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How to be Generous While In Debt

It is impossible to turn on the news without hearing about income disparity and how the rich are getting richer and the poor poorer.  With more Americans than ever receiving some sort of government assistance and many living in debt, the gap between the rich and poor is ever growing.

For many of us, we still have a desire to help those less fortunate.  But that feeling of giving does not always extend itself to the wealthiest Americans.

Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:3-4

Even as the income gap widens, the wealthiest Americans are giving a smaller share of their income to charity, while poor and middle-income people are donating a larger share, according to an extensive analysis of IRS data conducted by the Chronicle of Philanthropy. (AP)

I find it interesting that a 2010 study conducted by the University of California – Berkeley suggests that the poor are more likely to give to charity than the rich.  The reason being that the poor has a keener sense of empathy with those that are in need.

Further supporting this is a statistical report on American philanthropy (2006 – 2012) suggesting that the poor and middle class increased giving even as incomes declined, all the while donations from the wealthy deteriorated or waned as a proportion of their income.

So even though we may be struggling to make ends meet and living in debt, how can we continue to be generous?  The following are a few ways that can help you continue being generous without creating more debt for yourself.

Deny Yourself

A great way to find the extra money to give to someone or some needy group is to give up a luxury expense that you might have… if just for a short time.  If you enjoy a Starbuck’s coffee every morning, go without that gourmet coffee for a week, socking away the $5 a day that you normally spend.  That’s $25 for a work week that you will have available to be generous with.  …next try going for a month!

Don’t Spend a Dime

Being generous doesn’t always mean giving of money.  You can be generous with your time if you are on a tight budget or struggling with debt.  Find someplace to volunteer or just help someone in need.

Giving First

We are so programmed to spend that it is a struggle to save money, much less find the extra money to be giving and generous.  Well, just like the key to saving money, the key to finding the money to give is to give first!  After receiving your paycheck and before paying any other expenses, write that $10 check to the charity of your choosing.  You will be shocked that you won’t even miss it.  …immediately after you write that $10 check, put another 10 bucks in savings, it will add up before you know it!

Being generous doesn’t mean that you have to put yourself into debt.  There are many more small things that you can do to be generous and giving.

If you find yourself struggling with debt or would like to find out about becoming debt free, call Debthelper at 800-920-2262, or visit @ www.debthelper.com.


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