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.