A few years ago an uncle called me asking for money. He was in need of N$3 000 but he was unwilling to disclosed what he needed the money for. I then asked laughingly if he was joking about the amount of money he needed because at that stage in my life, I was never able to give anyone that amount of money.
As I wonder through this month, I had two choose between helping two friends. They all needed my help and instead of saying no to one of them and helping the other, I asked them to present their budgets. They were probably surprised why I would do that, but I have found that it easier to part with my money when I know where it is going or what it is going to be used for.
Journeying through life with black tax on my shoulder, here are some of the tips and principles I use when I am giving:
1.Have money set aside for giving. My two friends were lucky that by the time they came for help, my donation jar was still full. There was money I have set aside to give but I did not have a specific person in mind, it is just to give to someone where it will have a huge impact.
2. Know where your money is going and what it is going to be used for. I tend to ask people for budget when they ask me money. Most of the time if they are not serious, they never bring that budget and then I keep my money. You do not want to be giving money to family members that are going to indulge in self destructing behavior. I also do not just take the budget, I interrogate it.
3.Distinguish between giving and lending. Know when you are donating your money and when you are giving a loan. This is key because the expectations are clear from both parties and each party must be able to honor their commitment. If they tell you they want money urgently because the savings are on a 32 day account, ask them to present you with a statement. It does not hurt, you just need a little evidence.
4. And when giving or loaning money, do not risk what you cannot afford to lose. If giving that amount of money will lead to some emotional attachment or will result in a loss of friendship if one party does not honor their commitment, do not give it.
5. Do not break your back for other people’s problem. If you genuinely do not have, say No. You should not be going to withdraw money from your investment because your friend could not get her finances in order. There are some situations worth understanding but you need to learn when something is an “imposed emergency”.
Finally give from your heart. The impact you will make in the life of another person may be radical even if to you its just petty cash that you gave away.