Magazine article Working Mother

Workday: MY MONEY

Magazine article Working Mother

Workday: MY MONEY

Article excerpt

The Joy of Giving

Donating to a favorite charity during the holidays is a wonderful way to share the spirit of giving with your kids. but how do you carve out donations from a tight budget? by prioritizing spending, researching charities and involving the whole family, says beth kobliner, author of Get a Financial Life, member of the President's advisory council on Financial capability and mom of three.

Work "giving" into your holiday budget.

Be realistic about how much to donate this year, says kobliner. Decide ahead what you can afford to spend overall on the holidays. then break down how much goes to gifts, travel, parties and philanthropy. if you're really squeezed and can only spare $20 for charity, write the check and be proud. "that money still makes a difference, whether the organization is big or small," says kobliner. no cash to spare? Donate time instead. Search for organizations that need helpers, even pint-size ones, at volunteermatch .org or serve.gov. children will learn they can help with their hands as well as their dollars.

Let kids play philanthropist.

Once you decide how much you can give, earmark a bit for your kids' charity choices. or give them a little extra allowance just for donating. kids get more excited about giving and will keep doing it over the long haul if they have some control over where their money goes. "heifer international (heifer.org) is a big hit with my kids," says kobliner. "it lets you buy livestock-say, a sheep, to be kept for its milk or wool-for a struggling family in a poor country. that's something even a 5-yearold can get excited about, and it may even appeal to your animal-loving or vegetarian teen. …

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