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  • Donating when you are beyond broke.

    I see quite a few physicians who are $300k+ in school debt, plus credit card debt, and two car loans also talk about donations.  I think this is insane.  These people are barely making ends meet, have no money for themselves (due to bad choices) and now are also giving their money away as well? Whenever I meet a physician in these shoes I always recommend stoping most if not all donations until all consumer debt is gone, and they are on their way to financial freedom.  After a few years they can always resume donations when they are under less financial strain and much more easily and happily be able to do so.  After all, if donating is important, I am sure a financially secure physician will donate much more in the long run over the decades as compared to an almost bankrupt physician.

    This may be a sour subject considering the owner of this thread and many others believe donating to the church is a must no matter what. But I can't see giving money away when you simply don't have it at the moment.

    What do you all think, should a physician who is working to get themselves out of a debt emergency also donate?

  • #2
    Charity is a very personal thing, and I would not put my own values ahead of those of others.

    To take your viewpoint to the extreme, perhaps money should not be given to charity until one's mortgage is paid off, the kids are through college, etc. And what if they donate to charity instead of going out for dinner--or is dining out also not permissible when you are in debt? The slope gets slippery quickly.

    I agree that you should probably not donate a new wing to your hospital, your art museum, your high school, your med school, or your church when you are barely making ends meet and significantly underwater, but I believe that one can still be charitable with money and time. There are those who are less fortunate that could certainly use the help.

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    • #3




      I see quite a few physicians who are $300k+ in school debt, plus credit card debt, and two car loans also talk about donations.  I think this is insane.  These people are barely making ends meet, have no money for themselves (due to bad choices) and now are also giving their money away as well? Whenever I meet a physician in these shoes I always recommend stoping most if not all donations until all consumer debt is gone, and they are on their way to financial freedom.  After a few years they can always resume donations when they are under less financial strain and much more easily and happily be able to do so.  After all, if donating is important, I am sure a financially secure physician will donate much more in the long run over the decades as compared to an almost bankrupt physician.

      This may be a sour subject considering the owner of this thread and many others believe donating to the church is a must no matter what. But I can’t see giving money away when you simply don’t have it at the moment.

      What do you all think, should a physician who is working to get themselves out of a debt emergency also donate?
      Click to expand...


      What bothers me about donating to church are all the religious officials using the money to fill their own coffers as opposed to the intended reason for my charity. You'd be a fool to just trust religious leaders without personally investigating where your money is going. They've screwed people out of their money for many millenia and this practice didn't just all of the sudden stop at your church/mosque/temple.

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      • #4
        have no money for themselves (due to bad choices)

        If you aren't religious it is certainly difficult to understand why people who are still give to the church even though they still have debt.  I do and not the primary reason, but you made the point yourself, my debt is not God's fault.  Why should I withhold from Him (in my view it is actually already His) what is "due" Him when He didn't make the bad choices?

        I tithe first, because I believe I need to give my first and best "fruits" to God.  I use what is remaining to deal with debt, retirement, living expenses, etc.  Now, I don't give to a lot of other causes at this point, although at times I make small donations to Veteran organizations, missionary organizations, etc.

        As to, which organizations to give to, it is usually fairly easy to check on what larger type organizations are doing with the $.  I know what my church is doing, so I don't have to investigate them to heavily (it is a small church).  Other organizations should be able to provide some sort of board report that breaks out where the various $s are being spent.

        There are a lot of unethical, non-religious organizations as well as religious ones and although you would hope religious ones would have less problems, either way they are run by people and people are corruptible.

        cd :O)
        Yet those who wait for the LORD Will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary. -- Isaiah 40:31

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        • #5
          You'd be surprise by how many people donate blindly to their religious organization.

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          • #6




            You’d be surprise by how many people donate blindly to their religious organization.
            Click to expand...


            To be honest, it angers me to see wealthy religious organizations.  G-d has no use for jumbotrons and massive churches. If those religious organizations used that cashflow to do good, they should not be able to afford such lavish dwellings and trinkets.  There are even some evangelicals who live in mansions and have private jets.  I think these organizations are steeling from its patrons and from G-d.  But hey, that is a whole other subject we probably shouldn't be discussing in a finance forum.

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            • #7







              You’d be surprise by how many people donate blindly to their religious organization.
              Click to expand…


              To be honest, it angers me to see wealthy religious organizations.  G-d has no use for jumbotrons and massive churches. If those religious organizations used that cashflow to do good, they should not be able to afford such lavish dwellings and trinkets.  There are even some evangelicals who live in mansions and have private jets.  I think these organizations are steeling from its patrons and from G-d.  But hey, that is a whole other subject we probably shouldn’t be discussing in a finance forum.
              Click to expand...


