It has been proven through research and numerous psychological studies that giving makes us happy. Yes getting a gift feels great but giving feels even better!
As you may have noticed through my net worth tracker, I have been on a serious personal journey to reaching financial freedom. Being in growth mode has kept me from giving in the past and although deep inside I always wanted to give, I never really have given money away. I have donated furniture and clothes but that didn’t give me the satisfaction of giving. Fortunately for me, I finally am at a point where I feel comfortable enough to give or donate money. It may not be much but a good start is helping family when in need. Family is always going to be the priority for me.
Growing up as a kid, my family never had money and the only gifts I ever received were the ones that I purchased for myself. For Christmas, we would get one gift and it was normally a smaller cheaper gift. Nothing to get crazy excited about. This was the norm for me and in a way, I am glad that is how it was because it helped shape who I am today. I started working when I was 14 years old and never stopped even up until this day. When I was 16 years old, I was helping my parents out by giving them rent money. Not because they asked for it but because they needed it to get by. I learned at a young age to value money, be frugal and only spend what you have. This has played an important factor in where I am at today financially.
The Joy of Helping Family!
Last month I had the liberty of being able to discuss with my mother her full financial picture. She broke down all her debt, income and money habits to me and I discovered that she was in great need of financial help and education. She was using her credit card on a monthly basis and only paying off the minimum amount each month. It was painful to hear but I’m glad she told me. I took this as a blessing in a way because it allowed me to educate her on how credit cards really work and instill new habits on how to use credit cards and money in general. I wanted nothing more but to help her and put her on the right track to financial harmony. So what did I do..
- I bought my mother Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey and made her promise me to read it in full. I am hoping this will further educate her on debt and give her reasons not to further increase her debt.
2. I paid off all her credit card debt with the caveat being that she never use her credit cards again unless she planned on paying it off fully each month or if she was in a true emergency situation. All in all it was about $4000 worth of credit card debt over 2 different cards. Totally worth it to have a debt free mother and teach her the correct way to use credit cards.
Giving Feels Amazing!
When I told my mother I would pay off all her credit card debt, she burst into tears. It was very emotional and it even made my eyes water with tears of joy. I never thought paying off someone else’s credit card would feel so good. It has brought new life in me in regards to giving and I want to try to find other ways to give when possible. If you have not had the luxury of having this feeling I urge you to try it out. Start with family like I did and only give what you feel comfortable giving.
I would love to hear your stories about your donations and how giving has made you feel. Please share in the comments.
Is that your mom in the photo? lol It does feel great to help others with no strings attached, and even better to know you put yourself in a position to be able to offer this kind of help. I have never helped out anyone in a big monetary way, just small donations over the years and random acts of kindness. I have helped coach my mom and other family members with their finances and seen them be very successful. That’s super satisfying too, to know with my help they are being successful. Best of luck to your mom!
Hey Brian!! Haha no that is not my mother. My mother is much older but its a nice picture I pulled from pixabay. Its great you were able to coach your mom and family members about finances, you are a blessing and the world needs more people like you. And me! 🙂
What a wonderful gesture! Kudos to you!
Good guy Alex!
Yeah, it feels pretty good to help out family, especially those who genuinely appreciate it. When I got my first decent sized bonus, I gave my parents a 4-figure check for their upcoming vacation. They’re fairly frugal, so I pushed them to spend it all and have fun with it. It still makes them feel good to this day because the money symbolized their ‘boy’ can hold his own, while many of their peers have children that still rely financially on their parents, and in some cases live with them (I’m talking 30+ years olds).
Oh wow I bet they were so happy and proud to have you as a son. That is awesome!
Great idea to make reading a book part of the deal. I think it will definitely help make sure this isn’t a repeat thing.
Also – great pic of your mom!
Haha yeah I hope so! My mother is so young and pretty! ?
Awww, this is so wonderful! Sometimes it’s us kiddos who can teach our parents, too. 🙂 I’m sure your mom appreciates getting a bit of a leg up.
The way I see it is it was the least I could do considering she raised me and all. ?
Wow it’s so sweet of you to help your mom pay off her debt. You did the right thing by showing her the way forward: not getting into credit cards again. I like helping family member in any way I can, but I also want to make sure they won’t become too dependent on me going forward.
Very true! I think she gets it though and won’t put herself in that situation anymore
I paid off the nearly $7k in parent plus loans that my parents had opened for my education and I didn’t realize they still had. I don’t know their credit card situation but believe it to be very bad. It’s on my list to help them with it someday. That is so wonderful of you to help your Mom and I hope that she enjoys Dave Ramsey’s book and it inspires her to change. You’re a good kid!
Wow that is awesome you did that. I bet it was relieving for them. Aw thanks so much
That’s a great Mother’s Day kind of present. Kudos to you for stepping up and helping out your mom!
Thanks Derek. Ha I didn’t even realize it was technically a mother’s day gift.
What a lovely gesture, good for you for being so kind 🙂
Fantastic, I bet that did feel really good.
I’m assuming it was a gift and you don’t expect her to pay you back? (I don’t think you said that in the post, but it was assumed.)
Oh no way I would never expect her to pay me back. I would refuse it actually. 🙂
That’s what I thought. I picked that up from the tone of the post.
I wonder if that’s part of why you feel so good about it?? There’s a HUGE difference between a gift and a loan especially between family members. If your mom was required to pay it back it could turn into a bad situation. Sometimes it’s just better to give a gift rather than a loan.
Experiences like these really inspire us in many ways. I used to harbor harsh feelings about my parents when they made me pay for my own car insurance. I had just landed my first job and things seemed pretty tough on me. But I thank them now that I never proved to be reckless on the wheels.
I felt the same way when I was 17 years old and having to give my parents money but now in hindsight, im really glad they did that. It also helps instill work ethic and financial responsibility at a young age.
I agree, giving and helping others / causes is a really cool thing to do if one is able. It is one of the reasons why many of us work on becoming FI, because then we have the security in place to try and make the world a better place / help people.
Congratulations on increasing your property cash flow to $3,000 / Mo. It definitely adds up and makes a big difference. Question on the local properties that you have in Indianapolis that you have a property manager for. Is there a reason for this? Do you plan on keeping it this way after you decide to quit your job? I self manage all of my rentals for the following reasons. #1) It does not take that much time #2) I don’t trust property managers to do the job as well as I will. #3) I want to keep all of the profits. Longer term, I may change my mind at some point but for now the few hours a week on average of managing my units is not that big a deal relative to all of the benefits.
Thanks Bud!!! So my original plan when I moved to indy was to just make it a temporary 2 year at the most pit stop so I can buy up some more rentals then move away. With that being said, I wanted to keep property management in place because its a “temporary” thing to be here and I will want/need to have property management when I leave Indy. I really love my current property manager and if I do leave Indy, i want to keep them as my PM.
But!! 🙂 Now that I have been here for about 10 months, my wife and I are really enjoying living here and are thinking about making this a much longer “pit stop”. Once we make a final decision on that, then I will start managing all my properties myself. We really want to live here for one whole year before we make a big long term commitment to Indy. So for now ill stay put with the properties already under mgmt here.
that is great that you helped your mom…the Pixabay pic is great…
What a great blessing to your mother, to take care of the person who also took care of you for so long. Love Dave Ramsey, I hope she sticks to the book and learns more about how to help herself in the future! There is no fear like the fear or not having enough money to live.