you can do to make the donation process work for your financial plan. First and foremost, know that you can take your time before choosing to donate.
You want to ensure that you select a group that aligns with your values and will use your donation in a way that has an impact on the causes you care about. If you’re still in the process of searching for the organization that’s the best fit for you, consider a Donor Advised Fund.
A Donor Advised Fund is a tax-efficient way to incorporate charitable giving into your ongoing budget. The contributions you make sit in the fund until you’re ready to distribute them to the charities of your choice, and you can continually reap the tax benefits of making contributions in the meantime. If you’re struggling to determine whether or not an organization is a good fit for donating to, jump over to this blog post where we cover how to evaluate different charitable organizations before donating.
Your Wealth, Your Way
Regardless of how you choose to practice gratitude in your financial life, know that our team at FPC is here to support you. Our job is to help you leverage your wealth in a way that allows you to live the life you want – and build a legacy that you’re proud of. Take some time this new year to consider what you’re grateful for in your financial life, or how you want to reconfigure your financial plan to focus on gratitude moving forward. We’re here to help with any questions you might have along the way.