Am I being too generous ? Or am I too tight ?

Because its the end of the tax year I've had to do my accounts. 

Looking at the Direct Debits and Standing Orders I've built up - I give to charity £70 a month. Thats on top of the usual 'sponsor me' donations for marathons and Race For Life etc.

I've no idea if this is a lot - but it seems like a fair whack ?

I've got a decent job but we're not well off - but paying the bills isnt a problem either.  We've never had a 2 week holiday abroad. Neither of us smoke, and drink is about £20 a month. I do have a penchant for designer jeans though - a chic make by the name of Tesco ?  We've a child at school and even they dont have expensive tastes. Yet anyway. 

We only have the one car and thats a very plain 5 year old one - but it does the job.

Friends and relatives who I think would be on a similar wage seem to live a much flashier life. Brand new cars and cruises etc. 

I really dont know where the money goes to or where the difference is ? Am I naive and I'd be better off keeping the money for my family welfare ?

I only feel safe asking you people this as none of you know me and Rick isnt my real identity - so I'm not trying to boast - it might turn out that I'm a skinflint and everyone is at it. 





  • XX1XX1 ✭✭✭
    Donating a minimum of ??70 a month to charity sounds quite generous I think. But only you can decide if what you are doing is worthwhile or not -- obviously you would be better off, by at least ??70 a month, if you kept the money yourself.
  • That's pretty generous, I give £10 a month through payroll giving plus one-off donations to other charities/events over the year which probably amounts to about £100.

    Sounds to me like you live sensibly within your means -  there's nothing at all wrong in that. Do you have a pension though? Because, to be honest, that's where any more spare cash I had would go rather than to charity.

  • I'm not sure ??70 would quite buy me that Range Rover

    I do have a pension and I'm paying extra into it.

    My wife's not quite got round to sorting one out for herself. Which is a bit worrying.
  • Never ever ever ever sign up to monthly diect debit payments to charities. I worked in a call centre last summer for a company that is paid by charities to cold cal people who have given one off charitable donations.

    Our job was to keep telephoning these people to try and get them to sign up to a monthly direct debit. Then when they do this they are telephoned at regular intervals to try to persuade them to increase their monthly donation.

    These companies are paid a 6 figure sum by the charities to do their fund raising, so you can be sure that quite a bit of your monthly donation goes to pay for the wages at these fund raising companies.

    You would be better off saving the money for your family and making the odd one off donation every so often. Just think what you could do with £70 a month. Put it in to a fund for your child when they grow up. It will come in useful for when they go to university, or learn to drive.

    Ps, I quit the job at the charitiy fund raising company after 3 days, due to the underhand techniques that they used.

  • Too tight I think, you have a car, house, new clothes, money for drink - all while people are starving to death.   

  • I think the questions ought to be, as Rickster starts to allude to, is what is the charity/charitiers doing with your 70 quid a month? How much of it actually goes to the solve the problem you think it's solving? Or much goes to pay the Director's salary?? I worked for a large international charity for some time and was amazed at how money is wasted, or spent on some very strange things!!

  • Ja5onWJa5onW ✭✭✭

    ive always been wary of many charities as they spend alot on 'other costs' instead of giving to the real cause.

    its like live aid every year they raise (dont quote me here) millions for the starving. 

    and yet every year millions is raised and they still starve. 

    the costs in getting the aid over there is HUGE, boats, planes, wages (bribes to the gorvernment)

    if you want to donate the £70 a month why not donate to a local charity so you can see where it really goes.

    or just  sponsor a donkey/lion/elephant/panda and get free pictures of a generic animal, when really its already died image

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    I guess I'm a mean old baggage then, because I don't give regularly, and wouldn't dream of giving over £800 a year!

    The only time I give to charity is when we organise events at work for Crisis (a locally-based charity), and occasional one-offs.

    If I had £70 a month to spare it would be going on extra payments on my mortgage.

  • It's your money, do what you like with it

  • I beat you on meaness Wilkie. I hardly ever give to charity. Charity starts at home so that'll be an extra £70 in the pension pot.

    If you have kids and have spare cash, put some aside for when they go to college or university or even smart clothes for job interviews.

    I do give to charities, now at Christmas we buy each other charity gifts like good gifts and the such. Better than buying unwanted tat.

  • As others have said, only you can decide what's right. I think it's important to treat yourselves as well now and then after all it's your hard graft that brings in the money!

  • If you are worried about where the money goes you can aways give "in kind" by donating time or goods.

    I've lost track of the amount of stuff I've given to charity shops over the years. I've also donated food to a food bank and toys to Great Ormond Street.

    I don't donate directly to charities that work overseas, because I really don't see where the money is being spent, especially in Africa. 

  • Yep Charity begins at home.......

