As a frugal person, this is TOUGH for me. I always want to hoard my money, possibly in a large vault Scrooge McDuck style. I am fortunate to have a husband that is a cheerful giver and he encourages me to give more of my time, talents, and treasure where I can.
Giving while in debt
I especially struggle with giving when we still have student loan debt. As usual, the middle path works for us. We give about 7% of our income away and save the rest or use it to pay down the student loan monster.
Although we are on a much tighter budget these days, we still plan to give away a portion of our income every week. The Bible tells us that we should sell our possessions and give the money to the poor. We’re not quite there but we do feel it is important to donate to causes we truly believe in and help others. Here’s how we do it:
Our Church: We give a substantial amount to our church every week. This reduces our tax liability and allows us to contribute to the ministries our church provides. Estimate: 5% of income
Causes we Care About: Since I am a fundraiser, you know I love a charitable cause! We pick our charities based on their reputation and mission. Estimate: 2% of income
Gifts of Time: Here is where we really are able to step it up because I am not working as much outside of the home. Whether it’s a visit to a sick friend with chicken soup, or running errands for an elderly family member, we love to help others as a family. Gifts of time are the hardest to give when you are busy, but they are meaningful. They weave the fabric of a the type of tight community and world we want to live in. This has been one of the greatest joy of simplifying our lifestyle. Estimate: 2 hours/week
What about you? Is giving easy for you, or hard? Do you have a vault full of gold with a diving board in it? (If so, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss)