How To Give Generously On Any Budget

You don't have to be wealthy to live generously. On both sides of our family, generous living and giving were modeled for us. I think this is one of the reasons why it was easy for us to make giving a habit in our daily lives. Even when we were living on $12,000 a year, we still made it a priority to give generously on a regular basis. Now that we are living completely debt-free {even paying off our home!}, we have more freedom to give generously. Living generously will vary from person to person and from situation to situation, but I have some tips for how you can give generously on any budget.


How to Give Generously On Any Budget


Live Intentionally

Intentional is a word that sums up a lot about the way we live. Giving has always been something that has been important for us to do as a family on a regular basis. We set aside a budget and decide where, when and who we want to give to intentionally throughout the year. There are times when we give spontaneously and those are great too, but having a plan for intentional giving will help you be even more generous throughout the year. This also allows us to make giving a regular habit.

Keep the Attitude of Gratitude

Gift-giving is a matter of the heart and shouldn't be done out of reluctance or guilt. If you have feelings of "have to" then maybe you should take a step back and decide if you have an attitude of gratitude or of guilt. 

No Strings Attached

Money gifts can be weird. And people giving financial gifts can make it weird. Gifts that have strings attached often have roots of control hanging in the balance. If you are thinking about giving a gift, but you have strings attached as to how you want the recipient to receive and use the gift, then maybe you aren't giving generously. Oftentimes if there are strings attached, then the gift won't be pleasurable for anyone involved. Reexamine your motives and if you are attaching strings, then think again about your gift.

Trust Your Heart

I was in line at the grocery store once years ago and I saw a young dad putting food from the plastic bags that were just scanned away. He kept having the cashier hit refresh on the total as she took items off so he could make sure he had enough money to cover the bill. I leaned in and told the cashier to add back the items and I would pay the extra. 

I don't say this to brag, because there have been plenty of times I've watched a similar scenario play out without me doing anything, but I say this so you can trust your heart. If you feel prompted to donate to the homeless woman on the corner or you see a young parent struggling to pay their bill, there is a reason you are feeling that nudge, so do something about it. 

how to live generously on any budget

Give More Than Money

Your time is often more valuable than your money. Investing in people has some pretty great rewards. Look for ways to volunteer your time and offer up your expertise and do it consistently if possible. 

Support What You Love

We have all been given different passions for a reason. Wouldn't the world be a boring place if we all loved the same things? I have a strong passion for the work that World Vision does internationally, but maybe you are more passionate about animals. Support what you love and don't let others make you feel bad about it. 

Give Anonymously

There is a human desire to want to get that pat on the back and to be rewarded for doing good things. However, fight that desire and give anonymously when acceptable. Sometimes a gift can put the giver and receiver on different platforms and it can put a feeling of inequality out there.

For example, I heard of a young family who would often ask the child care staff at their kids' daycare if they could pay off the balance for any family who had outstanding bills. This giving was done anonymously for the recipient and felt like a true gift that relieved a burden for a family. Giving anonymously offered the giver and the receiver the joy of the exchange without changing the dynamics of a personal relationship.

Being able to give generously is such a gift not only for those giving but for those receiving as well. There is something about opening your hands that allows you to really open your heart to others around you. 

How are you living generously?

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