December 5, 2007, 11:00 am

They Keep Asking Me

by: The Financial Blogger    Category: Personal Finance
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There is one thing I hate about Christmas. One thing that bugs me a lot and people keep bringing it back on the table. People are asking for money everywhere, anytime. If I would be to give $1 to everybody that is asking for money on my way to work during Xmas time, I would spend 10 to 15 bucks every day! Unfortunately, charity has become a business for many people during the Holidays. Several individuals are counting on the fact that people are more emotional over this period of the year and they will feel guilty if they don’t give.


Well I do not (and I can’t) give money to everybody. We are being asked from right, left and centre. That makes me sick. But don’t get me wrong, I am not saying we should not give money to people that needs it. However, being requested 10 times a day makes me nauseous. How come there are so many people all of a sudden that is asking for money? Where are they the rest of the year? I don’t get it.So far this year; I contributed to Centraide, a well-known organization, every two weeks through my pay cheque. I give about $100 to them every year. Then, I always send about $20 to $40 to children care association throughout the year as I think children should not pay for adults mistakes. After that, I buy something every time a kid is knocking on my door to finance their trip to New York, their hockey tournament, and their ice skating show and so on. Trust me, in my neighborhood, this means buying something every two weeks. I also gave for $30 for my city’s association for Christmas. Finally, I always find myself giving money anytime a cashier is promoting any fund raising for children. But somewhat, I feel guilty of saying no everyday of December to people that are asking money. I tell myself “Hey FB, it’s only a buck, come on, you can do it”. And then, there is the other part of me saying “Hey FB, it’s another buck they are asking for. Don’t you think you gave enough money already? Where does this stop?”. Well actually, this is the real question: Where does this stop? Never. The sad truth about the world is that there are very few people who are living a good or decent life. The others suffer from the lack of resources. Everyday, we must thank the life for give us what we have. Everyday. In the end, I am not a Bill Gates and I could surely give more money to charity. However, I think the real answer to the problem goes through a solid education and programs to but back these people on track. “Give them a fish and you feed them for a day, teach them fishing and you will feed them for the rest of their lives”.

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Or you could just “not donate”.

I don’t give a lot of money and I don’t feel like a miser for doing it. Every time I move (new one coming up), I drop tons of used but usable items in the salvation army box..

The way that I see it, almost nobody “needs” money, they need stuff. If they want to earn money to buy their own stuff, then I can give them “stuff” to empower them. Here’s a bus pass to get to work or a couple of sweaters to keep you warm. Of course, we have tons of government programs for exactly those purposes and I pay a lot of money to fund those programs.

So I think that you’re doing just fine 🙂

Well, you could try to teach someone to fish, but then they need to get a fishing license and it’s only good for a period of time and you’ll probably also have to help them apply for it since they can’t read properly to understand the forms. Then you need bait and tackle so you’ll probably have to give them that too. Plus transportation to an authorized fishing area since some areas are protected. Then what happens if after all that they get arrested and sue you for not showing them all these things because you just taught them how to fish, you’ll probably wind up paying a ton to a lawyer to defend yourself and possibly lose since your not a certified fishing instructor . . .

I give money to the salvation army. Then I use the ‘I give to the salvation army’ as an excuse for everyone else. You could use the ‘I’ve already hit my charity budget for the year’ excuse too (if in fact you have a budget, and have hit it). This seems to work pretty well. Just set aside 20 bucks or whatever you feel good with for random giving to beggars and when it’s gone fire up the line.

by: The Financial Blogger | December 5th, 2007 (6:11 pm)

Pretty funny! the worts part is that you probably didn’t go to far in your “fishing story”.

I just can’t wait to get after Xmas and get over it 😉

FB – don’t make eye contact.


by: The Financial Blogger | December 5th, 2007 (11:06 pm)

FP, I have too, remember, I lost my sunglasses 😉

This is a topic close to my heart as I live in gastown, right beside Vancouver’ downtown eastside.

I think the meta question to ask is, “why are there increasing numbers of people begging?” There’s no way I believe that the majority of panhandlers are doing it ’cause they like it – I also see them stiff-muscled in the mornings lined up for the soup and it’s just too miserable and existence (wet feet in crappy shoes all day, eg.) for anyone to do it unless they’re too broken to do better for themselves.

Having said that, I definitely get annoyed and have to resist pointing out that I just gave my last f-ing loonie to the guy/woman the block previously, and can I NOT get to my home in peace?

Generally, my M.O, is:
1. I take someone into sbux or the corner grocery store and buy them some groceries/food about once/month.
2. If I have a bus ticket on me, I’ll give it to someone
3. If I have a loonie, I’ll usually give it (doesn’t impact my net worth! I usually have only plastic!)
4. I give a bit each month to a street-person agency
5. I respectfully say, “sorry – I use only plastic” the vast majority of the time,
6. I vote for politicians who seriously (not lip service) seem to want to care for the marginalized in our society (D’Toqueville: we can tell a lot about a culture by how it treats its most vulnerable).