Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's Not All About Me

I'm working towards all kinds of savings goals, and as I've mentioned, I'm hoping to still have some fun while I'm doing it. As I celebrate finding good bargains and ways to save, I am reminded each Sunday at church that it's not all about me, as we sing in the doxology: "Praise God, the source of all our gifts!"

Charitable giving (mostly to my church) is a respectable part of my spending plan. Part of the reason I do work on saving when I'm spending is so that I can afford to keep these gifts in my budget and even grow them over the years. As a Christian, I believe that I am a steward of the money and things I have, but they really belong to God. It is hard to always keep in check with stewardship, but making sure I do give to my church and other charities does help.

I once heard in a sermon that giving helps you feel more secure with what you have, regardless of the amount. I believe that's true. Knowing that I'm able to give away money and other gifts, yet still have plenty to live on, does make me feel more comfortable about my financial situation. I think it's why I can work for a nonprofit when many candidates for jobs with us praise our mission but say it's impossible for anyone to live on the wages we offer -- though admittedly, I'd love to have a higher salary!

Like I mentioned, the bulk of my charitable gifts does go to my church. However, I find a little bit of money to give to other good causes too. I also follow the Cut Out Hunger program and give food, personal care items, and over-the-counter medications to organizations that help people in need for very little money out of my own pocket. (Read my post from 11/7/07 about how I've recently been using Cut Out Hunger.) Some of my favorite charities that you might want to consider too are: Really Awesome Times (an organization that runs a camp for kids in the DC area who are affected and infected with AIDS/HIV -- my sister is the camp director), Girl Scouts, and Art for Humanity.

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Bryan said...

Another good idea is to check and see if your employer will match donations. My company will match 100% of my donation to several hundred different charities if I donate directly through the company (rather than through the charity's website, location, etc...). Before donating cash, check with your employer to see if they have a matching program...for me, it doubles the donation that I give!

Betsy said...

Oh yes - matching gifts are awesome! Your HR department would know whether your company does them and how to make it happen. Some companies also give financial gifts to the organizations with which their employees volunteer. How I do love "free" money!