              Case in point:

              http://www.starrfmonline.com/1.8919573

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              • #8
                lol....I often wonder how much more advanced the human species would be without the retarding effects of religion.

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                • #9
                  I think we are conflating two issues:

                  1. Charity

                  2. Religion

                  One is fine and perfectly appropriate to discuss in the context of a personal finance forum. The other probably should be off-limits here, IMO.

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                  • #10
                    I think it is deplorable how many physicians I know that don't give any money away. I think anyone earning a physicians salary should be able to donate at least something to charity, and should adjust their finances to accommodate this. Most people who put off donating to charity until this, that, and the other thing are done will never start. Regardless of how much student debt, etc, one has, a physician is still a high earner and so much more well off than those served by charities.

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                    • #11
                      Sitting here, a religious (practicing Catholic) physician, reading posts where non-religious posters criticize donating to religious causes or groups.

                      Not sure what I'm supposed to learn from this?

                      I agree, if there were no God, or if my Church were a false Church, it would be stupid to give.

                      If there is a God, and my Church is the true Church, then any conclusions derived from the assumption in the previous sentence aren't valid.

                      So separating charity from religion:

                      a) should you donate to charity if you're in debt? debatable, and personal. It's a value judgment.

                      b) should you ever donate to religious organizations? if you believe in their mission, then probably so.

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                      • #12
                        There are some things more important than money.

                        Why some people donate and other don't has a lot to do with their world view, their political persuasion and their religious beliefs.

                        I think it's sad that people making $300K don't donate a significant chunk of their income to something they believe in, whatever that might be. I also think it's sad that people making $300K have any sort of significant debt.

                        But I also understand how, mathematically, it would seem to retard financial progress to give away money. However, in my personal experience, that doesn't seem to be the case. The more I give away, the more I seem to make. Whether that is luck or a blessing from deity I'll leave to the observer. I certainly have "enough" income for my needs and reasonable wants.
                        Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011

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                        • #13
                          +1 to WCI above

                          I am of the same opinion and experience. I have been increasing my donations and don't know what it is but I make more when I donate more. Yea yea correlation not causation but I believe in the one powerful being

                          I donate 12.5-15% of my net income.

                          Sad other high income earners don't.

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                          • #14
                            I make more money every year as well, but dont give anything to churches. I certainly do give some to various charities, but nothing on the order of what a tithe would entail.

                            @consultpsych Not sure what you're trying to say. I dont think any of that should matter. You believe, go ahead and do what you feel your duty is. It is impossible to conclude anything rational in regards to your statements, its actually more likely to be untrue given the number of religions (even just choosing the majors). No need for anyone to do so in order to give to your favorite one. Probably not a topic that should be given much talk in a finance forum. Nothing gets resolved and it wont further anyone.

                            From a building perspective I agree it doesnt make any sense in the first couple years while you crawl out of your hole, and could even set back future giving goals if you progressed slower to a lesser wealth level. I disagree that people who dont give early and often will never give, there are way too many examples and a lot of it will occur once people feel its safe to do so without putting their overall goals at risk.

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                            • #15




                              I make more money every year as well, but dont give anything to churches. I certainly do give some to various charities, but nothing on the order of what a tithe would entail.

                              @consultpsych Not sure what you’re trying to say. I dont think any of that should matter. You believe, go ahead and do what you feel your duty is. It is impossible to conclude anything rational in regards to your statements, its actually more likely to be untrue given the number of religions (even just choosing the majors). No need for anyone to do so in order to give to your favorite one. Probably not a topic that should be given much talk in a finance forum. Nothing gets resolved and it wont further anyone.

                              From a building perspective I agree it doesnt make any sense in the first couple years while you crawl out of your hole, and could even set back future giving goals if you progressed slower to a lesser wealth level. I disagree that people who dont give early and often will never give, there are way too many examples and a lot of it will occur once people feel its safe to do so without putting their overall goals at risk.
                              Click to expand...


                              The above is exactly what happened with me.  Originally when I had nothing but debt I donated $0 except maybe the occasional disgusting chocolate for some nurse's kid.  As my wealth has grown I have and continue to donate substantially more.  Although I believe in G-d I am against the wealth of all these organized religions and refuse to give them a single penny since in my eyes, they are "false churches."  I do and will continue to donate to other organizations.

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