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Can gratitude make you rich?

New research suggests being grateful is good for your pocketbook.

By MSN Money Partner Apr 2, 2014 1:12PM

This post comes from Krystal Steinmetz at partner site Money Talks News.

Money Talks News on MSN MoneyGot gratitude? If you answered yes, chances are you also have more money in savings than your impatient counterparts.

That's the finding of a new study by academics from Harvard, Northeastern University and the University of California at Riverside. "Gratitude: A Tool for Reducing Economic Impatience" will be featured in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science.

Woman with laptop © Mike Watson Images/CorbisThe basic premise of the study is that impatience has destructive economic implications, while feelings of gratitude can significantly reduce financial impatience.

CBS News said:

But what makes one investor patient and another impatient? The old school answer was willpower. But researchers were flummoxed when trying to explain why one investor had it and another didn't. Now, new research from a team of academics … says it has found the key: Gratitude.

The study went a little something like this: Seventy-five individuals were asked to write about a personal experience that generated emotions (happy, neutral and gratitude), then they were asked to make an economic choice. This is what happened, according to CBS:

Participants were then presented with 27 economic choices which boiled down to receiving $11 to $80 immediately, or getting a larger amount at some point in the future. Where the happy and neutral individuals favored getting the payment today, the grateful investors were willing to wait longer to get more.

So next time you are struggling to pass up a good sale at your favorite retailer or chasing last year's hot funds, take a step back and try to think about or meditate about something that makes you feel grateful. It may provide you with the strength you need to quit spending today what you need to save for tomorrow.

According to a press release on the study:

"Showing that emotion can foster self-control and discovering a way to reduce impatience with a simple gratitude exercise opens up tremendous possibilities for reducing a wide range of societal ills from impulse buying and insufficient saving to obesity and smoking," says assistant professor Ye Li from the University of California, Riverside School of Business Administration.

What do you think of the gratitude findings? 

More on Money Talks News:

Apr 2, 2014 3:42PM
The tooth fairy in our house leaves $2 per tooth.  $1 to go into a spending acct and $1 goes into a savings acct that the kids can not touch until they are 22.  We divide all the money they get, birthdays, Christmas, etc. They have to save half of the money they get. The oldest of the 5 kids gets an allowance as he not only does chores but helps take care of the younger kids (all 5 kids have in some way special needs or emotional issues). With that allowance he has to save half as well.  The other half helps pay for things he wants to do, like school football games, dances, video games, boy scout camp outs, etc.
Apr 4, 2014 12:27PM
Absolutely brilliant finding! There are so many ways that gratitude will help you in your life. Be thankful even for things that you are completely entitled to. 

A wise man once told me when I was dating, that I should look for a wife who was kind and gracious to others. But most particularly to those that didn't matter, or didn't deserve kindness or gratitude from her. Because that type of woman would love me for better or worse for the rest of my life. 

When my wife and I were dating, if someone got her order wrong at a fast food or other restaurant, she would never express anger or frustration, but as soon as they corrected the order, she would express profound gratitude for such a simple act. 

In a world so preoccupied with winning through intimidation, gratitude and humility are often the most powerful attributes a person can develop. 
Apr 4, 2014 12:31PM

People will think this is crazy....but I'm the youngest of three kids, I've always been grateful for whatever was given me and never fought like my older siblings did over everything coming their way. This continued on into adulthood, I delayed gratification and was grateful for the small things in life. I took good care of my tools, home, vehicles, appliances and possessions fixing them and making them last. Anyway, to make a long story short...I can see and feel the article....I am that person....wealthy and focused with direction-patience. My brother and sister didn't fare as well...tip: stay away from convenience stores that sell little jars of mustard, mayo for astronomical prices....they'll conveniently take your money. It’s gratifying to save money and be happy with what you have….not gaining excess to complicate your life. I use my money for security and peace of mind. I use my money to buy time…retire early and do the things I want to do in life.

Apr 19, 2014 11:02AM
Gratitude is a key factor in attracting money, but also just general happiness.

Check out my show The five minutes away podcast and really start living! 

Apr 3, 2014 7:28PM

Republican Paul Ryan's 2015 budget calls for more (Tax cuts for the rich and ultra rich)...

Vote out all republicans in November 2014...

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