Many of us strive for well-rounded personal finances. We want to have the right balance of investments, emergency savings, retirement savings, and smart spending on the things that are most important to us. Achieving financial freedom is, in large measure, about creating a well-rounded financial picture.
One of the aspects of well-rounded finances that many of us overlook, though, is charitable giving. Many of the leading financial gurus insist that you make charitable giving a part of your financial life. It may seem counter-intuitive, but giving money away can actually help you build wealth in the long run.
It’s Not Just about Karma
Many people point out that what you do comes back around. If you aren’t a nice person, eventually you’ll get your comeuppance. If you give generously, it comes back to you in the form of richer life experiences, as well as as more wealth to help others with. This concept is widely taught in religions all over the world, and even many of those without religious affiliation believe that doing good is good for you, as well as for others.
But you don’t have to rely on the concept of an eternal reward, or good karma, or whatever, to help you improve your finances through charitable giving. One of the main reasons that charitable giving can be good for your finances is becuase it forces you to plan a little bit better.
Consider, if charitable giving is important to you, that needs to be reflected in your financial plan. As you create a financial plan, your inclusion of charitable giving encourages you to be smarter about your other resources. If you know that you will be giving money to charity, you will be smarter about your other spending options, and plan your expenditures better. Adding charitable giving to the mix forces you to really look at your priorities, and make sure that you really are spending smart — on the things that are most important to you.
And, after you give, you feel good about yourself, and enjoy a feeling of satisfaction. This is common, since we often feel happier when we help others. Charitable giving takes you outside yourself and allows you to feel better about your own life. It’s hard to bemoan the fact that you don’t go out to lunch every day when you recognize that your charitable giving has provided an essential meal to a family.
Other Ways to Give
In some cases, you might feel as though you don’t have the money to give. That doesn’t mean you can’t help, though. There are ways to help others without giving money. Volunteer at the local charity, or give your time in other ways. It’s also possible to donate your points from rewards credit cards to charity in some cases. If you use your credit card to buy groceries, and earn rewards, you can then donate them to charity, helping others.
Consider ways you can give, whether it’s with money, or by some other means. You’ll feel more satisfaction in your life, and have less inclination to spend on frivolous things. And, you’ll be encouraged to keep your finances in better order.