Having an open hand with your money may seem to violate common sense.

The tendency with money, as with relationships, is to hold on too tightly as to not let them slip away. When you give, you open yourself up. You allow the dollars to leave and the freedom to enter. Giving works because it is in your personal blueprint to be a giver, and you unleash good things in your life that you will never see until you learn the art of unselfish giving. Giving lifts us out of ourselves; we take our eyes off our rights, our problems, and our stuff. The new view gives us renewed vision and hope. Giving is powerful. [8] When you get on a budget, you will find that giving is the most important and rewarding part of your pathway to becoming financially free. You find pride from taking personal responsibility, and discover happiness from the inside versus looking to "stuff' to make you happy. We live in the most marketed to culture in the world. Ultimately, it goes beyond pleasure or status; acquiring stuff becomes an unquenchable demand. Paul Wachtel writes in The Poverty of Affluence: "Having more and newer things each year has become not just something we want but something we need. The idea of more, ever-increasing wealth, has become the center of our identity and our security, and we are caught up by it as the addict is by his drugs." [9] The truth ofthe matter is that buying "stuff' is not the key to happiness. Money given produces more joy than it could ever buy. Make giving part of your budget by setting aside 10% of the money that you make for giving. Teach your children this by showing them, when they get allowance or birthday money to divide it up into three envelopes: Spending, Saving, and Giving [8]. "We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give." Save, Spend, and Give - my big three principles. Most people forget about the giving part because they think I only scream "Save, save, save!" Giving liberates the soul of the giver. You never walk away feeling badly. Whether through a tithe, charitable contribution, or gift to a friend in need, give away at least some of your money. Not only does it generate good feelings, but it generates contentment. Remember, no one has ever become poor by giving [10]. I am calling on you to take action today to make giving part of your monthly budget. Make a pledge to yourself; make a pledge to an orgaJ,lization, to give a small amount every month. Giving freely is an expression of love. Now that you understand how to be financially empowered through giving, it is up to you to take the next step. [I] http://www.latimes.comlbusiness/la-fi-jobs7-2009mar07,0,4544790.story [2] http://www.dailytribune.com/aPticles/2009/03/06!business/srv0000004844850.txt [3] http://www.youtube.comlwatch?v=GigFYZZJTOw [4] http://mindsetmaster.comltag/the-great-depression! [5] http://www.daveramsey.com/fpulhome/index.cfm?fuseAction=dspFpuGettingStarted [6] http://www.daveramsey.com/radiolhome/index.cfm?strMode=listen [7] http://www.daveramsey.com/hope/events/ [8] http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/cms/get started giving 6906.htmlc [9] http://www.eartheasy.com/articleconsumerculture.htm [10] http://www.daveramsey.com/etc/cms/giving 5089.htmlc

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