  • Charity is very important.  It's easy to be aloof and let others do the giving.. but then comes the day when you, or your family need help of one sort or another. (if you think you'll never be in the soup kitchen, then perhaps you'll benefit from work of a medical charity or similar).

    There are also the charities that help the environment... or people in poor parts of the world.  If you think that it's OK to "buy a better car, and let those children starve", then those aren't the morals I was brought up with.

    Having delivered the sermon, I give a lot less than I should! Certainly not 70 quid a month.

    For me, direct debit is not the way to do it.  I did sign up for a local wildlife charity and because it was a local charity, I sort of lost sight of the fact that the guy was still a chugger... and the first 9(?) months of my payments were eaten up in chugger expenses. 

  • I've mentioned it before but does no-one else here work for a company that does payroll giving?

    It comes straight of your wages pre-tax every month. No direct debits. No hassle.

    Run Wales I agree with you. With above inflation rises in basic foodstuffs, utilies and transport, many people's disposable income is being eroded away to nothing. Anyone who lives on margins that tight is only a short step away from needing help themselves.


  • Jason Wintin wrote (see)

    ive always been wary of many charities as they spend alot on 'other costs' instead of giving to the real cause.

    its like live aid every year they raise (dont quote me here) millions for the starving. 

    and yet every year millions is raised and they still starve. 

    the costs in getting the aid over there is HUGE, boats, planes, wages (bribes to the gorvernment)

    I remember as a kid at junior school, in the 50s, we used to raise money for the poor children in Africa and we're still doing it.

    Does charity work?  Do some organisations/countries/individuals know they can be funded like this rather than getting to the root cause of the problem and sorting it?  I don't know the answers but it seems to have been the same question for too many years

  • JF50, I think the following is very valid: 

    "There are some critics who argue that all foreign aid — whether from individuals or nonprofits or governments — is keeping Africa back. A vast body of research shows that foreign aid has done little to spur economic growth in Africa — and may have actually slowed it down. "The long-term solution is not aid. It may seem cruel that aid should stop, but really it should," says Rasna Warah, a Kenyan newspaper columnist and editor of the anthology Missionaries, Mercenaries and Misfits, a call to arms against aid. "Africa is the greatest dumping ground on the planet. Everything is dumped here. The sad part is that African governments don't say no — in fact, they say, 'Please send us more.' They're abdicating responsibility for their own citizens."

    Mugabe has taken Zimbabwe from wealth to poverty in less than a generation. To me it's asking too much to send aid to a country where the president doesn't give a sh*t about his own citizens. 

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭
    Screamapillar wrote (see)

    I've mentioned it before but does no-one else here work for a company that does payroll giving?


    Mine doesn't, I guess the payroll department doesn't need the extra work.


  • very little extra work for the payroll staff wilkie

    I think it depends on the charities and what they mean..........If you  believe in Karma etc then you could look at that for all the time you have been given you have not needed for the basics in life or the need of charity help....

    most would prefer the option to give to a charity than to need the help or support of a charity...

    review the they still mean something to you.if so then i would continue.........

    charities need donations and its only when you need the help of a charity do you really appreciate all those who support it

  • How do you know that the people with flashier lifestyles aren't paying £££s in credit card and personal loan interest?

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭
    xine267 wrote (see)

    How do you know that the people with flashier lifestyles aren't paying £££s in credit card and personal loan interest?

    They may also be giving to charity and just not mentioning it.

  • payroll giving via GAYE is very simple to do and is taken pre-tax, pennies from heaven a bit more complicated (where the pence in your net pay is paid over to charity)


  • There are some statistics on charitable giving here.

    "The typical amounts given per donor per month in 2009/10 were £12, measured by the median, and £31 measured by the mean."

    So you're more generous than most by either measure. Personally, I think giving away 1% of your income is about the right amount. Although I think it does depend on your individual circumstances - if you're well off you could give 1% (or more) and not really notice it, but if you're poor then you probably need every penny you can lay your hands on.

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  • So for those few who think charity begins at home and so won't give any.out of interest would you refuse to ask or take any help from a charity if you ever needed support from a cancer charity or a childrens charity of your loved ones ever became seriously ill or would you insist on just having whatever the state provides in your area........

    not giving to charity at all out of principle  but taking reminds me of those people who are suitable to give blood but won't because it might affect a training run.....but are happy to accept it for themselves or their families in an emergency

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    Colin has a point - our Government gives a lot of (our) money in overseas aid.  

    According to the Guardian in September 2012: "Figures from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) put total UK foreign aid at £8.6bn in 2011. With a population of about 62.6 million, the figure works out to roughly £137 per head."


  • seren - karma doesn't reward people who do good deeds.  It only rewards people who do them for no return.

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