Why You Should Make Room for Charitable Giving in Your Budget
Following is a guest post written by Jonathan from Master Your Card.
You already know you should have a budget. It’s likely that you also know how to set the budget up: categorize your spending, allocate your income, yadda yadda yadda. What you may not realize is that when the time comes to figure out where your money should go you’re probably missing one very important category: Charitable giving.
You might be thinking, “Wait just a minute here. Everyone else already wants my money, and now I’m supposed to make room in my budget to give money to people who aren’t going to give me anything in return?”
You don’t have to give a ton of money to charity, although it would be nice if you could. You should plan your charitable giving to correspond with how much you can comfortably afford to let go. Even if it’s only ten dollars a month, that’s still ten dollars that might help a charitable organization do a lot of good for someone who needs help.
So why should you give away your hard-earned money?
You’re fortunate. If you’re sitting there reading this on your own computer, with a coffee by your side, then you’re probably already richer than a good portion of people throughout the world. Money might sometimes be tight for you, but will a bout of diarrhea send you to your deathbed? Do you spend nights listening to your children whimper in their sleep because they’re so hungry? There are some people in this world who have no options and no way out of the cycle of poverty except for when an organization comes along and gives them a helping hand.
You have a cause. What are you passionate about? Are you an animal activist? Do you attend a church that you adore? Does your political party make you ecstatic? These organizations – and others – can only exist because there are people who are willing to give money without receiving anything in return. You will feel like more of an owner of a cause when you actually contribute to it.
You can deduct charitable donations on your taxes. If you need financial incentive for giving money away, consider the fact that most charitable giving is tax deductible and may reduce the total amount you owe when tax time rolls around. Be sure to keep the receipts you get for your donations.
It’s nice. If no other reason tugs at your heartstrings (or purse strings), give money to charity because it’s the nice thing to do. After all, you never know when you might actually need a little help. Charitable organizations don’t solely work to help people in faraway countries. Imagine a natural disaster flattening your neighborhood, but no funding for the Red Cross to come in and assist you.
Give what you can, when you can, and as cheerfully as you can. Don’t feel bad if you can’t give a bunch of money. The point is to set aside some money each month to go to a charitable cause you believe in. You’ll quickly find that the organization is just as grateful for a $20 donation as it is for a $200 donation.
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