Giving to Charity – How and Why to Do it Now

Michelle —  September 10, 2012 — Leave a comment

Do you think you give enough to charity? Most likely the answer is no or maybe. I always think about how I could be donating more, or I always say “I’ll start donating more once I cross XX off my list of financial goals or when I have XX completed.”

Lately, it’s been that I’ll wait until my student loans are paid off. However, this list has the potential to be never ending, and I don’t want it to be like that.

I want to give to charity and need to stop making excuses.

I’m going to admit that I am guilty of not donating enough time nor money. We do donate, but not nearly enough in our eyes. The amount is barely even equivalent to 1% of our annual income.

I don’t know if you’re similar to me, but whenever I buy something for myself, I always triple-think about it. Would the money that I’m spending on this dinner be better spent by donating it to a family during the holiday season? Maybe a child could use new clothes also…

Also, whenever I go to any type of store, whether it be the grocery store, pet store or a clothing store, I am almost always asked if I would like to donate a dollar to their charity. Sometimes I do decline, but it nearly eats me alive when I think about how a dollar wouldn’t change my life, but a dollar could greatly change someone elses’.

Giving to a charity does not only have to constitute giving money. Giving to a charity can also be donating your time, as most likely, your time is invaluable.

Many charities cannot find enough volunteers to help out, which would make an endless amount of cash still not useful if they cannot find those willing to put in physical time.

Before, I would always use the excuse of not having enough time to volunteer. However, I truly did. Instead of going home and watching TV, I could’ve been dedicating just a couple of hours of my time to a charity every week. A couple of hours wouldn’t have killed me, and it could’ve made a large difference in the eyes of the charity.

There are many great reasons for why you should donate:

1.  You can really help someone.

Not everyone is fortunate in their life, and some things they cannot help. Also, the person may just be down on their luck lately and may just need quick help.

There are many examples of this, such as a young child whose parents cannot afford school supplies for them, or maybe they have a single mother who does not have enough time for them because they are constantly working. Or maybe someone just lost their job and just needs help until they get back on their feet.

2.  You’re going to spend it anyways.

If you have the money, you will most likely spend it. Instead of buying your 5th chocolate bar of the week, maybe you can designate a certain amount of money towards helping a charity of your choosing.

Dedicating just $30 of your monthly income will make a difference in someone’s life, especially if many more people started doing this. $30 is most likely not a lot to you, and will require you just to cut out one small thing out of your life every month.

3.  They are tax-deductible.

Yes, while some would like to think that they would never consider taking a tax deduction, it is a benefit, and there should be no shame in taking this. If you are helping the world, then you are helping!

Be a little creative when it comes to making a charitable donation. Think bigger than simple household items and start looking at less obvious items, like a vehicle or even a boat. Making boat donations in New Jersey is an easy process. This state in particular provides great tax benefits. In many cases, donating a boat is very simple, just select a charity online and fill out a few papers. Help out causes such as hunger, cancer, and homelessness while saving a little money during tax season. It’s truly a win-win situation!

Do you give to charity?

Do you believe that you give “enough”?

Michelle

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Michelle is the founder of Making Sense of Cents, a personal finance and lifestyle blog about budgeting, traveling, life, and student loans. Read further on her story and life, and you can also connect with her on twitter.

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