Author Topic: Giving  (Read 7444 times)

quelinda

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Giving
« on: February 19, 2015, 10:18:42 AM »
My DH & I are sort-of following Dave Ramsey's advice -- we're almost out of debt & then will begin to build up a large emergency fund (it would make me feel secure to have a big chunk of cash in the bank).

After that we'll probably be a bit more MMM than DR, but Dave's emphasis on giving has been giving me pause. We don't really donate any money (or time) to anything. We have two small kids and until recently haven't had a lot of cash, and I didn't grow up seeing my parents volunteer or donate (though I think they did quietly do some charitable giving).

I'm just wondering if giving is part of your lifestyle, or how you feel about it in general. Thank you!

FarmerPete

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Re: Giving
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2015, 10:31:19 AM »
I give roughly 10% of my net paycheck to a few Christian charities.  I recommend giving money to any groups you are a part of.  If giving money is problematic, give time/service.  Giving to those in need is rewarding.  Try it some time and see how it goes.

mxt0133

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Re: Giving
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2015, 10:46:46 AM »
There has been a few threads on giving and contributing to charity and it can get pretty heated.  After reading those threads I re-evaluated my feelings on it.  Currently my family will do volunteer work and contribute to charity on a sporadic basis.  Before kids we were more active and generous.  My personal feelings are that I need to secure my family's financial future before I can help anyone else.  This outlook is heavily influenced by my family, particularly my dad.  Only after I feel that we are at a point that if I or my wife can no longer earn income, we will still be financially stable.  Only then we will start to give back.  There were times that we did contribute significant amounts and although it felt really good to help out others, I could not help think of the opportunity costs for my family. 

Our primary goals are to raise our children into healthy and happy adults and to not be a burden to them or society as we age and also be able to help them as they start their own families.  Basically I do not want to be contributing to charity while sometime in the future having to depending on charity to live.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Giving
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2015, 10:52:52 AM »
I'm just wondering if giving is part of your lifestyle, or how you feel about it in general. Thank you!

Yes, giving is part of my lifestyle. I give time and some money to causes that mean something to me, and feel good about it.  Don't know anything about Dave Ramsey (is he religious? I'm not), but would suggest figuring out what you're comfortable with and doing what's right for you.  Some thoughts on giving that make sense to me:

“If you’re in the luckiest one per cent of humanity, you owe it to the rest of humanity to think about the other 99 per cent.”
― Warren Buffett

“Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)”
― Marcus Tullius Cicero

hodedofome

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Re: Giving
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2015, 10:54:14 AM »
I'm sort-of assuming that because you are following Dave Ramsey, you are following a Christian perspective of the world as well. If that's the case...

Then do some research on what God says about money and specifically giving. If God is asking you to give away a certain amount of money, then won't He also be able to take care of you and provide for you as well? Or, God may be asking you to save money. There are principles in the Bible but ultimately I believe it comes down to what He's asking you to do with it. If you are obeying Him then you don't have to worry about what this person or that person thinks about it. And you can trust that He'll take care of you.

My parents taught me to tithe 10% to church, but really, according to the New Testament, all of what we have is God's anyways. So in my 20s i started with 10% but then tried to give as much as I could. In my 30s I've felt God wanting me to save more, while still giving 10%, so that's what I've been doing. Does giving push back my retirement plans? Maybe. Or maybe God just wants me to trust Him and obey Him, and He'll be able to return back to me much more than I could ever save on my own. Who knows.

I do know that God has always taken care of me, and I get much more enjoyment out of giving than I do receiving.

DeltaBond

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Re: Giving
« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2015, 11:38:13 AM »
Giving is a very big part of my lifestyle, but its not always money I give away directly - sometimes its things I've made or my time.  My parents did not do this, ever, to answer that part of the question.

quelinda

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Re: Giving
« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2015, 11:55:05 AM »
I'm sort-of assuming that because you are following Dave Ramsey, you are following a Christian perspective of the world as well. If that's the case...

Actually, we're not religious at all. DH is an atheist and I guess I'd say I'm agnostic.

boarder42

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Re: Giving
« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2015, 12:22:18 PM »
i would rather save my money and when i'm FI setup self sustaining non dieing scholarship funds for the university i attended.  i think giving before you are FI doesnt make a lot of sense.  especially since i plan to acheive it early.  now if i were going to retire at 65 i may give much more right now.  but i'm done at 35 and will setup endowments for kids to get educations when i retire. 

DeltaBond

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Re: Giving
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2015, 12:44:07 PM »
i would rather save my money and when i'm FI setup self sustaining non dieing scholarship funds for the university i attended.  i think giving before you are FI doesnt make a lot of sense.  especially since i plan to acheive it early.  now if i were going to retire at 65 i may give much more right now.  but i'm done at 35 and will setup endowments for kids to get educations when i retire.

What about donating your time?

boarder42

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Re: Giving
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2015, 01:02:55 PM »
already do that now.  I run a local charity. forgot to mention that.

Philociraptor

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Re: Giving
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2015, 01:14:07 PM »
Nah, we don't give time or money away. We use extra money to speed along our path to FI and extra time (outside of earning money or required human functions) for enjoying life. We definitely have a "put your own oxygen mask on first" mindset, there will be plenty of opportunity for giving when we don't need to work.

mak1277

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Re: Giving
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2015, 02:31:42 PM »
We definitely have a "put your own oxygen mask on first" mindset, there will be plenty of opportunity for giving when we don't need to work.

I think this is kind of BS...or at least a poor use of the metaphor.  In my mind, if your family has a roof over its head, food on the table and your monthly expenses covered, and an emergency fund then you have your oxygen mask on already.  If you're also saving money into retirement savings, then you're just taking gulps of air instead of helping the person next to you.


Eric

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Re: Giving
« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2015, 02:36:23 PM »
We definitely have a "put your own oxygen mask on first" mindset, there will be plenty of opportunity for giving when we don't need to work.

I think this is kind of BS...or at least a poor use of the metaphor.  In my mind, if your family has a roof over its head, food on the table and your monthly expenses covered, and an emergency fund then you have your oxygen mask on already.  If you're also saving money into retirement savings, then you're just taking gulps of air instead of helping the person next to you.

Yeah, don't use all the oxygen!



OP -- we just had this discussion within a few days if you want to read where people give or why they don't give now/never plan to give:

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/welcome-to-the-forum/charity-minded-mustachians-where-do-you-donate-and-why/
http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/off-topic/why-do-many-mmmers-skip-charity/

mak1277

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Re: Giving
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2015, 02:56:56 PM »
Ultimately, I have no qualms admitting that early retirement is a selfish pursuit.  I'm not saying it's immoral, but it is self-serving...and while I am pursuing FIRE myself, I still do feel that I am not giving as much to charity as I could/should.  It's an ongoing struggle I have personally, even though charitable giving is my third biggest expense line after taxes and mortgage.

Philociraptor

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Re: Giving
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2015, 03:21:19 PM »
We definitely have a "put your own oxygen mask on first" mindset, there will be plenty of opportunity for giving when we don't need to work.

I think this is kind of BS...or at least a poor use of the metaphor.  In my mind, if your family has a roof over its head, food on the table and your monthly expenses covered, and an emergency fund then you have your oxygen mask on already.  If you're also saving money into retirement savings, then you're just taking gulps of air instead of helping the person next to you.
To each their own.

Roots&Wings

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Re: Giving
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2015, 03:29:39 PM »
Ultimately, I have no qualms admitting that early retirement is a selfish pursuit.  I'm not saying it's immoral, but it is self-serving...and while I am pursuing FIRE myself, I still do feel that I am not giving as much to charity as I could/should.  It's an ongoing struggle I have personally, even though charitable giving is my third biggest expense line after taxes and mortgage.

FIRE isn't necessarily a selfish pursuit.  Financial independence = ability to spend your time and money as you see fit, whether for charity or other purposes.   It's about choices, yes?   And requires conscious spending/saving to meet your goals.   If you're not feeling good about how much you're saving vs. giving near-term and longer-term, it might be worth examining further.
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 03:32:02 PM by step-in-time »

MarciaB

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Re: Giving
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2015, 05:22:32 PM »
I believe in an abundance mindset, where there is plenty. So my philosophy towards giving my "time, talent and treasure" is to do it generously and with an open heart. The return on this is joy, optimism, health, and the pleasure of having contributed (for me). And the folks on the receiving end are blessed (a word I'm using for my secular self).

southern granny

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Re: Giving
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2015, 05:43:02 PM »
Yes, giving is important to me... money and time.  It just seems like the right thing to do.  If you can't spare the money, donate blood.  It will just take 30 minutes every couple of months.  You can start small and work your way up.  Find a charity that you can involve the children in.  Dropping off dog food to an animal shelter would be helpful and fun for the children. 

Kaydedid

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Re: Giving
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2015, 03:51:20 AM »
We go to a church that has a large number of disabled and disadvantaged members, so most of our giving is directly to people we know for specific needs. 

I used to be of the mindset that poor people often handle their money badly, and we shouldn't exacerbate it by helping them out.  Then I actually got to know some poor people, and realized that in their situations I wouldn't do any better.  Everyone makes minor money mistakes here and there,  but the lack of true safety nets often makes for disproportionately huge impacts.  We help provide a safety net for people who have none (and if you think the government provides a great safety net, just wait until you have to take a sick kid to the doc and your car breaks down.  Four expenses in one-alternative transportation to the doctor, doctor bill, car repair, and lost wages, only one of which the government will potentially help with).

I am also absolutely disgusted by the state of mental health care in this country.  Even for people on medicaid, something as simple as weekly counseling is $160/mo out-of-pocket, which for many is 10% of their income.  The free counselors through DHFS are really hit-or-miss,  and there is currently a one-year waiting list to start seeing one.  We help out a lot on mental health copays.

We also do some longer-range help, like giving away LEDs to people who are struggling with electric bills, doing preventative maintenance on vehicles, etc.

DeltaBond

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Re: Giving
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2015, 06:48:24 AM »
already do that now.  I run a local charity. forgot to mention that.

Oh, neat!!!  If you don't mind me asking, as I have a great interest in this, how did you start it?

"Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community."
Andrew Carnegie

boarder42

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Re: Giving
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2015, 06:54:31 AM »
already do that now.  I run a local charity. forgot to mention that.

Oh, neat!!!  If you don't mind me asking, as I have a great interest in this, how did you start it?

"Surplus wealth is a sacred trust which its possessor is bound to administer in his lifetime for the good of the community."
Andrew Carnegie

I just run a local chapter of wake the world a non profit providing watersports opportunities to the less fortunate. 

We take Boys and Girls club out on the lake for a day of wakeboarding, waterskiing, tubing, etc.

I coordinate the location and 20+ boats who donate their time and gas to give the kids a once in a lifetime experience.(unless they come back next year)

The national branch started in North Carolina.  And another guy started it in KC a couple years before i took it over and revived it. 

DeltaBond

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Re: Giving
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2015, 07:11:23 AM »
Boarder42, that's really cool, thank you for sharing that!  I found a local agency Youth Villages that takes in the children who are removed from their families, or lost their families, and are either in group homes or foster care.  I learned about them just in time to fullfill a Christmas wish list for one of the kids, and next year plan to do a few more.  I think they have activities here like the one you're doing, I'm in Tennessee - LOTS of water sport activities here, so I'm pretty sure they do that kind of thing.

boarder42

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Re: Giving
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2015, 07:20:11 AM »
http://www.waketheworld.org/#!new-event/cyfd

go here check it out they are in the early planning stages not sure if this is near where you are.  But connections to group homes like you just mentioned is a need for this.  My Co-coordinator handles the b&G club coordination

Trudie

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Re: Giving
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2015, 07:34:32 AM »
We go to a church that has a large number of disabled and disadvantaged members, so most of our giving is directly to people we know for specific needs. 

I used to be of the mindset that poor people often handle their money badly, and we shouldn't exacerbate it by helping them out.  Then I actually got to know some poor people, and realized that in their situations I wouldn't do any better.  Everyone makes minor money mistakes here and there,  but the lack of true safety nets often makes for disproportionately huge impacts.  We help provide a safety net for people who have none (and if you think the government provides a great safety net, just wait until you have to take a sick kid to the doc and your car breaks down.  Four expenses in one-alternative transportation to the doctor, doctor bill, car repair, and lost wages, only one of which the government will potentially help with).

I am also absolutely disgusted by the state of mental health care in this country.  Even for people on medicaid, something as simple as weekly counseling is $160/mo out-of-pocket, which for many is 10% of their income.  The free counselors through DHFS are really hit-or-miss,  and there is currently a one-year waiting list to start seeing one.  We help out a lot on mental health copays.

We also do some longer-range help, like giving away LEDs to people who are struggling with electric bills, doing preventative maintenance on vehicles, etc.

I go to a similar congregation -- although I think we could be doing more.  Like many religious communities our church has a "Pastor's Discretionary Fund" for emergency situations like these in which there is no safety net.  Although the recipients of the fund are confidential we have found a way to get members more involved to steer recipients toward longer term solutions when appropriate.  For instance, we have folks who request emergency help with utility bills.  In many cases they qualify for emergency heating assistance and just need some help steering them to an appropriate agency.  Religious communities can play an important role in this continuum.