Get Financially Fit in 2010: Have The Heart Of A Giver

The final segment of this mini-series is a charge to become a giver. Being a giver doesn’t always come natural, and that doesn’t make you a bad person. Having the heart of a giver takes daily training. Your ultimate goal for becoming wealthy should be to give back to others to help them reach their life goals. Sticking with the analogy of becoming physically fit, the ultimate of goal of losing weight is because you’ll improve your health dramatically and you’ll look and feel better. In the same way, giving back financially is the ultimate reason why we seek to build wealth. It’s therapy for the soul, because having wealth can quickly turn to a bad thing if not used properly.

Give Right Away to Haiti

In light of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, you have the unique opportunity to give and give abundantly to the Haitian recovery cause. If you feel helpless in helping Haiti right now, you can pick up your cell phone and text the word “HAITI” to the number 90999, and it will immediately send $10 to the Red Cross and charge it to your cell phone bill. I know $10 sounds like nothing, but you can probably do it multiple times, but the power of numbers is what the Red Cross is looking for, so tell all of your friends about it over the next few days.

Give Your Time

Even when you don’t have money to give, you can teach yourself to be a giver. Your time is just about as valuable as your money, so give time to someone that needs it. Take a friend out when they need a lift, or take your mother out to lunch for her birthday instead of buying her something.

Build Wealth To Give Wealth

I couldn’t think of something more fun than figuring out who and what to give money to. When you fill someone’s need or help an organization fulfill its humanitarian goals, there’s no other feeling like it. Giving is fun, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of that.

Don’t forget this essential tenant of wealth building, because hoarding is not good for your soul. Wealth will become a burden, and the joy of life will be sucked right out of you.

Here is a list of the article series, Getting Financially Fit in 2010:

  • Sean

    Great ideas, thanks for taking time to post of giving as well as saving. I’ve always given haphazardly in the past, but for 2010, I am coming up with a list and setting up an automatic savings plan for giving. That way I have money set aside for me to give out to the organizations I choose at the outset and know how much I can afford to give. I did break this rule to give some money to Doctor’s without Borders though to give them a boost for the Haiti relief effort (I figured Red Cross was going to do just fine on donations).

  • Dale Wyrick

    Giving may seem counter-intuitive as a method to accumulate wealth. I have learned that when I focus on giving, I am more intentional with my spending and tend to save more money.

    This is a great time for this post and helps me to refocus.


  • Mami2jcn

    Very timely post. I agree that helping others makes you re-evaluate your priorities.

  • thriftygal

    While giving is noble, I think you are quite generalizing when you say: “giving back financially is the ultimate reason why we seek to build wealth”. It would be nice if they do, but I doubt most people think this way today.

    Also at a time of crisis like the Haiti quake, while many people are generous and opening up their wallets, it is important to keep in mind that there are many scammers out there waiting to con people. I know this for a fact through experiences after the 2004 Indian ocean tsunami. Therefore unless it is a well known organization like the Redcross you mentioned, it would be wise to take the time to check out the people/organizations behind the solicitations before you part with your money.

    • Erik Folgate

      Thrifty, while I agree with you that the reality is that most people don’t think of giving as the ultimate reason for seeking to build wealth, it should be and will be if you work hard at accumulating wealth over a long period of time.

      In “The Millionaire Next Door”, Thomas Stanley found that the majority of millionaires in the United States were self-made millionaires which meant they appreciated their wealth more and gave abundantly because they knew what it was like to struggle in the past.

  • Anissa

    This is very good advise. I also advise people to not give blindly and research where their money goes. Just because you give to a charity doesn’t mean that even half the money will make it to the intended recipents. Sometimes overhead for the group will take the majority of it. Especially w/ pledge drives. So just know how to help the most people by giving to the right group.

  • Mac

    I completely agree, but do be careful who you are giving money to. There are a lot of scams out there and many are taking advantage of this tragedy. This method is the safest as the information comes directly from the site and 100% of the money goes directly to that organization.

  • Jessi

    What a great post – I read it right after Man vs Debt’s “Give back to Haiti” post and immediately clicked on over to the charity he recommended. I have to admit that I deliberated for a few minutes because I’m heavily involved in saving up a large fund of money in the next 5 months for my move, but then I stepped back and realized how selfish I was actually being.

    I then clicked and sent in my donation – however small it may be, its a ripple in the pond and have sent out messages to my friends to do the same.

    This year I will cultivate a more giving nature than I think I already have – it can never hurt to always give a little more (even if its not money and only time).

    • Erik Folgate

      Jessi, I agree. We sometimes think that giving is only money, but volunteering your time is just as valuable for many organizations, because it means they don’t need to spend money on paying staff.

  • Mike

    Great Post, and unfortunately timely with the Haiti disaster.

  • Gina

    We always think of giving when there is a horrible disaster–like Haiti, the tsunami, etc. These are definitely worthy causes, but it is important to continue that giving throughout the year. I agree that it does not have to be monetary–instead donating items, time, etc are all great ways to help out!

  • Bucksome

    I’m so glad you included giving as a factor in financial fitness. This past year is the first year I’ve included charitable giving as a line item in my budget.

    I don’t have a lot of time to spare, but also look for ways to give this precious resource as well.

  • David/yourfinances101

    What a great idea–and another thing that most people don’t realize is that to “give” your time is sometimes just as important as giving money

  • Connie

    One way that I give is that I collect bonus points through different stores and then when I get enough, I buy stuff for a men’s shelter. Most of my bonus’s come from a drug store and they need shampoo, conditioner, shavers, etc. But at Christmas this year I was able to swing a Wii for the guys. It feels more personal. I spend a huge amount of time figuring out how to best collect the points. It is generally revenue neutral to collect, but it takes much time and effort. I get a tax receipt for my donations. I am in Canada, I don’t know if this will work in the states.

  • Efren

    One of the most important benefit of giving is the sense of accomplishment that we feel upon letting go of the money from our pockets or from our hands and fulfilling the needs of others. In a way it liberates us from self indulgence and brings as closer to humanity and God. It is the only instance written in the bible that God owes us when we help or give to others.

  • Leonard

    Fantastic post. Thank you for reaching out to everyone to give money to Haiti. Fantastic cause.

  • DG

    What a nice post! I honestly was always a good giver until I got my first job and for some reason gave out less and less. Perhaps because I realized the value of a dollar? But you can’t place a value on giving that’s for sure and I will try to give more and spend less on useless items that don’t affect my life as much as donations can help out a friend or nonprofit cause

  • One Frugal Girl

    I certainly believe in the law of attraction. What you put out into the world will find it’s way back to you. In my own life I’ve found that the more I give the more I receive. Great post.

  • JuliaA

    i’ve found it interesting that in recent studies, altruism seems to be one of the factors for personal happiness. not wealth.

  • Sean

    If you were thinking of giving to Haitian relief anyway, don’t forget that you can deduct it on your 2009 tax return

    There are some great causes out there, be sure to spread it around.