One thing I believe in is giving back. It seems every time that I give unto others, God thanks me in one way or another. As the bible states “the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away;” (Job: 21). You see, 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.
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. The same goes for adults and budgeting. If you force donating and helping others into your budget – even when times are tough – it will become your new normal. As you pay down your debts, you will free up more income and can possibly even increase what you are donating. At any rate, 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 need to 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.
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. We help when there are disasters. We support the schools and local organizations when we can. We purchase items for our 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. It might even mean 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.
Don’t wait to start donating until your debt is paid down. Start now. It may be small, but the small things we do can have a big impact upon others. There is no time like the present to change what you are doing.