Last week I talked about giving to charity. My husband and I had set a goal early last year to be more giving and we met our goal. I was surprised at how many readers commented on reasons NOT to give to charity while in debt. Most said they’d rather skip paying interest to the banks, making the banks richer, and reduce their own debt instead.
Looking at the numbers, taking nothing else into consideration, those readers are correct. Giving to charity delays debt payoffs and does mean you will be paying more in interest overall.
BUT, and it’s a big BUT, there will always be reasons to skip donating to charity.
I’m in debt. I need to pay off debt first.
I should pay off my mortgage. I could use that money headed to charity to reduce my mortgage and save interest.
I need to fully fund my emergency fund.
I need to save for my child’s college.
I need to save cash for my car.
I need to…
you get it.
If everyone believed in being debt free before donating to charity… only the rich would donate.
And, do you stick by those same beliefs for everything? Do you never go out to dinner? Do you never buy clothes unless absolutely necessary? Do you never waste a single dime while paying off debt?
I highly doubt it.
I don’t see giving to charity as an exercise solely for the charity. It’s an exercise for me. For my heart. For my obsessive frugality.
It keeps me from believing it’s always about ME.
If you still insist that giving money should never be done, then I encourage you to spend your time. Charities would love an extra set of hands… and it’s free.
So what is the consensus? Give money to charity while in debt? Or don’t?