After finding The American Frugal Housewife at my used bookstore yesterday, I read a very interesting statement that really addresses what Dog Ate My Finances was talking about in this post on Dave Ramsey and Tithing.
The author, Lydia Maria Child, makes a good point about giving to charity when one owes money and it made me think of Dog's argument:
"He who thoughtlessly gives away ten dollars, when he owes a hundred more than he can pay, deserves no praise,-he obeys a sudden impulse, more like instinct than reason: it would be real charity to check this feeling' because the good he does may be doubtful, while the injury he does his family and creditors is certain."
I have always donated money to charity, even when I owed money. The ex and I were fortunate enough to be able to donate to two charities when we lived in England. Now that I'm back in the States and on my own with only one income and in debt, it has made it harder to donate a set amount every month to charity (trust me, I tried. I was donating a set amount to the ASPCA every month and finally had to cancel). I definitely plan on incorporating charity into my spending plan once I'm debt free. At this stage of the game, I need to focus on myself to get my needs met. I know this sounds a little selfish, but I'm the only one looking out for me, no?
Giving to charity is so very important, I think everyone who can donate a little here and there really should. Find a good charitable organization that has a cause you are passionate for and try to give as much as you can each month, it's not just good for society, it's good for your soul too. Just make sure YOU and your family are taken care of first. Charity begins at home people.