How to Be Philanthropic Even If You’re Living on a Budget

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We like helping others. Not only does it help someone else or a cause we care about, but it makes us feel good too. However, for a lot of people the problem is that they don’t always have a lot of disposable income to spare to put toward causes they care about. The good news is that you don’t  need to have a lot of money, you can still participate in philanthropy! It doesn’t matter how much money you have to donate to charity – you don’t have to be rich to be able to make a difference.




To be able to give, you need to know how much you can give, and the only way to do that is by figuring out a monthly budget. Set aside expenses you absolutely need to pay for every month – car payment, rent, food, etc. Make sure to include expenses that aren’t every month, like vacations. They’re less frequent but important, regardless, so keep that in mind as well.


Once you have a budget set, you’re welcome to distribute your leftover income as you see fit. Maybe that means you save half and donate the rest. Maybe you really like treating yourself to a movie once a month. Whatever it is, figure out your monetary obligations before anything else, and then go from there.


Start small


Let’s face it. The odds of being able to afford donating millions of dollars to charity isn’t likely for the average American. And that’s okay! You have plenty of options to still give and make a difference, especially with technology making it easier than ever before. Toss your spare change into the collection jar by the register at your favorite diner, or donate a dollar to whatever fund the cashier at the supermarket is promoting. Scroll down your Facebook feed, and you’ll probably find a GoFundMe page for some cause or another.


Very rarely is a minimum donation required; charity organizations appreciate whatever they receive. You can also help by sharing and getting the word out there about them! All it takes is a click and you’ve donated to a great cause.


Remember the tax deduction


You can get money deducted from your taxes if you donate and fill out the appropriate form. The IRS accepts charitable donations as money towards your taxes, provided that organization has IRS tax-deductible status. Keep your receipts, just in case you’re audited, so you can back up that you in fact donated a specific amount of money to a certain charity. MoneyTalksNews goes into more detail about how to go about receiving a tax deduction from your donation. Make sure you fill out the forms correctly so there’s no confusion.