It’s a great feeling to give money to charity but sometimes it may not be the responsible thing to do.
When I first took responsibility for my debt and realized that my belt needed some serious tightening, figuratively of course, I started working hard to plug all the leaks in my finances. One area that got hit hard was charity.
I’m not religious but I love the idea of Tithing as it’s known in Judaism and Christianity; in Islam Zakaah is a similar concept. I think it’s a noble thing to give over a portion of your personal earnings / wealth to charitable causes and it is something we should all strive for.
Giving to those who are less fortunate is more than a self-gratifying action, it’s something that really does keep millions and millions of people in this world alive or at least leading a better life. Charity provides services and needs for so many people that an immediate stop would probably make the earth spin off into the universe!
However when in debt there is a good case for stopping ALL giving money to charity, that even means not putting a quarter in the Salvation Army bucket at Christmas.
When you are in debt you are burdening yourself and others. Letting money out will only lengthen your stay in debt hell; you are more of a burden on society in debt than out of debt, or at least the society I would like to see.
If one-by-one we can climb out of debt and get ourselves into a position where we can help others, then gradually we should be able to form a system where all of those around us pull out of debt too. A positive start is to stop being charitable in the traditional sense!
If you are in debt just take a look over the last year and try to figure out how much you have given to charity. You may have been slipping change into the box at the local store everyday or have more substantial donations setup via monthly direct debit.
If you are a giving person you may be surprised how much cash you let out. Plug that hole, get yourself out of debt and then think about how you can give back.
You feel bad about stopping cash donations?
Money isn’t everything; if stopping your monthly donations makes you upset then you can replace it in other ways. Giving away your old stuff to thrift stores and GoodWill is one way, and volunteering is another. You could volunteer to be a big sister / brother, distribute charity leaflets or even work in a thrift store for a little time each month. There are ways to help without spending.
Concentrating on getting out of debt is a charitable thing to do.
What do you think?
This is a guest post from Forest Parks. Forest writes about frugal living, money and lifestyle at FrugalZeitgeist.com. Topics on the blog include things such as The Cheapest Places To Live and How To Simplify Your Life and much more.