Giving Makes You A Better Person

Chad asks what percentage of your income you should give away to the less fortunate and whether or not you should be out of debt first.

QUESTION: Chad on Facebook asks what percentage of your income you should give away to the less fortunate and whether or not you should be out of debt first. Dave says you should always give and explains how he gives.

ANSWER: You always want to be a giver because...giving makes you—when you do it—into a better person. That’s not mushy and corny. It’s just an actual fact, because when you give money away, it reshapes your heart. Better people get more opportunities. Who do you want to give opportunities to? A grouch who’s self-centered, or a person of a generous spirit? You get a generous spirit by being generous. You always want to be a giver.

You could come up with a lot of different things to look at. As an evangelical Christian, I tithe a tenth of my income to my local church before I do anything. Then my other giving over and above that as a Christian is called an offering. The offerings come from surplus, which are after my family is taken care of and after I’ve met my responsibilities. There’s not a certain percentage that you have to do or should do there. That’s up to you to find your way. But I do recommend giving a tenth of your income to your church if you’re a Christian. If you’re a member of another religion, you may have some directive on that. Things above that, you decide what you’re going to do.

You ought to always be spending some, giving some, and investing some—always. As far as what percentage while you’re getting out of debt, I wouldn’t go more than 10% while you’re getting out of debt, with rare exceptions.