I have always felt, strongly, that you need to walk your talk. If you give advice or advocate for something, you’d better damn well be doing that stuff yourself. Otherwise, you’re a huge hypocrite, and frankly, no one should pay attention to you.
As I’ve talked about before, I make very sure not to give advice regarding areas I don’t personally have great experience in, nor areas that I’m not doing myself (or at least have done recently). Every aspect of the Alpha Male 2.0 lifestyle I practice on a daily basis. I personally do everything I recommend, and do it a lot.
This extends to your political views. I’m an extreme libertarian (though not an anarchist) who thinks government should be very tiny and do only the bare minimums (roads, cops, courts, etc) and do absolutely nothing else. Having government welfare not only doesn’t work, but actually creates more poor people (or at least more stressed out, financially strapped middle class people).
Instead of being bailed out by big, coercive government, the poor should be helped by:
- Neighborhoods and local (non-government) community programs
- Churches and other religious organizations
- Corporations nice enough to help the needy
People should help people. If just a small percentage of people regularly donated to charity, you would never need another government welfare program.
If I need to be honest and congruent about this belief I hold, I have to give money to charity too. If I didn’t, I’d be a hypocritical asshole.
Thus, I give 5% of my gross income to charity, every single month. I have done this for many years.
If 5% doesn’t sound like a lot, then get a calculator and figure out 5% of your monthly salary, and imagine writing a check for that every month. It’s a lot of money. There have been some months that writing that check was hard. I wrote it anyway.
One of my biggest financial goals is to get that 5% to 10%. One of my longtime mentors, Nido Qubein, not only donates a percentage of his monthly income to charity, but once every few years he also donates a percentage of his entire net worth to charity. All his lawyers and accounts get furious when he does this, since due to all kinds of big government regulations, it’s a lot of paperwork and hassle. He always tells them he doesn’t care, and to do it anyway.
That’s so amazing that I can’t wait to get to the point where I can regularly do the same thing.
Giving money to charity is not only something you should do, but it also makes you feel good. I usually give to Big Brothers Big Sisters, and it feels great to help out such an extraordinary organization. They’re a highly rated charity too; they don’t waste your money like the government does.
Today, I’m going to do something I almost never do. I’m going to give you some advice that I can’t prove works with either science or facts. Ready? Here it is: giving to charity will eventually increase your income. I can’t tell you logically why this is, since the reasons are spiritual. When you give back to the universe, the universe makes sure you get more money so you can give back more. The universe tries to direct the flow of money to those individuals who help the world the most. If you never give away any of your money, the universe is going to be more reluctant to give you more.
Can I prove any of this? Nope. Can I provide any statistics that indicate this? Nope. Again, this is one of those very rare times, perhaps the only time, that I’ll tell you to take something on faith.
All I know is that many years ago, I was told, by men much wealthier than I was, to donate to charity on a regular basis, and it would not only make me a happier person, but it would also make me rich. So far, it seems to be working. It will probably work for you too.
Regardless, if you’re libertarian-ish in your political beliefs, or even if you’re a small government conservative (what few there are left these days), you should give to charity regularly anyway, or else you’re a hypocritical asshole. Left-wingers can afford to sit around, never give any money to those who need it, and instead tell the government to put guns in people’s faces and force them to give their money to the poor (after the government takes its 40% – 60% cut, of course). But you don’t have that evil option. You need to be one of the good guys, and give.
1. Determine a percentage of your income that you can donate to charity every month. If you don’t make a lot of money or have lots of expenses, start with just 1% of your gross or net income. Set a goal to increase that over time.
2. Go to GuideStar, CharityWatch, or CharityNavigator and look around for the type of charity you would like to help. I prefer charities that prevent problems from starting in the first place (like Big Brothers Big Sisters) instead of dealing with problems that have already happened (like disaster relief organizations), but that’s just me. Pick whatever you want. Just be aware that there are some “bad” charities that waste most of their donated funds just like the government does.
3. Put that payment amount in your budget, and pay it every month just like it’s another bill, like your electric bill. I’ve done this for years. It eventually becomes a habit and you don’t even think about it anymore. It would feel “weird” to me to not make that payment every month.
Walk your talk. Be congruent. Be one of the good guys. Give to charity.