Tight Budget? Ditch the Excuses and Learn How to Donate on a Budget

donation

We all know giving back is the right thing to do. We all love that warm feeling in our hearts when we do something that’s bigger than ourselves. Sometimes, however, we can feel trapped in our tight finances. You start thinking about starting your Go Fund Me page, and the endless list of expenses leaves very little room to be charitable. We’ve all been there. But, maybe what we need to change is how we see charitable donations. So, in honour of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, let’s take a look at how to work a donation into your budget.

Why give a donation?

Giving: it’s not something we focus on, most of the time. However, October is a bit different. In case you haven’t noticed the array of pink, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Of course, giving is a season that can last all year long.

For some of us, when we devise our budget with our limited income, we tend to forget about donations to charity. With petrol prices rising and electricity climbing, a donation may fall through the cracks, no matter how important.

Giving a donation is about love and kindness. Here are a few reasons why you should make room in your budget for a donation:

  1. Help others in need

    Donating to a cause that will help others is priceless. “Giving is better than receiving” is the age-old adage that rings true now more than ever. We certainly live in a busy world, however, we can always make time for others in need.

  2. Make yourself happier

    Research suggests that giving a charitable donation alerts the pleasure centres in your brain. Walk into work with that special glow around you, everyone will ask why you’re so happy!

  3. Stand as a role model

    If you decide to give a donation, that may prompt others to give back as well. You can be part of a chain reaction of love and kindness! Isn’t that something?

Are we giving less?

You may read articles telling us that we’re giving less. But, is this actually true? Or is it just more proof of the endless scrutiny between generations?

Tax figures from 2014-15 suggest that in that financial year the individual donation tax deductions of high-income earners raised by 17%. However, medium to low-income earners only rose 5%. The data points to sluggish wage growth as a culprit for this poor growth. It’s no secret that the cost of living is rising, and wages are stagnating, so the real question becomes; how can you work giving a donation when you have little to give?

Don’t give under pressure

If cash is sparse, then charitable donations are not high on your list of concerns. Plus, added pressure doesn’t help. So, if you want to work donations into your tight budget, try avoiding those charity workers in the street, hungry for a donation. If you give under pressure, without planning, then you may find the donation will leave a sour taste in your mouth. Instead, we have a couple of different ideas, without the pressure.

Fitting a donation into your budget

Making room for a donation in your budget is possible, even if it’s a tight squeeze. At times like this, it’s important to remember the cliche – every little bit counts – because it’s true. Just simply the act of incorporating a donation into your budget promotes a giving spirit which spills out into other areas of your life.

So, here are some tips to help fit a donation into your tight budget:

Tip #1– Pick a cause that speaks to you

Making a donation usually demands a sacrifice from your end, so why not pick a charity that really speaks to you. Do some research. Find something that lights your fire, something that you feel passionate about.

Tyler Dolan, a financial planner with finance site Society of Grownups, talks to the HuffPost about the importance of choosing a cause that resonates with you, “Contributing to a cause that resonates with your values is better than donating to everything that comes across your email or Facebook feed, because it will mean more to you,” he told HuffPost.

Giving to a charity that speaks to you, skips the phrase of guilty-donations, where you simply donate to the first charity you see. Not selecting a charity that inspires you can snuff out your desire to give, and all you’re left with is a weak “I give to charity because it’s the right thing to do.” And when you’re wallet is already empty, there’s not much motivation later.

Tip #2 – Set up a separate account

Labelled accounts can be extremely helpful when it comes to any type of savings, and that includes donating.

So, you’ve picked your charity, now it’s time to decide how much you want to donate by week, fortnight or month. To keep you accountable, open up a separate savings account dedicated to donations. Then, deposit how much you wish to donate and send it off to the lucky charity! You can even mark it on your calendar. Then, even if you have a less-than-perfect day, you can be reminded you did something amazing for someone else.

