Money is tight, but you know that you should be supporting charities. How do you plan your budget in a way that gives a little back?
Choose your Donation Style
There are a few different ways that you can choose to donate for charity. You might choose one charity and donate every month using a pre-authorized payment plan. You might choose a set amount each month and donate to a different charity each month. You might even decide that instead of making regular payments to any charities, you will instead make a donation every time you are approached at the supermarket or at the office. Although this last one sounds like it might be less expensive, it often ends up costing you more because you do not keep track of how much you spend.
Regardless of how you choose to allot your charitable donations, be sure to budget in a little extra. You might want to buy a chocolate bar from the kid at the door, or you might want to pick something up at the bake sale.
Track your Donations
Keep your donation receipts. This will allow you track how much you’re spending, which can help you decide if your current amount of donation is too much or too little based on your earnings. Traditionally, people allotted 10% of their income to charity, but you can judge how much or how little you feel is appropriate.
Research your Charities
You want the money that you give to charity to be well-spent. Some of the large world-wide charities have overhead expenses of as much as 60%. Go to your charities’ websites to see their budgeting. You want to choose charities with a low overhead cost, so that you know your money is going directly to help those in need, or directly to research, rather than to administrative or advertising costs.
Maybe you don’t have enough money to pay your bills, let alone donate to charity. Consider donating your time instead. You could volunteer to collect money, or to organize paperwork at a local charity. Often, charities will be more pleased to have your time because they need people to help out.
You can also donate clothes, furniture, and even old cars to charity. Find out what kind of collections happen in your neighbourhood. It might even be useful for you if you are doing spring cleaning to have someone come to take away your old things. Donate things that are no longer useful to you, but don’t donate garbage. If something is useless, throw it out. You would be surprise at how many items can be donated: soup labels, grocery store receipts, pop can tabs, and even eyeglasses.
Do it for Fun
Often, charities organize events that will be fun. You can go to a charity dinner and have a wonderful evening, especially because you know that you are doing it for the right reasons. You might buy a ticket for a 50/50 draw, because chances are when they call your number you might win. If a charity is selling something that you might not need, consider if you might be able to get it as a gift for someone else. Your friend might be pleased to have a newly knit baby-blanket, even though it would have been no use to you.
Choose Charity Options
Sometimes you need to spend money, so why not choose to spend it through a charity? For instance, if you need to get your car washed, you might consider doing the charity car wash rather than the gas station car wash.
Sometimes schools or churches do fundraising where they sell cheese or oranges. Instead of buying your cheese or citrus fruit at the grocery store, you can buy them from the charity and feel good about how you are spending your money.
No matter how much or how little you earn, you can always provide something for those who are more in need than you. You will feel better about yourself by doing small things can make a big difference.