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Posts tagged with: charitable giving

Donating to Charity While In Debt…

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One of the goals we came up with after filing taxes last year was to be more generous in our charitable giving. It’s easy to get so focused on penny-pinching that you forget there are folks out there less fortunate than yourself. For me, it’s difficult to not want to apply that amount toward debt and promise myself, “I’ll help out when I’m debt free.” To be perfectly honest, I wouldn’t have donated any more than our usual amount… but like I’ve said before, I’m married to a great guy. That great guy has a heart for helping others. Now that we have a child of our own, he has become more active in giving to children’s hospitals, giving to help hungry children in famine areas, and to programs helping children with autism.

When I was preparing our taxes this year, I was surprised how much his *cough* I mean, our charitable giving added up.

We beat our giving amount from last year…

and it felt good.

Set some goals this tax season, you may surprise yourself.


Myopic Finances…

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I’m pretty focused when it comes to finances. I have my debts, my monthly bills, my charitable giving, and my cash spending. It’s all fairly organized in my ‘perfect’ little world.

I didn’t care to think outside the box… until this morning.

I’ve been whining lately about my inability to run as a form of exercise. While out walking, a marathon group ran by and I was tempted to join. I watched as they gleefully jogged down the street, smiling and enjoying the beautiful sunshine day. Sigh. I trudged at my slow pace and frowned.

When doing my yoga routine, I am angered because, even though my stomach isn’t huge, it gets in the way of a really great bending stretch. My balance is also thrown off and my ‘Standing Trees’ look more like ‘Standing Trees in a Hurricane’.

Even though I’m overjoyed about the wonderful growing baby, I get frustrated when my body doesn’t move like it used to. The only thing keeping me sane is the fact that I’ll have a bouncing baby soon and my body (hopefully) will return to normal.

I was watching the news this morning and it featured a new sports center for the disabled. Only 1 out of 10 people with disabilities exercise since their bodies limit the amount they can do. Often, they don’t know how to work out with bodies that refuse to cooperate. This sports center works to train people how to exercise while working within their limits. The news anchor interviewed one of the employees who suffers from muscular dystrophy. His athletic body was slowly turning into one that didn’t work and he was helping others overcome their difficulties while dealing with his own.

My whining suddenly seems sooo… um.. wow. There isn’t a word mean enough to describe my whining.

The news station was taking donations to help buy some much needed equipment for the facility. No, I couldn’t pigeonhole this expense into my very strict spreadsheet of spending, but I guess I learned to be a little more fluid.

I may not be able to ‘give like no one else’, but I can still give.

Think outside the finance box.


Normal by the Numbers?

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I’ve been asked to reveal my actual monthly budget numbers. I was reluctant at first and then realized it may be a learning experience and I should see if I am normal in my expectations of my money.

No, I am not going to reveal my housing costs. Asking a San Diegan to reveal her mortgage payment is like asking a New York housewife to reveal her age. The only thing likely to happen is a giant string of lies.

I’m also not going to reveal our charitable giving amounts. What we decide to give is a very personal decision and it’s not an amount I’m willing to change just to pay more on bills.

Savings: $50
Electricity/Gas: $105
Cell Phones: $100
Cable/Internet/Phone: $100
Grocery: $300
Gas: $260
Laundry: $10
Toiletries: $11
Clothing/House Repairs/Animal Care/Spending Money: $200
Water: $70
Trash: $18

All remaining money is used to pay our mortgage, our credit card, our student loans, and my husband’s truck.

So. Am I normal by the numbers? What does your budget look like?