When you focus on gratitude, you save. Every Sunday, I take a few minutes of the day to read, watch, or listen to something inspiring. I recently have been focused on gratitude. It is easy to be upset that you are not quite where you thought you would be by now (financially, career, home, location, etc.) or upset that you do not have a material item you can not afford at this moment in life. I used to think I “needed” items, but when I focused on gratitude, it really puts your life & possessions in perspective. One year, I wrote down 5 items/ideas/events I am grateful for. In honor of FrugalNev, I am listing 3 material items I currently have that I thought of replacing/upgrading, until I replaced that want with gratitude and that prevented me from spending more to fill a void.
1) I am grateful for my 2005 Mazda 3 car. It has 164,000 miles on it, but it is paid off. I am grateful that I do not have to pay monthly dues to a loan. I am grateful that this car takes me to work daily and that I can visit a family member or friend. I am grateful that I can go on a trip to explore a new city. I am grateful and do not need to buy a new car at the moment.
2) I am grateful to live in a studio in San Francisco. It may not be a 1 bedroom and it may not be a studio that I own, but I am grateful to live near downtown San Francisco. I am able to walk to a restaurant, walk to go shopping, and attend the numerous cultural and artistic events. I am grateful to be in the city I have always wanted to live in. I am grateful that I can afford to rent this space and grateful to have great neighbors. I will buy a home when the time is right, I have 20% down, and have 8 months of emergency funds to cover the mortgage. I will buy without settling down to a space I think I must buy rather than I want and can afford to buy. I am grateful this studio keeps Mila (my cat) and I warm and safe.
3) I am grateful to have enough clothes to wear to work, the gym, a casual night out, and to sleep in. I may not have the most expensive items and most of my clothes are last season’s wear, but I am grateful to have people compliment my style from time to time. I do not need to buy more clothes unless it is time to replace an item due to wear & tear, stains, or if it lost its shape. I have more clothes than some people in this world and I am thankful.
I hope you find time to be grateful for items you currently have. Before you buy, think if you really need it. It may stretch your dollar!