There’s no doubt you work hard for your money. Whether you put in long work hours for the better part of your day or find a way to make that money work for you. You do your time, so to speak, in generating income. So, the idea of just turning around and giving it away can be tough one to swallow. The reality though, is that there are many reasons you should give your money away more often. Most of us don’t, but for those that do, they often tell you they’re better off for it.
5 Reasons You Should Give Your Money Away More Often
This post has been written by our fabulous staff writer, Kerah Kemmerer.
Sure, I think most of us would agree that giving here and there feels good, but what if we started to approach giving a little differently? What if it became a line item in our budget right alongside paying for food and utility bills?
“No one has ever become poor by giving. (Anne Frank) … “For it is in giving that we receive.” (St. Francis of Assisi).
Below are five reasons you should give your money away more often. Because I believe giving more money away will make you a happier person, no matter if you are a millionaire or living paycheck-to-paycheck.
1. Most of us already have enough
If you have a safe, clean space to sleep at night, access to electricity and clean water, food on the table each day, clothing in decent condition, and a means of affordable transportation to earn an income, you are already better off than many others around the world.
In addition to those items, if you have easy access to the internet and online TV subscriptions, own a cell phone, computer or gaming system, its likely you are far from destitute.
It’s quite possible that many of us have MORE than enough, and it’s that very issue that can create more stress in our lives rather than less. If you can look at your current status and agree that you have more than you need right now, it may be time to consider how you can share your surplus with those less fortunate. Give your money where you know it will make the biggest impact.
Related: How Americans Compare to the Global Middle Class
Also, the fewer items you have, the fewer things you will need to clean and maintain. Start by:
- donating clothing and items that you no longer use (keep a receipt for tax purposes)
- volunteering to teach someone a skill that will help them get ahead financially.
- signing up to make a monthly donation to a local shelter or organization
Little acts of giving add up
Anytime you find yourself debating if you should spend that extra $20 earned toward a fun purchase or another meal out, consider buying a meal for someone in need. Sit down with them and take the time to listen to their story. Not only will you be helping someone out, but you’ll also have the chance to connect with another human that likely has a very different perspective on the world than you do.
Recognizing that you have enough will help alleviate some of the societal pressure to continue acquiring more. It will also open up opportunities to connect with others and expand your view of the world as you currently know it.
And, this is just one of the reasons you should give your money away…
2. An open hand may give, but it also receives
I once heard an analogy about an open hand versus a clenched fist approach to money. It goes something like this…
When you hold your money with an open hand and an open heart, it’s true that more money may leave you. Especially as you seek to be open to opportunities of need. However, if you choose to keep a closed fist tightly around your money, it may not leave you, but you will not be able to receive more of it either.
It can be difficult to open our hands and hearts and freely give away what we’ve worked so hard to earn. But if you are closed off to helping others, how will you honor the help you received throughout your life? How will you be open to receiving when the need arises?
If you believe “what goes around, comes around” than it may be good to consider how you can spread hope and support for others facing a need. Of course one should avoid giving simply to receive – that defeats the purpose of giving. However, it never seems to fail that when we give from a place of joy and gratitude, we receive more in return than we could have ever imagined.
You’ll just have to try it out for yourself if you don’t believe me. And if you can’t get your head around the other reasons you should give your money way, I would think receiving more money might be intriguing enough for you to try…
3. Focusing on others brings joy
“…One of the great ironies of life is this: He or she who serves almost always benefits more than he or she who is served.” –
In a way, one could almost argue that serving others by giving is an act of selfishness. The giver is usually the one who derives more joy in the process. Sharing with someone who cannot repay you removes the sense of obligation and enables the giver to be free of any expectations (other than the motive to feel joy, you could argue.)
Giving to others is a way to pay it back or forward for all the times someone has done the same for you.
Related: My Personal (and Spiritual) Beliefs About Money
4. It’s not ours anyway
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” ―Maya Angelou
When we are willing to let go of what we claim as “ours” we open ourselves up to the realization that nothing in this life is truly ours. We entered this wold with nothing, and we will leave with nothing. We are really just stewards of everything we think we “own” in this life.
With that in mind, think about the last time you got to spend someone else’s money. Maybe it was…
- money from your parents while growing up,
- managing a budget for an organization, or
- simply being given a gift you weren’t expecting.
Chances are that you weren’t too emotionally tied to this money and therefore found that spending it was actually easier or more enjoyable than usual.
When you start to see “your” money as merely “money you are responsible for managing,” it suddenly gets a lot easier to consider sharing it with others. The less emotionally tied you are to it, the more you will be able to use it as a tool to bless another.
Of all the reasons you should give your money away, this is one is by far my favorite.
5. It’s just money
We all know that money is merely a socially agreed upon value system used to pay for goods and services. It holds no inherent power and takes on whatever level of value or importance we ascribe to it.
When we allow the accumulation of money to become our goal, we miss the point of it. Yes, we need to earn enough to pay for our basic needs, and it’s certainly okay to enjoy a bit of extra to enjoy the fruits of our labors.
However, without getting into an entire sidebar about income inequality, it’s good for us to consider that many individuals work hard and still cannot make ends meet.
- Some may be facing a health crisis, or
- trying to survive on one income after the loss of a partner, or
- trying to turn their life around after years of poor choices.
In helping our fellow neighbor, we help heal our entire society. In spreading wealth where we see a need, we are spreading hope to others and encouraging their growth.
Even more powerful is the idea of supporting organizations and causes you believe in. Supporting systems designed to help others help themselves will have the greatest impact for all involved. This is one of the best ways to give money.
Related: Why We Turned Down 20 Million Dollars
Reasons You Should Give Your Money Away – Final Thoughts
While I truly believe that giving benefits all of society, it’s important to use discernment.
- If someone is constantly coming to you for money, you are becoming an enabler and only encouraging a harmful cycle.
- If someone takes what you give them and uses it to pursue unhealthy habits, there is no need to give further.
The idea is not be guilted or harassed into sharing simply because you have the means, but to consider your situation carefully and seek out ways to give more where you can. When you approach life from the perspective of abundance and gratitude, it helps you appreciate that there is more to life than just the pursuit of money.
Giving changes us. It opens us up to a different perspective on the world. It can help us appreciate the blessings and opportunities we already have, while inspiring us to want to share those blessings with others.
What do you think?
What has been your experience with giving money? Do you feel it has been a mostly positive experience? Share your thoughts below!
Of all the reasons you should give your money away, which one do you most agree with?
The post 5 Reasons You Should Give your Money Away More Often appeared first on Life And My Finances.