This summer you may be going on vacations, starting a home renovation project, or just simply performing daily tasks that life throws at you. At the bank, we are busy collecting auction items for our annual month-long Auctions in August event where the proceeds will go to hundreds of non-profits because... giving matters.
Did you know that giving is part of personal finance? When we talk about personal finances we tend to concentrate on debt payments, income, savings, and investments. But how are you making the world around you a better place? Giving can and will affect your happiness and lead to an improved bottom line in life. If you are ready to start giving, here are a few factors to consider.
Choosing a Cause
Maya Angelou, a famous American poet, memoirist, and civil rights activist, said, “When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” Choosing who you give to is not always easy. Some may take an effective altruism approach to giving where they use evidence and reason to determine the most effective way to benefit a cause. Others may just give to whoever asks for money without any research. And a few may ask themselves whether they want the charity to be local or global and do they want to give to one cause or many? Our advice is to find a cause that aligns with your interest; a cause that makes you feel like you are making a difference and doing good.
What to Give
Once you find that cause and you start either giving money or giving your time through volunteering, your happiness should ultimately take an upward shift. Your hard work will not only go toward your livelihood, but it will also make a difference. Giving will give you more purpose and meaning, plus a few extra benefits that should bring you more happiness. Now, how much should you donate? This is a very personal question, and the best answer is give as much as you can. If you can afford to, try to challenge yourself and give 1% of your income. Also, speak with a tax advisor to learn what charitable donations you may be able to deduct.
When to Give
According to Nonprofit Source, a third of annual giving occurs in December. Most non-profits though are in need of funds and volunteers year-round, so start including giving in your budget and give on a monthly basis. You then become a loyal giver all while managing your personal finances. If the charity hosts an event, make that event your priority and offer to volunteer. Your professional skills may even be needed. Speak up and ask.
Finally, what motivates you to work harder? Most would say a goal. Set a new goal for giving this year and work hard to achieve it. Look to giving as a way to show gratitude for what you were given. Maybe you would like to network more and form new friendships. Giving allows you to connect with like-minded individuals. Or perhaps you would like to become a good role model to your children. What better way to set an example than giving.
All in all, try to incorporate giving into your personal finances because giving truly does matter. If you would like to start the process of giving soon, check out Auctions in August at www.auctionsinaugust.com or ask a banker today.