Have you ever heard of the concept of a gratitude journal? The basic idea is that you take a moment every day to write down what you’re thankful for. Then you’re able to look back, take a critical look at your life and figure out what’s truly important to you in your day to day life.

Trent over at The Simple Dollar decided to give this a try and was able to find an important trend:

I have a collection of about twenty five of these entries now, and many of them read like the above. They usually involve my family, enjoying some quiet time alone, a writing success, or a period of feeling really good (like an after-exercise rush). More importantly, though, virtually none of the items I’ve listed in nearly a month revolve around spending money. The high points of my day usually don’t revolve around any sort of financial exchange at all.

If you wrote down what you were grateful for every day over the course of a month, what trends would you be able to spot? What would be the common link among things that make you happy and grateful? It could be eye-opening, to say the least, to discover this for yourself. You might even be able to figure out what’s worth spending money on, and when choosing to save instead won’t affect your happiness.

Have any of you ever tried writing in a gratitude journal? We’d love to hear about your experiences!

Read more about Trent’s experiences over at The Simple Dollar.