When you’re juggling student loan payments and sky-high city rent—not to mention a budget for shiny leggings, Megaformer classes, and unicorn lattes—money can sometimes feel like a crush who’s playing hard to get.
But Jen Sincero claims that there’s one major trick that’ll have cash practically chasing you. According to the writer and success coach, calling in more funds is all about being grateful for what’s already in your bank account, rather than focusing on what you don’t have.
I know, it can be hard to muster up the warm fuzzies for your finances when you’re living that paycheck-to-paycheck life—but Sincero swears it’s worth the effort. “One of the reasons gratitude is so powerful is because what you appreciate appreciates,” explains the author of You Are A Badass at Making Money. “When you make a conscious effort to be grateful, it will help you rid yourself of your fears and your doubts [around making money] because you’ll see that you already have it in your life.”
If this is all a bit too woo-woo for your fiscally focused left brain to grasp, consider the fact that courting gratitude worked for Sincero, who struggled to pay her bills as a musician and freelance writer before learning the cash flow ropes from a business coach—and tripling her income in three months.
“I feel like I can speak with great experience because I know what it’s like to be broke, and I now know what it’s like to be rich,” she says. “We’ve been raised to believe that if you work really hard, you’ll make a lot of money—and that’s true—but this mindset stuff will make the work that you do so much easier. It’s about working smarter, not harder. Gratitude is what builds up the emotional reservoir that helps you kick serious ass.” Think of it like a HIIT workout for making bank.
Keep reading for 5 ways to cultivate gratitude for your finances.
1. Start a gratitude journal for your money
If there’s one classic gratitude practice that just about any spiritual person would recommend, it’s counting your blessings on paper. Sincero agrees that this ritual is super powerful, but if you’re looking to make more money, she says you should devote a gratitude journal strictly to dollars and cents.
“Sit down every evening and write five awesome things your money paid for that day,” she says. “We forget about the most basic things—like running water.” And no, you’re not being shallow if pom-pom sneakers and blue mascara are on your list.
2. Be more conscious of little money miracles
How many times have you gotten a surprise discount on your lunch or found a dollar on the street, without giving it a second thought?
Sincero says it’s really eye-opening to be mindful of the little ways money comes to you. “Make the conscious decision to notice—whether it’s a penny or $10,000,” she says. This mindfulness hack also applies to spending. “Whenever you buy something, think about how awesome it is to pay for things,” she says. With this perspective, it’s hard not to feel grateful for the cool, unexpected ways that cash shows up in your life.
3. Write a letter to money
You know how drafting a letter to an ex can help you work past any bad vibes and move forward? Well, Sincero says the same is true when it comes to healing your relationship with your finances.
“Write down everything you feel about money—‘I love you;’ ‘I wish I had more of you;’ ‘I don’t trust you;’ ‘You make me feel filthy for wanting you’—all of your thoughts and beliefs,” she says. “Then, look at the ones that aren’t quite so pretty and figure out how you can shift them to be in a more positive, grateful space.”
4. Go ahead, brag a little
It’s kind of an unspoken rule that if you’re wealthy, you’re not supposed to talk about it (unless you want to come across as tacky).
“If you say, ‘I’m so grateful! I have this great house and all this money,’ that can be seen as bragging—and we don’t like that in our society,” Sincero points out. “We far prefer to hear people bitch and moan.”
But the author believes this mindset has to change, since expressing authentic gratitude for your financial security out loud is really powerful. “You should speak with really high regard about money, always,” she insists. If you feel weird about it, try having a not-so-humble brag session with some particularly non-judgy friends. Talk with pride about your cash victories, and chances are, you’ll all be more inspired to go out and make more of it.
5. Get emotional
It’s not enough to think about ways you’re thankful for money, says Sincero—you have to tap into the feeling of appreciation for it to count. “Gratitude doesn’t mean anything until you’re excited about it,” she claims. “That emotional connection will help you blast past a lot of the scary stuff you’re gonna have to do if you want to make more money.”
If you’re struggling to find anything to be stoked about right now, dig deep. “Even if you’re in debt, be [happy] that the money you needed was there when you needed it,” she says. “There’s always something to be grateful for if you look hard enough.”
And just like beige sneakers, you might just find that once you start seeking out those nuggets of financial appreciation, you’ll start seeing things to feel fortunate for everywhere.