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July 15, 2010


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I would agree with this sentiment. It does seem a bit counter intuitive but when you really think about what you are doing when you give, it makes sense. Since people that give a significant amount are not only thinking about themselves, they are more aware of the fact that they do not need lots of stuff (or at least not as much stuff).

About a year ago my wife and I had thought about reducing our amount of giving so we could pay off our debt faster. That only lasted a few months and now we are back to giving our set amount. I'm glad we did not continue giving less; because we chose to set aside a certain amount we have been able to greatly help some people along the way. Had we reduced our giving it would have severely limited our ability to help others.

This is the first article about giving increasing your wealth that actually made sense to me-that the practice of giving means living within your means, means paying attention to things other than immediate gratification and the fleeting pleasures of consumption, which means financial success. I like it. I am going to have to use this in a sermon sometime this year.

I completely agree with this line of reasoning. In a book I was reading recently by T. Harv Eker, called the Secrets of the Millionaire Mind, he also reinforces that contributing 5-10% of your income to charity is one of the key steps towards shifting your mindset to becoming a millionaire.

For me personally, contributing more towards charity was one of my key financial goals for 2010, and subsequently, has made me become more cognicent of other frivoulous spending.


i agree with what he says in the way of managing money. I am very much averted to unnecessary debt and i avoid them whenever i can. i would not borrow cash to buy something that i do not need. The problem is that television has made us think that millionaires buy everything that they see and this is not true. So when a guy gets some money he starts living the often skewed definition of millionaire status dream he has and we all know how that ends

I donate my time, which feels great and keeps me busy. You can't be spending money if you're walking shelter least, you can't if you don't own a smart phone (I just had a quick flash in my head of someone with a smart phone surfing Amazon or Ebay during their walk, lol).

People with a mindset that includes giving are probably more self-disciplined, less selfish, and think "bigger-picture" than those who are mostly focused on spending and consumption.

The ability to give also implies that there is money (either leftover or prioritized) for others when their spending is done for the month. Not surprising that there would also be money left over or prioritized for saving.

Also - those who take pleasure in giving obviously feel that the pleasure outweighs the "pain" of losing the money. Most likely they feel similarly about the defered gratification of saving (giving up something now to be rewarded later).

And finally, if giving involves seeing that others are worse-off than you are, then you don't feel the societal pressure to spend. This effect is the same as living in a less-upscale neighborhood, where there is less pressure to buy expensive cars, take expensive vacations, etc.

Where I disagree with many articles on giving is that they imply that giving somehow CAUSES wealth. I think that wealth and giving are correlated, but not causal.

@Bob: I just wonder how much more you would be able to give if you would pay off debt first?

I'm all for giving when and how one can. I start worrying when people (not you Bob, but other people I have known over the years) give before their own house is in order. Giving should come from extra money, because life's circumstances might mean that this money might stop in the future.

On the other hand, there are more ways to be generous than with a checkbook. Time is great, as are labor and experience. Even if you don't have $$, you might be able to go help someone.

while i have no problem with helping others i never understood why people would prolong their debt to continue giving at a set amount. anyone care to give a rational explanation? Again, when i have money to give i do, but i would never consider staying in debt just so i can continue giving at a predetermined amount. In theory, it's true. Giving should come with extra money. But here's the a country like America, almost everyone blows money on stuff they don't need, so almost everyone can give. Heck, I see plenty of homeless people who find the money for cigarettes and alcohol. So, it's almost always possible to give something, however small.

It is the fact that they are thoughtful about their money, which makes them wealthier.
Consuming less, investing for the future and giving are a consequence of being thoughtful about what you do with your money. Not the other way around.
Even though I support giving, the fact is that you can still be thoughtful about your money, and rationally save, invest and still not give. That still makes you wealthier that the norm. Now whether it makes you happier it's another question, but wealthier? for sure.

Great points. An individual that gives is truly in a different frame of mind the wanton spender. I don't think the man who bought the $200 dollar pair of jeans gets the same satisfaction from an equal dollar donation to a worthy charity close to the giver's heart.

I too am in accord with your sentiment of not needing an oversized home. Those rooms need furnished, heated and maintained all just for status quo. Not everyone is as capable of seeing what truly matters. Perhaps not knowing just how good you've got it is the culprit.

Let's be careful with jumping to conclusions.

People who give more, are wealthier. So giving makes you wealthier? (or is it the other way around?)

Where you see lots of umbrellas, it rains more. So umbrellas attract rain? (or is it the other way around?)

Just playing the devil's advocate here. While it's counter-intuitive, I'm open to the possibility that giving makes you wealthier. It certainly makes you FEEL wealthier!

I wonder if giving could have a similar effect as doing what you love - let me explain:

It's often said that you should do what you love (for a living), and that the money will follow. The rationale behind this is that you'll be doing more your best, so you're more likely to become successful.

Could the same apply to giving? It makes you feel like you're being your best self, and it stimulates you to continue to be your best self. And that of course could very well lead to financial success.

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