Isn't it interesting how holidays and special occasions can nudge us right out of our regular comfort zone for spending less and throw us full force into a more generous and giving spirit? And while financial planners around the world may be screaming "Save, Save, Save," department stores and advertisers are shouting "Buy, Buy, Buy!" And, when that generous nature kicks in, it may be extremely difficult to stick to your budget.
But, what's this thing called "Giving" all about anyway? Is it really about how much money is spent? Of course not. Is it about who gives the most or who receives the best? Absolutely not. Is it about giving from the heart (within your means) and caring about others? Absolutely, Yes!
The great news is that you don't have to overspend your budget to be generous. Being generous does not mean spending a certain amount of money on whatever or whoever, or giving much more than you can afford. Instead, it means giving what you can and giving from your heart.
Think of the young married couple with barely enough money to buy groceries. Do they need to buy each other expensive gifts to show they really care? Or would a heartfelt letter or poem mean just as much?
My husband and I had many holidays and special occasions like that in the early years of our marriage, and now we're celebrating our 20th Wedding Anniversary! I guess we were "blessed" to learn early on that just being able to spend time together is far more valuable than any expensive gift we could purchase. Generosity is not measured by money alone, and this is even more true for giving from the heart.
Being generous is also one of the most lovely character traits we humans can possess, and without it, the world as we know it would simply not exist. For instance, if you took away everything that was started by someone's generosity in one way or another, there wouldn't be much left. Think about it.
Saving money throughout the year will give you more freedom to spend your money on things that are more important to you, such as giving, sharing what you have with others, and being generous.
Spending less is great. Saving is important. Investing for your retirement is wonderful. And giving from the heart is priceless!
Michelle Jones is a frugal mom of 4 and the editor of Living a Better Life: The Free Money-Saving Tips Ezine. Please visit BetterBudgeting.com for your free subscription! You'll find a variety of ways to save throughout the year on groceries, clothing, housing, cars, travel, etc. Copyright 2006 by Michelle Jones. All rights reserved.
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