Frugal Living: Charitable Donations

by Miranda Marquit · 1 comment

When frugal living comes up, often the topics revolve around saving money for yourself. It’s all about cutting expenses, reducing materialism, and finding contentment. However, it’s important to remember that part of frugal living should include giving. It may seem strange that your frugal lifestyle would include giving things and money away, but an essential part of well-rounded finances is giving to those less fortunate.

You Can Probably Find Someone with Less

While you might believe that you have very little in the way of worldly goods, there is usually someone with even less. Indeed, the recent recession has created a number of people who have difficulty feeding their families, and buying other necessities for life. And, as the holiday season approaches, this difference can be even more pronounced.

Consider your own needs, and also consider what others might need. Look around. Do you have what you need? Are you rich in family and friends? Have been able to find a measure of contentment? If you stop to think about it, you might discover that you have more than you thought — and that you are quite fortunate. As a result, you might also find that you do have some things that you could share with others who are less fortunate.

Giving to Others

The great thing about charity is that it doesn’t always need to mean that you give money. In fact, many people making frugal lifestyle choices don’t have spare cash. Instead, you need to look for other ways to give. Charitable donations to your local thrift store, or to the food bank, can go a long way. Look in your pantry. Consider your old clothes. Do you have items that you can spare?

Every year, about this time, my son is encouraged to go through his belongings. With his birthday coming up, and with Christmas on the way, he will receive plenty of new gifts. The least he can do is go through his toys and choose a few to take to the local thrift store. It’s important to me that my son learn to share with others. It’s one of the reasons I take food to the food bank after he comes home from school — he should help.

Getting Something in Return

Of course, many would say that giving to others is its own reward. There are intangibles associated with charitable giving that should not be discounted. But the intangibles aren’t the only rewards for generosity.

Providing charitable donations, if you make it a priority for your finances, can force you into better money management so that you have enough to go around. And, of course, you can also take advantage of the tax deduction if you are looking for a little bit of a financial boost. Your cash donations are tax deductible (get a receipt), as are your donations of goods. As long as you get a receipt, your donations of items (in good condition) are tax deductible with the proper receipt.

While giving just for the tax deduction may not be the main reason you give, it can be a nice bonus.

Bonus Tip:

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Whitney August 6, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Great article. I always try to teach about giving when I teach my Coupon Class. If we can’t give, how can we ever expect to receive? Good job…

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