Stop Donations when getting out of debt. Some experts advise this is important. But is that the right thing to do?
One thing I believe in is giving back. I don’t do it for recognition or anything like that. The reason is because it feels great. It is also the right thing to do.
Every time I give to others, it seems that I get paid back by God in one way or another. As the bible states “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away;” (Job: 21). I truly believe we are stewards of God’s money and when we use it in the way that is pleasing to him, he rewards us in some form. It may not be financial, but those can be the best gifts!
As we go through paying down debts, the one thing that many people do is to stop helping others through donations. They instead place all of that money towards their debts. While getting out of debt is wonderful and commendable, helping others is still just as (if not more) important.
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- Using the Cash Envelope System to Budget
I know it can be difficult to try to add in additional money into your budget to give to others, but if you don’t do it now, it is too easy not to do it later on. As we teach our children lessons, we know that repetition is key. The more they can do something, the quicker it becomes habit and something which they are just use to doing.
CHANGE THE BUDGET
This is true for adults and your budget. Add a donate item to your budget. Even when times are tough, it will be part of what you do. As you pay down your debts, you will free up more income. This may be a way for you to give even more. It will become part of your budget and you will not consider a budget with out this line item.
When it comes to the amount or percentage, there is a lot of talk as to what is considered standard. Many people tithe to their church and are asked to give 10%. Some can’t afford that and so they have to 2%.
I look at it this way – something is better than nothing. If you go to church, you should give. You use the lights, the power, the building – that stuff is not free. Even non-profits have expenses and the only way those can be met is through the help of others.
HOW WE DO THIS
My husband and I designate a certain amount from our budget to donate. We give some of that to our church, but we keep some of that so we can also help other charities. When there are natural disasters, we donate to help. We support the schools and local organizations when we can. I pick up extra food at the grocery store and donate it to the food pantry. We donate items to charities to sell. It is not about donating it all to your church – it is about donating to others in need.
I am sure if you look hard at your budget, you can find a few dollars to give to others. It may mean passing on that latte this week, or missing the sale at your favorite store. Perhaps it means passing up on dining out just one night a month. Giving unto others is part of what makes us great. When we forget to do that, we lose a part of ourselves.
Start donating today. If you wait until your debt is paid down, you may never start. While it may be small, it can have a big impact. There is no time like the present to change what you are doing.