During our marriage heydays, Lydia, my significant other
and I attended the annual tithing sermon facilitated by our pastor. During the
sermon, the idea of giving more than we were actually doing overflowed in ourIs giving part of your financial plan?
minds. Afterwards, we thoughtfully discussed about it but recurrent
expenditure- monthly bills, car payments, loans and tuition fees for our daughter
made implementing our desire to give more quite impossible. Although we were
willing to do more to support God’s work, we were inadequately equipped how do
to it.

 

Nurturing a giving plan

 I dedicated a substantial amount of time in creating
awareness about financial planning especially in the private sector. This was
prior to developing obvious connection. Why not view giving as part of our
financial goals? With such a plan, it would be easier to focus on our desire to
give. More so in deliberate way. Plus it
would refine us as agents of our financial blessings. The giving plan would be
pivotal in enabling us support our church and the community at large.

 

Nourishing an attitude of generosity

“First save, then spend whatever remains.” That is
what most financial advisers advocate for. We decide to use the same formula to our
giving strategy: start with giving, then save and spending whatever remains.
Lydia and I also felt the need to implement an automatic debit plan. We decide
to harmonize automatic withdrawals with payday to ensure the money intended for
giving was remitted. This easy formula made us realize giving priority to
others’ needs before our own had a positive impact on our finances. It nourished
a generosity attitude in us.

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The first step is creating goals

 Creating goals marks the first step of financial
planning. We felt our giving plan should do likewise. We embarked on a thorough
analysis of our financial situation and beliefs to have goals at par with what
we stand for. We settled for a specific percentage of our household income to facilitate
our giving desire. We perceived our generosity goal in the same we perceive
other financial plans. From time to time we engaged in stock taking. What
amount are we giving and in what ways can we improve on your generosity goal
every year? Posing such questions created a transition from a dollar mentality
to thinking of the duration of time we want to deliberately support others.

 

Practicing giving unexpectedly

Although our giving plan was working out well,
Lydia and I felt motivated to spontaneously give if a need touched our hearts.
The reference point was whether there was money to give. We decided to open a
gifting account to supplement our usual monthly giving. We faithfully remit
money to this account on a regular basis and make withdrawals when the need
arises. Currently, we are in a better position to offer help in the wake of
disasters, support activities at our favorite charity and mission trips
happening in our church.

 

Implement it successfully

Having successfully implemented our todays giving, our
next step is to plan our tomorrows giving which already we are discussing with
our financial advisors. We are continuously discussing about giving with
respect to retirement and the importance of charitable life insurance. With our
daughter now an adult, we are already considering the idea of having our favorite
charities as our estates’ beneficiaries upon our deaths. Establishing our
future giving strategy using this approach helps to rubber stamp our todays
giving strategy.