Can you afford to spend more AND give more?
The question that many people ask themselves when they are faced with the challenge of balancing their personal finances and their charitable donations. It usually comes in the form: “ How can you manage your budget and still support the causes that you care about?” Or “ How can you make a difference in the world without compromising your own financial security?” There is no easy answer to this question, but there are some strategies that can help you find the right balance for your situation. Consider these suggestions:
– Start with a budget. The first step to spending and giving wisely is to know how much money you have and where it goes. Track your income and expenses for a month and see how much you can afford to save, spend and donate. You can use online tools or apps to help you with this process.
– Set your priorities. This is IMPORTANT. Once you have a clear picture of your finances, you can decide what matters most to you. What are your short-term and long-term goals? Is you emergency fund sufficient? What are your essential and discretionary expenses? What are the causes or organizations that you want to support? Make a list of your priorities and rank them in order of importance.
– Allocate your funds. Based on your budget and your priorities, you can allocate a certain percentage of your income to each category: savings, spending and giving. For example, you might follow the 50/30/20 rule, which suggests that you spend 50% of your income on needs, 30% on wants and 20% on savings and donations. Or you might choose a different ratio that works better for you. The key is to be consistent and stick to your plan.
– Review and adjust. Your financial situation and your priorities ALWAYS change over time (Prepare for the certainty of uncertainty), so it’s important to review your budget and your allocations regularly. Make adjustments as needed. You might find that you can afford to spend more or give more at certain times of the year, or that you need to cut back on some expenses or donations to meet your goals. Be flexible and realistic, but also be mindful of the impact that your choices have on yourself and others.
Spending more and giving more is not an impossible task, but it does require some planning and discipline. By following these tips, you can find a way to enjoy your money and share it with others in a meaningful way. Speak with your financial advisor or give us a call at Robinswood to discuss what giving could look like for you.