The following post is part 2 in a 4 part series:
“How to Be Wealthy: The ABC’s of Building Wealth.”
Part 2 (this post) is about giving and how giving can help you build wealth.
In the first post of our series on “How to Be Wealthy: The ABC’s of Building Wealth,” I said that the first step in building wealth was to aim to give away a portion of your income.
If you’re like most people, you probably said to yourself:
“Whoa, whoa, whoa……hold your horses pal! You’re saying that to build wealth, giving away some of my money should be my goal?”
Well, since you asked…YES! That is exactly what I’m saying.
Now, maybe your idea of “giving” is what Jerry Seinfeld talks about in the video below (If it is, you’re definitely not alone!):
If you live in America though, then the idea of giving away a portion of your income is likely not a foreign concept to you.
In fact, in 2011 Americans gave away an average of 4.7% of their income according to The Chronicle of Philanthropy (want to see how “giving” your zip code was? Check out their online interactive tool here).
But, the idea of giving away a portion of your income to build wealth probably IS a foreign concept.
The key lies in what giving reveals about your attitude towards money.
Giving away SOME of your money will reveal your attitude towards ALL of your money
Let me illustrate this point by asking you to fill in the blank of the sentence that follows:
“________ is the root of all evil.”
I’m going to bet 9 out of 10 of you said “Money is the root of all evil.”
Unfortunately, 9 out of 10 of you would be wrong.
The original quote actually says, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”
Money in and of itself is not “evil.” It is the “love of money” that is the problem.
Our attitude towards giving to others can reveal the condition of our heart and whether or not we suffer from the “love of money.” If you love money, you’ll never be satisfied, no matter how much you have (or how much you give).
You also won’t be able to build true wealth because you won’t know what true wealth really is!
As the old saying goes, “Whoever loves money, never has money enough…”
If you gave away some of your income, would you still have “enough” money?
If you answered “No,” then you might suffer from the love of money and giving away some of it might just be what you need!
Giving sounds great, but how much should I be giving?
So by now, I’ve convinced you (hopefully!) that you need to be giving some of your money away.
But how much?
You could fill up a library with books written on the subject of “How Much Is Enough?” as it relates to giving. Unfortunately, we don’t have that much time, so I’ll keep this part as brief as I can.
When you are giving money to your church, a charity, etc. do you get uncomfortable?
Do you think “I’m not sure if I can afford to give this much?”?
If not, then you might not be giving enough. You see, it’s not necessarily about a set number.
I know one individual who is giving away 20% of all their income, right down to the penny, every single paycheck.
On the other hand, I know someone else who only gives away 5% of her income every other paycheck.
The individual that gives away 20% of their income makes $250,000 a year and is single, with no kids.
The individual who gives away 5% of their income every other paycheck, however, is a single mom with 4 kids and makes $20,000 a year waiting tables at Denny’s.
Who do you think is truly giving more?
I don’t tell you that story to say one of those individuals is right and the other is wrong. That’s not for me to decide.
However, it does illustrate the point that the more money you make, the more money you’ll likely need to give to “feel the burn,” as they say in the fitness world.
Giving more than just money
“What if I’m already very generous with my money, what should I do then?”
Well, if that’s the case, then you can feel free to give some to me (seriously, I won’t object! :-))
Then, after you send me a big fat check ;-), you need to realize that giving away your money isn’t the only way to give. You can give your time, skills, etc. and you won’t have to write a single check.
For example, you could:
- Donate blood to the American Red Cross
- Lend your lawnmower to your neighbor
- Volunteer at a homeless shelter in the city
- Serve on the board of a non-profit organization in your community
- Give a friend who’s out of work a ride to their job interview
- Be generous with your time when it comes to your family
- Offer to watch someone else’s kids for free while they go out on a date
The possibilities are literally endless here and limited only by your imagination.
The bottom line is this:
You aren’t really living, until you start giving!
Give, give, and give some more! Or as one of my favorite authors likes to say…
Don’t work to earn to have. Instead, work to earn to have to give…
Once you learn how to give, whether it’s your time, money, skills, possessions, etc. you’ll be in a much better position to build wealth because you’ll have a healthier view of your money.
In part 3 of our series on “How to Be Wealthy: The ABC’s of Building Wealth,” we’ll learn how applying the principle of stewardship to our finances can help us build wealth.
Until then, feel free to GIVE this article to your friends on social media by using the share buttons below!