This Holiday season, allow gratitude to be your focus. A thankful heart may assist you in your financial plan. We are coming up on the end of the year and entering a time of celebration, gifts, and family. This time inevitably comes with an increase in advertisements telling you what you want.

However, positioning your heart to a place of gratitude stretches and strengthens your contentment muscle. Being content allows you to stay focused on what matters, and requires intentionality. This extra focus will keep you intentional on purchasing the gifts and experiences that align with your values and your financial plan. The last thing your future self wants is for you to go into debt or get off-track in your financial plan because you were distracted by consumerism.

Unfortunately, far too many people neglect financial planning. There is a sense of dread, fear, or a feeling of “I am not where I should be,” that paralyzes them. However, gratitude takes your heart to a place of understanding the blessings you have and the distance gained in your financial plan. Gratitude fights discontentment, the constant want of more, and the demotivator, “where you should be” in your financial planning. We all know that “where we should be” is 20 daunting steps ahead of us, but planning your finances with contentment will allow you to visualize the next step and motivate you to take on what’s next. We can all do more to challenge ourselves to save more, spend less and increase our generosity. But we can’t take those steps from a place of discontent. It doesn’t matter how much money you have. I have seen a widow with very little live in confidence and contentment. I have also seen the very wealthy constantly worry that they do not have enough.

Gratitude can strengthen us to finish this year well and prepares us to start next year successfully. Consider viewing gratitude as a tool in your financial plan.

Any opinions are those of Andrew Donohue and not necessarily those of Raymond James.

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