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4 Ways to Avoid Giving Out of Obligation This Christmas

3 Minute Read

Giving to others feels great. There’s nothing like knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life with some spare change or a well-timed donation. But giving can also make you feel guilty when you can’t give to everyone in need— especially this time of year.

So how do you deal with the guilt of passing a kettle bell ringer? Or saying no to a non profit? If you follow Dave’s money principles, there’s no need to feel guilty. That’s because you’ve put giving into your monthly budget—and budgeted generosity counts!

So let the guilt go.

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But that’s easier said than done when you see all the needs around you. Use these quick tips to help you balance your giving spirit and your own needs:

1. Make Your Budget.

Use a budget tool like EveryDollar to find out how much you can afford to give this season. December can get expensive with travel and gift-giving. If you plan on sending some cash to charities as well, make sure it fits into your overall monthly budget.

2. Create a Small Bills Envelope.

If you want to have some money on hand to give when a bell ringer or cashier asks, try a small bills envelope. Set aside $20 in one-dollar bills and keep the envelope in your car or wallet. That way you can give when you want, and you won’t have to think twice about it!

3. Check Your Intentions.

Why are you giving? Is it because you're afraid of what people will think if you don’t? Or because you genuinely believe in the organization and want to support it? Don’t live your life based on what other people think. Give where you want, when you want. Not because you feel like others think you should.

Related: Draw a Line in the Snow: How to Set and Stick to Gift-Giving Boundaries

4. Keep Your Family in Mind.

If you feel guilty because you want to give more, cut yourself some slack. Remember that you’ve helped already. And recognize that a little guilt over giving will save you from major guilt over neglecting your family. If you give to the point that your family suffers, that’s not good! So don’t overdo it.

As you think about giving this season, give what you can. But don't let guilt control how much you spend. That’s your job. Oh, and be sure to enjoy giving. We think it’s some of the most fun you can have with money!

You can enjoy guilt-free giving this Christmas with these budget-friendly gift ideas for only $10!

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