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Thanksgiving is a time to express gratitude for the many good things in your life. Maybe you have a wonderful, supportive family, great friends, and a thriving career. Or maybe you're thankful for the meal you're about to enjoy -- there's nothing wrong with that. On a day that's so centered on gratitude it's built into the name, it pays to think about your personal financial victories, too. Here are a few you shouldn't hesitate to acknowledge and celebrate.
1. A healthy savings account
Do you have enough money in your savings account to cover three to six months' worth of living expenses? If so, congratulations -- you've built yourself quite the respectable emergency fund. Saving up a chunk of money is no easy feat, and having a healthy savings account means you're protected in case unplanned expenses strike. With a solid level of savings, you won't have to stress or, worse yet, rack up debt if your car breaks down, your home needs a sudden repair, or a bunch of medical bills come in. And that's reason enough to be grateful for your bank account balance.
2. No unhealthy debt
Many of us have a mortgage for our homes or an auto loan for our cars. But if that's pretty much the only debt you have, you're in really good shape. There's a couple of reasons it's important to avoid unhealthy debt -- namely, that of the credit card variety. First, unhealthy debt can destroy your credit score, making it more difficult to borrow money if the need arises. Unhealthy debt can also cost you a lot of money in interest. So if you don't have any, you get to keep more of your hard-earned cash for yourself. Hooray for that!
3. Sticking to a budget
If you have a healthy savings account balance and no unhealthy debt, it may be due to one important habit: following a budget. It's fairly easy to set up a budget, but sticking to it is a whole other story. If you've been following your budget and limiting your spending as needed, give yourself a huge pat on the back. It isn't a skill everyone has. The fact that you can hold to a budget puts you in a great position to achieve your financial goals. Whether you want to accumulate a down payment for a home or stash away enough cash to take the vacation of your dreams, your budget will get you there.
It's time to give thanks -- to yourself
A solid savings account, a lack of dangerous debt, and the ability to keep to a budget are all things you should be grateful for this year. But really, you should be thanking yourself for your strong financial circumstances. After all, these wins are a result of your hard work and effort. So as you sit down to eat your turkey and indulge in some pumpkin pie, don't hesitate to take pride in the many financial milestones you've already reached.