Tip #3 – Choose something you’re happy to sacrifice

Usually, giving a donation demands a sacrifice on your end. So, before beginning your crusade of good, pick something in your list of luxury expenses that you can go without. It might be your ½ strength, lactose-free FW with 1 sugar. Instead bring a coffee into work, like a 90s film star!

Tip #4 – Convenience is key

With the rise of the internet, life’s admin duties have slowly begun a smooth, automated process and making a donation is no different! A lot of charities offer automated, monthly payments, so all you have to do is make sure there’s enough spare change in your account. Who knew giving could be so easy?

Tip #5 – Look at your donation as an investment

Instead of seeing charity as a chore, look at your donation as an investment in your community. By giving back to others in need, you’re investing in the world as a global citizen.

Now you’re ready to find a charity and make your first donation! Of course, when it comes to donations, money isn’t always the answer. So, for those on a skinny jean-like budget, we may have the answer.

Donation doesn’t have to include money

When we think donation, we think money. Specifically giving money, however, not all donations have to involve money. You can donate a variety of others that won’t cost you a penny. So, if you’re looking to give back on a tight budget, have a look at how to be charitable without having to stretch the budget:

Donating blood

If you’re short on money, then, hey, why not donate something you’re not short on, like blood? If you have an ample amount to spare, you can hop on over to any Red Cross blood service to make your donation! To see if you’re eligible to give blood, you can head over to the Red Cross and find out.

Giving blood is a wonderful way to give back to your community. One-third of blood donations help treat people with cancer. And the help doesn’t stop there. Blood can help 22 different type of medical conditions! So, if you’re short on cash, tap into your other resources to make donations to charity.

Adopting a pet

If you have a puppy-sized hole in your heart, then why not adopt? Of course, if your budget is already looking a little thin, then perhaps adding an ongoing expense isn’t ideal, however, if you’re looking for a fun way to donate, adopting a pet is purrfect!

The RSPCA is a great place to start when you’re thinking of adopting a pet. Have a browse of their website to find all different kinds of pet hacks and adorable pooches. Adopting a pet is a win-win; you gain a friend for life and simultaneously save a life!

Donate your time

When there’s no spare change, why not donate some of your spare time to a great cause. Volunteering at charity events, or a soup kitchen is a valuable way to invest in your community.

To get started, research events in your local community and find a cause that inspires you, then get to work!

Donate your clutter

Do you have that pile in your house that no one ever talks about? Or is it a room? If so, good news! You can donate your valuable clutter to a good cause. Charities like Lifeline accept second-hand clothes and other knick-knacks. So, get organising and make your donation today!

So, when it comes to making a donation, we’re not just talking money. You can donate your time, resources, and your love to help make a difference in your community. Don’t let a tight budget stop you helping someone else in need.

A donation can change how you look at money

When your budget is tight, it’s easy to fall into a sunken pit, where money is the enemy. Making a donation can help adjust your salty relationship with money, by simply spending your money for the sake of others. Instead of just paying bills, rent and other ongoing expenses, you can turn your money into a lifeline for someone else. When your money isn’t just serving you, you can start to see your some-what small funds, as a gift.

So, if you’re looking for a fresh money mindset, consider fitting donations into your monthly budget!

News-worthy causes

When you start looking to donate, you’ll find out quickly that there’s a lot of charities and causes to choose from. It can be overwhelming. So, here’s a list of causes that captured the heart of Australia:

And that’s just to name a few. If you’re looking for a charity that speaks to you, start by thinking about what troubles you most about your community and where you want to see change. When you apply passion to donating, it can make all the difference.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and, chances are, most people reading this article will know more than one person diagnosed with breast cancer. So, it’s typically a cause close to the heart of people all around the world. Therefore, if you’re looking to make a donation, you could start with the Breast Cancer Foundation. Wear a pink ribbon to work, raise awareness and inspire other people to give a little back to those who need it. The world becomes a better place when we help our fellow humans become the best versions of themselves.

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