Without giving, Financial Independence is worthless. If you are like me, a great driver for Financial Independence is the ability to give. If not, welcome to a whole new world. There is great joy to be found in being generous with your money. You will be known not by what you own, but instead by what you contribute. Yes, that means giving away the money you have worked so hard to earn, save, and invest. It also means giving of your time and talents but let’s focus on the money because that can be hard to digest. For me it has been, that’s for certain. Now I see that giving can be cheerful.
I believe that giving is a core element to your Financial Independence. Once you start giving, if you aren’t giving now, it will be painful most likely. You aren’t going to jump out of bed each month anxiously writing checks to hand out. More than likely, it’s going to take some time to really start to feel the joy that giving brings. So stick with it over time and don’t expect immediate gratification. Once you are regularly giving to something/someone you truly believe in and support, you will experience great joy. I encourage you to put giving in your budget as line item number one. Set a goal for monthly, yearly, and lifetime giving. Think big! It can help to set a baseline that is your minimum and feel free to go over that as you see fit.
There’s also some ground rules for giving that you may want to consider. Giving money means you have no expectation for a return of that money (aka, you’re not lending money). You also have no expectation for the outcome. Yes, you will be burned for sure by people and organizations that use the money in a way that you don’t like. Once you hand the money over, it’s a gift. What they do with it has nothing to do with you. However, you should not give to enable. If you do not believe in the results, don’t give any more. If someone is using money you give them in ways you don’t think are appropriate, stop giving money.