Extreme Giving

With the current state of the economy and job market we all want to do our part to help family members, neighbors and even strangers get by. But learning your limits will not only benefit you, it can also help your extreme giving desire in the future.

According to the website Charity Navigator, charitable giving declined during the recession (2008 and 2009) by 13 percent. Fortunately, since then there has been an increase. National Public Radio (NPR) estimates that Americans make $300 billion worth of charitable donations a year.

It’s not just charities that have seen an increase in monetary help. Family and friends have been more generous with each other in recent years; unfortunately, it has come at a cost. For instance, more aging parents feel obligated to help their struggling adult children; however, over time this could drastically affect their financial security.

Luckily, there’s a Mindful way to manage your extreme giving desire while staying financially stable yourself. Try these Mindful suggestions:

  1. Have a giving budget.

    We create budgets for entertainment and groceries; so why not create a budget for giving as well? By setting aside an amount of money that you can give every month you’ll be able to donate more consistently to different charities and people without hurting your wallet.

  2. Donate with possessions.

    If you find yourself unable to donate money take a second look at your possessions. You can donate clothes, old furniture and equipment to many charities. Or you can sell these possessions on eBay or Amazon you can generate monetary resources to give to others.

  3. Give your time.

    Consider giving back by donating your time to charities, family and friends. For instance, animal shelters need volunteers to help clean and socialize the animals. Or, if your adult children are having trouble affording childcare for the grandkids, consider babysitting once a month rather than giving money.

  4. Provide your skills.

    We all have special talents that can be used to benefit others. For instance, if you’re skilled at proofreading and an unemployed friend needs money offer to help review their résumé and cover letter instead.

Bonus: Don’t be afraid to say no. Giving should always come from the heart. So if you find yourself feeling “donation fatigue” don’t be afraid to say no. Carefully, explain the tight situation that you’re in and offer to help in other ways.