First Things First

Starting to spend that tax refund (at least in your head?) Had an unexpected financial gift come your way? While it may not happen as often as we like, it is a really nice thing to have a little (or, hey, we’re not picky – a lot of) extra money come our way.

Whether it’s a real thing for you right now or not, there’s a good chance it will be, so…pop quiz:

How are you using it?

If you’re familiar with some of what we’ve shared here, you’d expect me to talk about using that extra money to meet financial goals you have (if you expected me to talk about lottery tickets or blowing it all on an ice sculpture of yourself, you’ve got the wrong blog). And yes, financial goals are a worthy use of that money, but since we’re here to learn more about generosity together, here’s the challenge:

Make your first thought a generous one. Truly, this is a thought revolution when compared to what’s probably going on around you.

That means that you’re making generosity one of your financial goals. Bonus points if you’re able to make it one of your top financial goals.

I’m not talking about giving all of your new-found wealth away (although, if that’s what you want to do, I’m not stopping you either). I’m simply saying that there are a growing number of us who, after one thorough walk through our house and garage have said “I have (more than) enough)”. Combine this with the fact that there are many people around us (in our world, our country, our very city) who have significantly less than and are simply asking for a chance, and we’ve got an opportunity to put generosity into action.
So here’s the practical challenge – you can take it or leave it (but I really hope you’ll take it). Make an agreement with yourself (or with your family) that whenever you receive unexpected income, that the first thing you’ll do is dedicate 10%, 20%, or half of it to give away.

(Disclaimer: If you’re about to be foreclosed upon or evicted, make this your challenge when your basic needs are not at risk)

Think about it this way – if you (like me and many others) have reached a point where you realize you have “enough”, and you’re about to get more, it’s very possible that you would still be doing OK if you gave some of it away.

Then use the rest for your financial goals, but do so with a bigger heart, knowing that you’ve changed others’ lives for the better by not feeding the lie that we need to spend all we get on ourselves.

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