“When I’m rich, I’ll give.”

Do you give to charity? I’m embarrassed to say that I only very recently started giving. And it’s not that much. But I am happy, maybe a tiny bit proud, that I finally started.

When I was a resident, I said “I’ll give when I’m an attending.” That seemed logical – I wasn’t making a lot and had student loans accumulating interest every day. Then I became an attending. Then I said “I’ll give once I don’t have so many loans” or “I’ll give once I get some financial footing.”

Somewhere along the way I discovered Farnoosh Torabi’s So Money podcast. I started with her inaugural podcast with guest Tony Robbins. One part really got to me:

People say, “When I’m rich, I’ll give, they’re lying. If you won’t give a dime out of a dollar, there’s no way you’re gonna give a 100 million out of a billion, you’re lying to yourself. But if you can do it today, the biggest thing that giving does, is it teaches your brain there’s more than enough.

Right after I listened to that podcast, I made my first donation – I pledged to give a small amount quarterly to my alma mater Barnard College and specifically earmarked the funds for financial aid. I received generous financial aid in the form of grants and work-study and hope that my small contribution (which I will definitely increase soon) will help someone else attend.

For 2017 I made a modest goal to start with 1% of my base salary towards charity. Yes, this isn’t a lot, but I am starting somewhere and hope to slowly increase as a % of my base salary. I made a separate category in YNAB as well.

I have also given small amounts to:

  • Camp Discovery – a summer camp for kids with severe skin diseases
  • KACFNY aka Korean American Community Foundation of NY

You’ll notice my medical school is missing from the list. That will have to wait until the loans are paid off. I think that just only makes sense :).

Do you give? Why or why not? Who/what do you give to? 

Get our guide

Sign up to learn the 5 Money Myths Keeping You From True Wealth — so you'll never fall for them again.

Posted in

Recent Posts

Love, Marriage, and a Legal Contract

The Misunderstood Gift Tax: What You Should Know

Rethinking Emergency Funds

Go on any major finance forum or site and the old adage is to stash 3-6 months of expenses towards an “emergency fund” before investing and saving for other purposes. Let’s define an emergency fund first. Well, that’s the problem right there. There are different definitions of what an emergency fund is used for, here are…