The reason I became a financial coach was to teach people that they could manage their finances differently so that they could build wealth and give more to their church or other charities. I like how Dave Ramsey uses the words “Outrageous Generosity”. To me, this is the main reason that we should have for building wealth. Don’t get me wrong, you can be outrageously generous and not be wealthy. However, there’s a minimum amount of money that most people need to live on. If you don’t have enough for your food, shelter, transportation, and clothing, you don’t have anything to give, either. I am not saying to put giving last in your budget. I’m just making the point that most of us have the basics covered. The basics don’t even cost all that much each month, so most people have enough money to give.
After you have the basics covered, the rest of your income can be split between giving, saving, and spending. Maybe not split in equal parts during various stages of our life, but maybe so if we wanted to. The problem we all have is that we forget what the basics are and think we need to spend all our income on “the basics” and even take on debt for some of “the basics”. If we changed our mindset, how outrageously generous could we be? If we spent less of our money in our 20’s and 30’s and became financially independent in our 30’s or 40’s, how much more could we show outrageous generosity because of the wealth we could have in our later years?
Baby Step 7 – Build Wealth and Give
Baby Step 7 is to build wealth and give. Don’t forget the “give” part. You don’t have to wait until you are debt free to give to your church and favorite charities. Being in debt doesn’t help your situation, and maybe you need to limit your giving to 5% – 10% while you are cleaning up your mess.
Some of you are so far in the hole that maybe you can’t give anything right now! The best course of action for you is to get some of your debt paid off so that you can start giving on a regular basis. Then you keep working on cleaning up your debt. Not only are you missing out on the fun of giving, but you are also causing yourself great stress by being broke and by not being able to be a cheerful giver.
When you are debt free and building wealth, think about different ways you can show outrageous generosity to people. Sit down with your spouse or by yourself and brainstorm some ideas that you could do if you had enough wealth. Start implementing some of those ideas as you are building wealth.
Outrageous Generosity – The Reason for Building Wealth
“With great power comes great responsibility.”, and with great wealth comes great responsibility, too. Don’t try to build wealth and keep it all to yourself. Some of us are taught to give 10% of our income to our church and other charities. Don’t stop at 10% though. 10% is just the start when building wealth. Every time you get a raise, consider increasing your giving by another 1%. Keep increasing until you are giving what you want to give. You can do this while investing and paying off your mortgage. Once you are financially independent, how much can you give? It doesn’t have to hurt. It should be given joyfully!
I am not talking about buying someone on the street a sandwich or dropping a five or even a twenty into their cup. This can be generous and can even be outrageous generosity for some, but what about intentionally putting yourself into a position where you could drop hundred dollar bills into the cup with no thought needed? What about getting to a point where you can donate tens of thousands of dollars to charity every year? You do not need to have the wealth of Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates in order to do this!
Have a Plan
You can’t get to this point when you spend all your money and never build wealth. It’s hard to be outrageously generous when you live in debt and either struggle to pay it off or keep adding to it. I am not trying to heap guilt on you. I want you to know that there is a way for you to build wealth and be outrageously generous. You just don’t get there by being broke.
You have to have a plan. Get on a budget and be intentional with your money. Pay off your debt and be done with using debt to buy things you can’t afford. You don’t need debt to get through life. Save up a 3-6 months emergency fund and build wealth.
As you are working through these steps, start giving to your church and other charities if you haven’t been. It’s ok to start small. Use your new financial knowledge to work towards giving 10%. 10% is just a number. You don’t have to stop there and don’t feel guilty if you’re not there. But keep working at it. Get rid of some of the unnecessary expenses in your budget. Give and build wealth!
Now you get to decide. If you want to someday be outrageously generous, you have to start working toward that goal. You cannot get to that point by spending all the income you make. Make a plan to get there. Start small if you have not been giving anything to your church or charities. Work on increasing your giving each time you get a pay increase. Work on building wealth and be outrageously generous!