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View Poll Results: Are you or have you been a Scrooge to reach FIRE ?
I'm a real Scrooge to friends, family, myself, & everyone 11 9.09%
I'm a Scrooge but only to myself - I give heartily to family & friends 23 19.01%
I'm a Scrooge to others, but not myself or spouse - No Hand Outs! 12 9.92%
I'm no Scrooge! I give - but very moderately 57 47.11%
I'm no Scrooge! I give - Generously 10% of salary 12 9.92%
I'm no Scrooge! I give - Very Generously - 25% or more of salary 2 1.65%
Not Applicable - I only have enough to support myself and family 2 1.65%
I'm Tiny Tim - I need donations so I can FIRE 2 1.65%
Voters: 121. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 12-23-2015, 07:45 PM   #21
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I don't know if I'm going to FIRE next year but I'm definitely leaving my job middle of next year, so I'm going to be a Scrooge for awhile. Seeing that 40% of the survey respondent are scrooges, makes me feel feel like there's a reason to feel like a scrooge when there's no positive cashflow coming in.
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Old 12-23-2015, 08:21 PM   #22
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I too will have to dial down my giving from a financial standpoint. However I will be making a point to then give of my time in different ways to hopefully make up for this.
Right now, while I'm still w#rking, I have more money to give than time available for volunteering. After I retire, the reverse will be true - I will scale back on financial contributions but have all the time in the world. We do what we can.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:15 PM   #23
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I am having trouble being generous to anyone but close family. I try to build generous thoughts then the person I think of helping does something to make me not want to help. I wanted to help the homeless but not waste money so studying ideas that would help. I hired one homeless guy for months and he didn't try to solve his living outdoor problem just splurged when he had money. I joined groups on Facebook but they don't want to do anything to solve anything they want to hand out bottled water and socks, that won't get anyone living indoors or they want the homeless to be given land and building with free garbage and sewers with doing nothing to help themselves. When a landlord evicts I have more compassion for the landlord than the dead beat tenant that did nothing to help themselves. Give that evicted tenant money they will not be able to find a place with an eviction and no job so how do you make them back to living indoors, working and paying taxes. So like Scrooge I think don't we pay taxes, are their no work houses, let them die and reduce the surplus population.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:27 PM   #24
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I'm an engineer and analytical. I understand your thoughts.

But there's a faith element that's hard to explain. I can't speak for prudent_one, but only myself.

Faith is more than religion there is a feeling of shortage and hoarding, being poor. If you can afford to give away money you feel you have enough so don't need to hoard. You also don't need to lie, cheat or steal to have enough so you are a better person. This leads to people trusting you, customers, family, bosses which leads to more for you. If you feel you can't afford to waste and can't afford to gift you might dress worse or refuse to spend on healthy food or a car that runs so people see you as less successful and you see yourself that way too. Success breeds success and failure breeds failure. I don't believe in god but I do believe in the abundance of nature and money isn't a zero sum game. I won't waste even my charity dollars but I do give to causes that are worth my money like helping a great nephew with college cost and his mom and her cousin to get homes. I gave away 26K this year to three people so when I wanted to spend 10K on a roof it seemed more affordable so I didn't refuse to spend until the roof caved in since I felt more secure that I could afford it.
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:28 PM   #25
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I put that we give 10%. It's never less, and sometimes quite a bit more. My wife and I have an uncanny way of thinking up the same numbers on these things.

Yesterday we were considering the college youth ministry where my son went to school. I said, "Well, normally I would think of $X, but they were so good to Jake." She said, "That's what I was thinking too. How about 2.5X?" and I said "Done!"

Whether you're religious or not, being part of something bigger that yourself is good for the soul. And giving generously is the anti-greed, because by definition, it makes us think less about what we have and more about how we can help.

YMMV, of course.

Dave
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Old 12-24-2015, 09:16 AM   #26
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Whether you're religious or not, being part of something bigger that yourself is good for the soul. And giving generously is the anti-greed, because by definition, it makes us think less about what we have and more about how we can help.
Right. There's room for all of us, the faith and non-faith based givers.

As someone who works and puts time into a small community based non-profit, I can tell you that people who give time are wonderful. We need you! But I can also say it doesn't pay the insurance bill. We need money too. Insurance is our largest cost. Unfortunately, even handing out bottled water (for example) exposes a group to lawsuits.

I suppose we can leave it all to the government as it seems that many want to do. But that takes out the element of being able to work for a cause, religious or not.

And yes, I know about the big non-profits and some of their issues. "non-profit" does not always mean good.
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Old 12-24-2015, 01:57 PM   #27
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I was a scrooge but kept making adjustments as my asset grew. Toward the end of my work career, I was generous to families to a fault. In EA starting tomorrow, I will be more careful on being "generous" part.
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:06 PM   #28
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I was just thinking recently about how good it is to have our donor-advised fund. It was established nearly three years ago and has been filled with appreciated stock several times now. There are two big advantages that I see (beyond the large tax deductions).

First, it has enabled us to be considerably more generous with our giving than we ever were before. Having that large pot of money available to donate seems to make it easier. Plus, it keeps appreciating between donations. And further, we can donate with a few clicks instead of writing and mailing checks.

Second, the vast majority of our donations have been anonymous, so we are gradually dropping off the lists that send out annual (or more frequent) begging letters and emails.

Fidelity makes it very easy to set up a DAF and they are more flexible than Vanguard about how to use it.
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Old 12-24-2015, 02:08 PM   #29
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Overall, we're in the moderate range all the way around. We are what I'd call careful both with ourselves and others. We do lean toward pretty generous with people or organizations we really believe in. I'm hoping that doesn't need to tighten up in retirement. I guess we'll see how that sequence of returns pans out...
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Old 12-24-2015, 04:38 PM   #30
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I give sparingly of my money; generously of my time. Have made a career out of helping others-just started an addiction and mental health recovery center-can't afford to be overly generous monetarily! Not sure how that would fit in the poll.
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Old 12-24-2015, 05:36 PM   #31
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Scrooge? Before or after his life changing experience?
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Old 12-25-2015, 06:29 AM   #32
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Although I make donations to select charities I have always given something way more valuable than money for most of my life. In the last 20+ years my time has been averaging about 8 hours a week helping others. So I guess there is no place for me on the survey.

Cheers!
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Old 12-25-2015, 07:18 AM   #33
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I'd say our giving is "moderate", with most going to United Way through work until recently. With our increasing increasing significantly in the last couple of years we've started to rethink our charitable goals. We've been obsessed about hitting our financial targets for FIRE but we feel like we should be able to comfortably step up charitable giving now and continue to hit our other planning targets as well. I've always felt we should give a little less now until we've prepared for uncertainties like death and disability, etc. and more once we're fully protected and financially secure.
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Old 12-27-2015, 11:14 AM   #34
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I'm in my mid 30's and have been giving 2% to 4% of my income to tax-exempt organizations for the past decade. Most of the money goes to my local church. This year, I had a good opportunity to provide clean drinking water and the gospel message to a village in Africa, so my giving went up to about 8% this year.
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Old 12-27-2015, 12:23 PM   #35
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I give moderately with monthly donations going to a couple of children's charities for the last 30 years.
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