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Thanksgiving is often a time of family, food, football and fun. It’s also when you may be asked which thing or things you are most thankful for this year. It may seem challenging to be original (if everyone has already said health and family!) or maybe think of anything at all (if it’s been a tough year). Well, here’s a list of five financial reasons you might be thankful for this year.

1. Work

OK, so maybe you’re not at the pinnacle of your career … yet. But sometimes we forget to show gratitude for small things. If you are able to work and earn a paycheck, it’s a good idea to use this one day to feel good about having a job. (You can go back to complaining when you return on Monday!)

2. Dreams of Retirement

But you’re not even close to retirement age? Well, how about being thankful for the dream of a future when you have some more financial freedom? It’s fun to think about the far-off goal so now is a good time to figure out how much money you need to save to make it a reality and work to make it happen.

3. Student Loans

Now you may be thinking I’m going crazy! But while you might hate having to write off that check every month to pay your student loans, Thanksgiving can be a day to feel good about what those loans got you – whether it’s a great education, lifelong friends, preparation for your career or all three. And if you are just deciding whether to take on student loans for either an undergraduate degree or graduate school, it’s a good idea to weigh the cost carefully to make sure it makes sense for you to take on this debt. If you make a thoughtful decision, you can feel thankful that you made the financial decision carefully.

4. That ‘Just in Case’ Money

Having a little breathing room in your finances can help ease some stress. Having some extra money, even a little bit, can help you stay out of debt when something unexpected comes up. Whether you are just getting started or you have a healthy emergency fund (most experts recommend saving up three to nine months’ worth of living expenses), you can feel thankful that you are taking control of your finances and are prepared for some little bumps.

5. Technology

Even if technology can be overwhelming at times, it also provides opportunities we wouldn’t otherwise have. Whether you just manage your bank from your laptop or run a whole business from inside your home, it’s pretty amazing what technology can allow you to do. Online tools help you track, manage and understand your finances from anywhere. No matter what precisely you need, technology has made it easier to budget, save, keep an eye on credit scores and decide whether to buy a home. You can even use calculators to figure out how much home you can afford.

While you may not be able to say thanks for all of the things on this list because they don’t apply to you, you can make it a goal to be able to feel gratitude about these financial items next year.

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