It’s interesting how charity and giving are perceived in different cultures. There is a very strong culture of giving in the United States- through religious institutions, to support schools, buying and giving things to thrift stores and so on. There is much less charitable giving in France, due to a variety of circumstances; there were a series of big scandals involving charities and scams a few years ago, as well as the government support of many local organizations, leading them to rely much less on private donations than their American counterparts.
This post is not about whether it’s good to give (or receive) charity, or about the role a government should play in supporting non profit associations, but about how to be charitable when you are also trying to be frugal?
First of all, I think that it’s important to state that if you don’t have a lot of extra money, it’s of course more challenging to be charitable. On the other hand, for many people, being frugal is not about having or not having enough money. Instead it’s a way of life, and as such, charitable giving is often budgeted into their regular expenses.
Here are five ways to be charitable when also being frugal.
You could save a little bit of money every week or month, and make a large donation every year.
I do this as a volunteer for two associations, I give my time to the running of the organizations, instead of giving money.
Stop a service.
Why not stop ordering the newspaper or cable TV, and giving your monthly savings to charity instead?
Many of us probably already do this- instead of throwing unwanted items in the trash, we take them to the local thrift store. You declutter your house, someone else finds treasure in your trash (for cheap), and the charity earns money on the transaction.
Buy things from charitable shops. Or buy products from companies that support the same values you wish to support. In other words, put your money where your mouth is!
How do you give to frugality while remaining frugal?