Right now there are so many people dealing with devastating financial circumstances. There has been massive unemployment, fluctuations in the stock market — and let’s not forget about wage stagnation. Whether you’re dealing with debt, loss of income or low income, or any kind of financial trouble, it’s easy to wallow in the anxiety and sadness around your situation.
Your feelings are absolutely valid as being in a money rut is rough for anyone. But what if you could have a perspective shift to keep you going? A different way to look at things while you’re waiting for things to change? That’s where gratitude can come in. Using gratitude can shift the way you look at things and realize not all is lost. Here are ways to be grateful even if you’re in a money rut.
Be grateful for the basics
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck or in debt, it’s understandable to be worried. But also, it’s a time to be grateful for what you do have. Get back to basics.
Do you have a roof over your head? Can you eat every day? Are you healthy? If yes, you are rich in many ways. If you don’t think so, I want you to imagine your life without these things.
Being able to pay rent or a mortgage every month is a big deal. Getting back to basics and appreciating the security of shelter and food can keep the flames of hope burning when you’re in a money rut.
Learn the lessons
We all have made money mistakes, so there’s no reason to beat yourself up for the past if you’re in a money rut. Maybe you spent too much money or didn’t negotiate at a job or contribute to your 401(k) even though you know you should have.
It’s okay! It’s okay as long as you learn the lessons from the mistakes. Mistakes are guides that teach us what we don’t want and gives us a message of what we could do better.
Take the loss and turn it into a lesson. Even though mistakes may have contributed to your money rut, you can learn from it and do it differently in the future.
Thank your debt
You might hate your debt and want it gone. Being in debt definitely can affect your mental health by boosting your anxiety or making you feel depressed. One perspective shift is to say thank you to your debt. You can even write a love letter to it.
Why? Because your debt served some purpose at the time. Maybe you needed financial assistance to go to college or you relied on your credit card when you couldn’t make ends meet.
Even if your debt is from buying too many clothes or booking too many vacations, you can appreciate those experiences.
Debt always buys us something. So if you’re in a money rut, a great perspective shift is to address how debt served you in a positive way. Say thank you to the opportunities and experiences debt afforded you.
Decide what’s important
Struggling financially is never fun. If you have to cut back, it’s tough to let things go in order to save money. Being on a budget can feel restricting. One thing to be grateful about is that being in a money rut shows us what’s really important.
For example, you might have had to make a hard decision and cut things out of your budget. In that process, you likely kept the things that are really important to you and ditched the rest.
Also, though you may not have a lot of financial resources when you’re in a money rut you can appreciate the important things that aren’t related to money.
You can appreciate your family, your friends, and nature. All of those things don’t cost a thing and can be even more valuable than money.
Understand how resourceful you are
When you’re in a money rut and financially struggling, you need to get creative on how to make things work. Maybe you’ve been able to negotiate your rent or get the best deals at the grocery store because you know exactly what coupons to use. Maybe you know how to stretch a dollar better than anyone you know.
It’s important to give yourself credit for that. Understand how resourceful you are and that you are making it work, despite financial challenges.
Know you’re on a journey
Dealing with a money rut on a day-to-day basis is difficult. You can get consumed by your finances and feel stress about it. One way to shift into gratitude is to realize you’re on a journey and this is temporary.
Your situation now doesn’t automatically determine your future. Your financial situation can change with a single raise, job change, move, or inheritance.
Imagine you are the protagonist in your own movie. You’re the underdog and will pull through by the end. Taking this strategy can help make your money rut more tolerable now while also making you hopeful about the future.
There are various levels of financial struggle. You may have a job but no savings or you might be living paycheck to paycheck or mired in debt. Whatever flavor your money rut is, you can turn toward gratitude to help you get through the situation.
Gratitude is proven to help your mental and physical health. When those things are in order, it’s possible to make shifts in your financial life. While not everything is in your control, doing what you can to help yourself and finances now and in the future can be a gamechanger.