I’m one of those “Do Good” types. I can own that about myself. While I do try to spread my Do Good-ing throughout the year, a lot of it gets focused in the Holiday Season. I feel very fortunate to have my life and the blessings that I do. No, I don’t make a LOT of money, but I do make enough for me and some extra. (Usually it’s spent on travel, shoes, wine and sushi, but it doesn’t have to be!)
A lot of times I just give some money not very much, but whatever I can spare when I’m asked. Other times? I donate time though, but because I’m limited on time, I try to pick things to do that will help organizations I believe in or ones that I think will be fun.
This year, I’ve picked up some hours at the Holiday Wrapping station to benefit American Cancer Society and BONUS it’s a group I think does good work and I think it’ll be fun. I also donate to Toys for Tots, the local food bank, Damien Center and I try to pick a local family to help.
Can I be honest and say it gets expensive sometimes? Please don’t think I’m complaining, I’m just saying. I know full well that if I can’t afford it, I don’t have to do it. But considering how lucky I am, I feel that I should.
Besides, helping feels good. (Remember I’m a Do Gooder)
For the next year, I’m considering adding a budget category for “Charitable Donations” but I think I’ll call it the “Do Good Fund”. I’d like to give a full 10% to others, but I’m not sure that’s possible – that comes to about $3,500 for the year. (I only consider income from my full-time job, the part-time job money is earmarked for other things.) I’ll have to figure out how much I can give over all and go from there. When I’m asked, $20 here and $25 there doesn’t seem like much, but to look at the year over all, I donated close to $1,000 in money and goods. (Some of the charities I support ask for items I make – hats and scarves, baked goods etc in lieu of money. This is A-OK by me!)
My question for you today is: How much do you give if at all? (if you feel like sharing) Do you tend to give more at the holidays or do you give all year? Do you save for it all year? How do you manage this aspect of your financial life?