🎁 Give What You Want
For many the holiday season this year, thanks to the pandemic, was a stressful time. A lot of people are suffering both from illness and from broken spirits as they made hard choices between seeing loved ones and risking exposing themselves and others to the coronavirus.
Even in normal times, many people find the holidays to be more stressful than joyful.
But Kim and I have agreed for many years that one of the best reasons to become financially free is so that you can give. We preach that giving back should be part of the way that you budget your money.
I learned this lesson from my rich dad, who believed in the law of reciprocity. Said in a scientific way, this can be stated as for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Or said religiously, there are Jesus’ words, “Give and it shall be given back to you.”
No matter how you say it, giving is important because none of us become successful on our own. I had a rich dad who invested in me and taught me how money works. He did so generously and without charge.
If You Want Money, Give Back
My rich dad said, “If you want a smile, the best way to get one is to give a smile.” He also said, “If you want a punch in the mouth, the best way to get one is to give a punch in the mouth.”
My rich dad’s point was that you get what you give. In Asian culture, we say this truth in a Karmic way, “Give what you want.”
Many people say, “I don’t have any money to give, but I do give my time.” The problem with this thinking is that, again, you get what you give. If you give time, you get time. But if you want money, you should give money.
This is why if you want to be rich, you must get in the practice of giving money regularly. This is also why I made giving 10% to charity a core part of the CASHFLOW board game which is designed to teach you how to be rich, both in money and in mindset.
The reality is that in order to be truly generous, you need to give your time, your talent, and your money. Most people are comfortable with the first two, but if you want to get rid of your poor mindset, you need to do all three.
Giving Back Makes You Happier And Healthier
I’ve had many partners and advisors who have shared their knowledge with me and brought me into their projects to invest. While we both benefited from these investments, it is the shared giving of our time, talent, and resources that brings us the most joy.
This is natural. Science has shown that giving back produces true biological changes that contribute to happiness. Those that give are happier than those that receive. When you give, endorphins are released in your body that gives you a feeling of a high. And giving itself, when done for the right reasons, reduces stress, and makes you healthier.
Given this, you’d think that people would be happier during the holidays. But perhaps it’s because we don’t really want to give or be generous that we’re so stressed come the holiday times. And perhaps it’s time to really focus on the great gift we have each year to focus on being thankful and for giving back to those we love, including ourselves.
At Rich Dad, we believe the greatest gift you can give is the gift of a healthy self. When you are healthy, wealthy, and wise, you are able to be present with those who you love—and that is the greatest present of all.
If your inner Scrooge came out during the holidays this year, don’t fret. You’re not alone and there’s something you can do about it, starting today.
Pay Yourself First To Give Back More
I often talk about the concept of paying yourself first. Most people look at their budget each month and focus on what they have to pay to others. By the time they finish paying their bills, there is very little left for discretionary spending let alone charity. This too is a poor mindset.
Even when we were poor, Kim and I would make sure paying ourselves first was the primary expense in our budget. This gave our bookkeeper, Betty, a heart attack. But we were firm on this. Our most important expense was paying ourselves.
This doesn’t mean we used that money for whatever we wanted. The reason why paying ourselves first was important was so that we would be sure to have money both to invest…and to give back. Again, you get what you give. We knew that if we prioritized investing and giving, that we would get more money back.
And we didn’t stiff our creditors either. We just negotiated with them for longer payment terms or extensions to due dates, in order to make sure to pay ourselves first each month.
Give Yourself The Gift Of Financial Education
Most people have some downtime during the holidays. You could fill it with an extra helping of pie, too much wine, and hours on the couch watching football-or you could spend it improving your financial IQ—because the smarter you are about money, the more money you’ll make. And the more money you make, the more money you can give back to charity.
Go to the library and get books on finance, accounting, and investing. Find some great podcasts (like the Rich Dad Radio Show) and listen to them as you cook. Subscribe to helpful newsletters or even play the CASHFLOW game online for free with friends and family.
And with your newly-gained knowledge, start making a plan on how to put it to use in the New Year. Set a goal to see how much you can learn and make between now and the next holiday season—and how much you can give.
Give Back To Others
We’ve found that when we’re overly focused on ourselves, we become the worst people to be around. One of the best ways to beat the Scrooge spirit is to do what Scrooge himself did—give your time, talent, and money.
The options are nearly limitless on how to give back.
Editor, Rich Dad Poor Dad Daily