It took me a while to develop the habit of donating money to charities in a planned way. When I was new into the workforce it was not top of mind for me to give some of my very small income away to others. Today I tend to look at the world a little differently! I am very fortunate to be healthy, gainfully employed and living in one of the best countries in the World. I now think it is my responsibility as a good citizen to give something back, to help those who are less fortunate than me. This is a habit that I have cultivated over time and each year my wife and I plan out how much we will donate and to which causes.
Giving money to worthy causes should be a conscious choice and not a knee jerk reaction to being caught at a “weak moment” … although donating $10 or $20 here and there has become an expected part of my life!
Probably the first time I made a conscious decision to allot money on an annual basis was to the United Way through a payroll deduction scheme. A few dollars every payday certainly didn’t make a huge difference in my life and yet it can make a big difference for a charity. Many people will spend money every day on coffee without a second thought, so giving some dollars every month to charity should also come naturally.
How much should you give?
If you are new to the workforce I would suggest looking at your disposable income and make a contribution that isn’t going to hurt. If you gave $20 a month would that make a difference in your life? Could you give $25 or even $50 without feeling the pain … then do it!
Once this becomes part of your conscious decision making process then you can adjust your budget over time. Some people will apportion a percentage of their income to charity, while others will budget a certain dollar value on an annual basis. You have to be able to feel good about your donation and that will be different for everybody.
My message with this blog is to encourage everybody to give something to a good cause on a regular basis, and to make that just a natural part of being a good citizen. Start small, start now and make a difference … it really does feel good to help!