Overdrawn and Exhilarated
Why tithing is the one and only reason I was happy about going overdrawn.
Like many people, I go in and out of my overdraft. Needless to say I was always happier coming out of it than going in. Although using credit facilities will help you build up a credit rating, it is inadvisable to go into debt, especially when it concerns the purchase of items you could easily do without. When the time came however, when the time came to finally follow my head and heart and commit to tithing, dipping into my overdraft was not going to stop me. As soon as that direct debit was set up there was no going back and when the money popped out of my account some weeks later I was exhilarated beyond the realms of my own financial situation and when I went into my overdraft I quite frankly didn’t give a damn.
For many years I had read that to tithe regularly was both healthy and profitable; Tithing being a regular contribution from your income to a charity or good cause. Giving money away may sound like a crazy way to make money but that’s what they say so that’s what I did. Before you do think I’m crazy, lets reiterate a few well know pointers on sound financial planning.
- Pay yourself first. It is all to easy to believe that you can and will save whatever money is left from your weekly or monthly income. It never happens though does it? Something always crops up to wipe you out. A bit of magic occurs however when you save money as soon as your pay cheque hits the bank. Set up a standing order from your bank account or if possible straight from your employer, to put 10% of your income into a savings fund. You may think this is impossible, but so is walking through the China wall. “That’s an illusion you might retort”. I agree, and so is your belief you cannot survive on 90% of your income with no noticeable change to your lifestyle. Don’t judge it before your try it, and once you try it, you’ll wonder why you never did it sooner.
- If you have debts lingering, pay them. Set up a payment plan that you can afford. Even if you repay 20% of your income to creditors, as well as saving 10%, your mind will be clear from guilt as you are working towards getting yourself in a healthy financial position. Your mind will be a lot clearer and your decisions much more effective once these controls are put in place.
- Take advice when investing. When your initial savings account is at a healthy level it may be worth taking it out of the bank and re-investing it elsewhere. If you do this, research the area fully or take advice from someone you have received solid recommendations on. Protect your money at all cost. Risk is a part of investment but limit the potential to lose money as much as possible.
- Spend money on luxuries with ‘profits’ from your investments. If you want to maintain and further grow your wealth, spend only what is earnt on your investments. For example dividends from shares or rental from a property.
Back to Tithing
The above points are all great pieces of advice, but what about the title of this piece? Did I really say I went overdrawn by giving to charity? Yes, it was £60 that I could not really afford and furthermore I will be doing it every month, and then some. Crazy maybe but I still wish I had started years ago.
For over twenty years I had entertained thoughts about how great it would be to give a big lump sum to a certain charity. I felt close to this certain charity through the loss of a friend whilst at primary school. He died of leukemia at a very young age. For twenty years I carried his memory around with me, looking to him for inspiration and guidance to live a good life that he never had the opportunity to do. And yet I feel shamed to say that during the course of those twenty years I did not donate more than £100 to the same charity that I felt so closely connected to. About five years ago I started coming across articles that advocated tithing; giving to others on a regular basis. Most advocates will say give 10% of your income away, and more still when inspired to do so. It is very easy to argue the case that you intend to give money away when you have enough to do so but frankly this is just an excuse, and not just an excuse but an uneducated fallacy. Not only is the act of giving wonderfully enriching for the sole but it is highly documented to be profitable because what you give from the heart will be returned exponentially. If you give without thought of return you will receive more than you would have thought and more ways you would never imagine.
In the five years of coming across this information, did I instigate giving away more money to that charity that I classed as being close to my heart? Nope. And do I now feel an ass for not doing so? Yes, especially as I was still fantasizing about how I would like to give a large amount at once if and when I made some proper money. I now realize that I wanted to give a large amount in order to receive recognition for doing so. This is not giving from the heart and I feel guilty for not coming to this realization sooner; still, better late than never.
Your Mindset is your Power
You cannot go through life with a mindset to ‘give when I can afford it’, for the following reasons;
- Your charity will suffer. If every charity was waiting for a lump sum from rich benefactors they would all have been long since abandoned. A little given by a lot of people will always outweigh a lot given by a few.
- You will suffer. Not only will your soul suffer from not giving regularly to charity but so will your bank balance. Give first and your investment will be returned in spades. Whether you have committed your money, time or love, be satisfied with your investment and expect good things to come your way very soon.
- If you wait for tomorrow, tomorrow never comes. You absolutely cannot wait to start your commitment to regular tithing, just as you cannot delay in setting up a sound financial plan. Both are interlinked and both essential for a satisfying, financially secure lifestyle.
If you have not set up the financial controls mentioned at the start of this piece, make it your mission to do so. Then seek out a good cause close to your heart and commit 10 % of your income to that cause. Alternatively split your contribution between a few good causes. When inspired to do so, ensure you give your time, money and love to other people or good causes you come across in your daily life schedule. Your mind should be both guilt free,clear and energized in establishing a solid financial plan and a selfless commitment to others.
Enjoy the feeling and go out and prosper.