Wednesday, 04 January 2012 12:57

Guilt and Cynicism

Written by  Dave Ramsey
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Question: I’ve noticed that lots of people get defensive when it comes to talking about money and living on a plan. Why is this?


Answer: I think it’s because there seem to be two negative emotions connected to people who have failed with money: guilt and cynicism. They feel guilty because they’re terrible when it comes to handling money, and they don’t want to talk about it.


Cynicism may be more prevalent in people who feel like they’ve been messed over by some “money expert” out there. Maybe they got caught up in a deal that went bad, or they lost a lot of money following their advisor’s advice. The results can be they end up believing that anyone connected to the financial arena is a bad, incompetent or manipulative person.

If you’ve made mistakes with money, that just makes you human. Everyone alive has messed up financially, and that includes me. I made mistakes with lots of zeroes on the end, but I managed to turn things around. Now, I’m running my own company based on those mistakes, how to fix them and how to keep people from making the same mistakes I did years ago.

Sometimes people just don’t want to be around others who are trying something new or different and winning in the process. Then, there are people in life—I call them losers—who just don’t want anyone else to win, because it reminds them that they’re not winning. Being stuck around those kinds of people is no fun for anyone!

Question: Our financial situation is pretty good now, and my husband and I feel it is time to start giving something back. There are several organizations we’re interested in helping, but how can we know if they’re legitimate and will use our money wisely?

Answer: I really appreciate your giving spirit, but the truth is you can never be 100 percent certain about this kind of thing. About the best you can do is put in some serious time researching and digging beneath the surface of various organizations to find some that are a comfortable fit for you.

My wife and I give the majority of our donations to Christian ministries. It’s not unusual for us to take a tour of the place to see what kind of feel we get while we’re there. If they’re secretive or not forthcoming with what we consider to be basic information about how they operate, or if we see signs of opulence or super-luxury, you can bet we’ll be asking lots of questions.

Talk to the leaders and administrators about what they plan to do with the money from your donation. You have a right to know this. I mean, if they’re going to give the money to hurricane victims, you want the victims to get the money, right?

People who work for a charitable organization need to make a decent living just like everyone else. But if they’re ultra-rich, it could be a sign that they’re not being responsible with their donations. Take a look at their administrative costs - what percentage of donations goes directly to the cause - and anything else you feel would help you make the right decision.

Giving is like anything else. It takes time and work to do it responsibly and with excellence!
 

Go to Top