Budgeting for Charitable Giving Can Increase Your Happiness

Tithing, or giving 10 percent of one's income or crops to a religious entity, is an ancient practice. In fact, the word "tithe" comes from a derivative of the number 10. Even if you aren't religious, you may still want to follow the guideline of setting aside 10 percent of your gross income for Charitable Giving.

●     Giving yourself a tax break

If you itemize your taxes, you can deduct charitable gifts and donations, according to IRS guidelines. However, if you take a standard deduction because it's greater, you won't get a tax break on donations. That doesn't mean you shouldn't be charitable.

●     Spreading good will

According to an article by Stanford Graduate School of Business, studies have shown being charitable leads to greater wealth and happiness. In fact, one study cited by Stanford showed giving just $1 caused subjects to feel more flush. Spread Charitable Giving throughout the year as opposed to just the holidays. Many homeless shelters and food banks get plenty of help during the holidays, but not enough donations the rest of the year.

●     Watching your money grow

Christians often talk about Jesus' "Parable of the Talents," about a man who entrusted his servants with his property. The master was pleased with the servants who multiplied the money while he was gone, but displeased with the one who buried the money. By hiring a skilled financial adviser, you can invest your money so you have even more money to leave loved ones and favorite charitable organizations.

A financial adviser can also help you prioritize and budget so you can include Charitable Giving in your financial planning. Saving for retirement, college funds, a new home, emergencies and medical expenses are a few things that also need to be considered. Sharing your wealth with loved ones and worthy groups that help others can give you a sense of warmth and well-being that isn't fleeting.