Deep down, I truly believe we all hope to be generous people. We want to help others, use our assets to make someone else’s day, or simply give our time to improve the life of another.
For many people, however, especially those of us who feel our lives are so busy and hectic already, finding the right place to begin is the toughest part. “Where do I find time?,” or, “I’ve worked hard for what I have, I don’t want to just simply give it away,” seem to be prevailing questions and statements.
Becoming a more generous person with your wealth takes time, and is not often easy. Once you begin to realize the impact you and your money can have on the lives of others, however, your ability to give generously increases.
I recently came upon an article that highlights nine ways to become a more generous person. Now, I realize we are all at different places in our lives financially, but many of these steps can help us realize the outstanding benefits of giving.
- Consider the benefits of generosity: Generous people are often happier, healthier, and more satisfied with their lives than people who choose not to give. Generosity gives us a sense that we are capable of making a difference as we actively address the needs of those around us. While it may seem weird to count personal benefits when considering generosity, it is an important step to get the ball rolling.
- Embrace gratitude: List the things you are grateful for—even a short list will do. Sometimes, a critical step towards improved generosity is spending more time thinking about what you already have and less about what you don’t. Soon, you will realize how good you actually have it, and become more willing to share your success with others.
- Start small: If you haven’t made many donations in the past, start with something that’s seems easy to give, even if it’s a single dollar. The point is not to report $1 on your year-end tax return, the point is to get started. After some time, you’ll feel more comfortable giving larger amounts as your generosity momentum builds.
- Give first: When you get your next paycheck, make your first expense an act of giving. If we wait, we often see how much we have left over to give away. The problem with that strategy is that there is often not much left over.
- Divert one specific expense: For a set period of days (try a month, maybe) divert one specific expense to a charity of your choice. You may give up your morning Starbucks on Tuesday and Thursdays, or pack your lunch for the month instead of eating out every afternoon. At the end of the month, calculate the money you saved, and redirect it to that specific charity.
- Fund a cause based on your passion: Many people feel they must donate to well-known charities, like breast cancer awareness funds or the Salvation Army. While these are all noble charities, you will likely be more inclined to give to a charity that addresses a passion of yours. There are countless charities/causes that need your support, so find the ones that get you the most excited. For example, if you’re passionate about soccer, donate to a charity that helps underprivileged youth get the gear they need to enjoy the beautiful game, like Soccer Salvation Inc. Find the charity that gets you excited.
- Find a person you believe in: If you feel that you are more inclined to help the people in your life rather than a cause or organization, that’s not a bad thing. Take careful note of the people in your life you most admire. What causes to they hold most dear? Who do they support? How can you get involved alongside them?
- Spend time with people in need: One of the most effective remedies for a non-generous attitude is spending time with people who actually need your help. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is to volunteer to help with a meal at you local homeless shelter. Spending time with the poor may just change your impression of them forever.
- Spend time with a generous person: Talk with someone that you feel is generous, sincerely asking them with questions like “ Have you always been generous?,” or “How do you decide where your money goes?”
If you feel you would like to become a more generous person, these are some great tips for beginning down the right path. If you have any questions about charitable giving, feel free to contact me at Boomfish Wealth Group, LLC