10 Ways to Practice Gratitude When Finances Are Tight

how to simplify your homeschool

It is easy to find things to be grateful for when times are good. When there is lots of money in the bank, we can buy extras or special things, that feel good. I’m thankful for the chance to do that. But just because we might have more obvious things to be grateful for doesn’t mean we actually express gratitude. It’s often quite the opposite. When things are good and easy, we often forget to give thanks. So let’s look at ways to practice gratitude in hard times.

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude When Finances Are Tight

How Do We Speak About Our Situation?

Recently here in 2022, our finances got tight…really tight. With 9 kids, we are always aware of how much it costs to buy basic things like food! And all of a sudden, we were spending a lot more on our regular groceries…on top of other increasing costs.

My husband and I looked at our finances and realized we were now living paycheck to paycheck praying that God would help us find a way to stretch each dollar a little bit further. In the midst of that, our language started to change. We started saying things like, “We can’t afford that. We can’t spend money. We don’t have any money.” 

We started to focus on what we were lacking. It was easy to do…after all, kids ask for things all the time. Saying we didn’t have money was the easy out. At the same time, we could start to see the stress build in our family. Our kids weren’t saying they were worried, but the stress level went up in the house.

As a rule, our family knows that our words have power.

The Power of Death and Life are in the tongue.

Proverbs 18:21

That’s pretty powerful because we have the choice to speak life or death over our situation…including our finances.

 As we began to focus more and more on money, we realized that what was coming out of our mouths was not life. And so, we are on a journey to turn that around. One of those ways to turn around our words and speak life over our finances or other negative situations is to practice gratitude.

You can find lots of ways to practice gratitude in our FREE Fall Gratitude Activity Pack. Leave your name & email and we’ll zip it on over to your inbox.

10 Simple Ways to Practice Gratitude

Here is how we do that in our family.

  1. Talk about one of God’s names is Jehovah Jireh -“The God Who Provides.” This means that what we have was provided by God
  2. Memorize verses about God as a provider – Phillipians 4:19 says,“But my God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” 
  3. Talk About the Ways God Provided in the Past...and give thanks….even if there are still present needs.
  4. Make a (long list) of things we have to be grateful for.
  5. Talk about the good things we are learning from not having a lot of money
  6. Talk About What We Have that you cannot buy.
  7. Use Something we already have to do something good for someone else
  8. Appreciate other people for the little things they do for us
  9. Write Thank You Notes
  10. Say Thank You

Join me on Youtube to See How You Can Use All These Activities With Your Family

Other Ways to Practice Gratitude

Use Your Words to Train Your Kids to be Thanks Givers

I’ll never forget when my son Flynn was very little…maybe 3 years old, he started teaching me something that I was not good at. Every night at dinner, he would say, “Thanks for dinner mom.” I never taught him this, but he would say it anyway. The funny thing was, making dinner was a huge stressor. I was usually tired by the end of the day. I had 4 little kids at that point…ages 6 and under. And by dinner, I was just done. So to have my son say “thank you” so consistently was such a blessing.

10 Ways to Practice Gratitude When Finances Are Tight

Over the years, I started to realize how powerful it was when I thanked people…or when others thanked me. It could change my entire outlook. So while I did not teach my son Flynn to be thankful, he was part of the way God brought this to my attention. When we teach our kids to appreciate others, we are giving them the chance to be world changers. I’ve seen with my eyes the way people light up when someone says “thank you” for something they did that others took for granted. The opportunity to be grateful is present every day…in big things and little things.

Of course while the finances are tight, we carefully manage our money. Here is how we buy food for our family of 11. But in the meantime, our attitude is not focused on ourselves but on others. 

Gratitude helps remind us of what is truly important at a time when it is easy to become overwhelmed. 


Sarah McCubbin lives in Ohio with her husband and 9 kids where they have a large garden and a few chickens in the backyard. Other than gardening, she enjoys reading, photography, scrapbooking and spending time with family. She writes about education, homeschooling and leadership at her blog www.TenMinuteMomentum.com.

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