Mythbuster: I Don’t Make Enough Money To Give


Is there a lot of testosterone in your house?  Because we have extra if you need it!  My family consists of me, and 3 sons (2 living, 1 living in Heaven) and a husband.  Boys, boys, boys! 

not my actual kids but close enough..from

In between throwing stuff into the fireplace “lets see what happens when [fill in the blank] burns!” and launching balled up socks into the whirling ceiling fans (we can’t have nice things), they occasionally settle down and watch a little tv.

Mythbusters is a household favorite.
Stuff blows up, cars crash, you know, everything a guy likes.
As I was thinking of my first post here on the topic of giving, I thought of Mythbusters.  The TV show busts myths like “hey I betcha that car can’t drive through that brick wall”, I’m about to bust a GIVING myth.
Myth: “I don’t make enough money to give.” 


pic from

Fact: Yes, you do.

  • Giving doesn’t have to be giving money.
  • If you can’t put food on the table and are going a couple nights a week without dinner, you can’t give $10 to a charity.  But you can do acts of service for others.  It doesn’t cost you to offer to get the mail while your neighbor is out of town, or stick a kid’s hand-drawn thank you card in the mailbox for the mail carrier.

  • Giving however often IS about the money.Money money money, MONEY”  —sorry had an “Apprentice” moment there.  You know, the theme song?
    Even on an incredibly limited income, you can give to meaningful purposes. And that is why I’m here, to find ways to give, even on a tight budget.
You and I?  We’re going on a journey together this year.  To stretch ourselves and our comfort zones.  To dig deep, get creative, and find ways to be able to give more.
We will find ways to get creative and scrape up some cold hard cash to donate, and we’ll explore giving opportunities that are the acts of service and only cost our time.  I hope you’ll join me, every other Wednesday, right here on Living on Love and Cents to get ideas and share your own ideas!
—TheBargainBabe blogs at Zucchini Summer about things like how to dance the macarena, teaching ideas, her sneaky dog, and limiting the amount of Christmas gifts.  Eclectic, huh?  Clearly her head is in the clouds.  Her husband, 3 sons, and enormous puppy love her anyway. 

  • I am thrilled to be a guest contributor and talking about none other than GIVING! Looking forward to the rest of the year, every other Wednesday. :) Thanks!

  • Nancy’s Couture

    I can’t wait to see the ideas!!! We have been tithing to our church but we want to give more. We want to give to Kingdom Builder’s, The Wellness Center (a Chritian based counseling center in our community) and to our church’s “Going Aerial” project to build a Change Center on 60 acres of land. I also give of my time by serving on the photography staff and taking pictures at our 4 services each weekend. And starting next week I will be teaching free sewing classes a the Wellness Center to anyone who wants to learn. I would love to learn new ways to save so I can give even more!!!!

    • Hi Nancy! Sounds like your church is doing some really neat things, I love the Wellness Center your community has too. Thanks for reading my article and taking time to comment. I promise to have some really fun and useful ideas for giving as we go! I’ll be here every other Wednesday! :)

  • This post has reminded me how little I have really given recently. In college I loved doing volunteer work, and while I didn’t have much money, I would occasionally give $10 or $20 here or there. Lately the only time I donate is when I have things I need to get rid of like kids clothes. I guess it still helps, but since I need to get rid of the stuff anyway, I don’t get the same feeling I got when I volunteered at a homeless shelter back in the 90s.

    • Angie, I really appreciate your openness in your comment. That is so nice that you have done volunteering at a homeless shelter. Maybe you can get back into that, or something else (I have more ideas up my sleeve for future posts!).

      I too have been convicted that we haven’t given as much as we should be lately. We do tithe to our church but I feel like we really should give beyond that to other places more than we do.

      Hope you’ll come back for future posts and discussions. I think we all have a lot to learn from each other! :)

  • We also tithe to our church and give of our time to teach kids classes. We used to give money to our local animal shelter. I think giving money is great, but giving time takes a lot more effort. I would love to volunteer with my kids at the animal shelter…maybe I need to get busy and see if that’s a possibility.

    • Mona,
      It is great that you tithe and help out with the kids classes! I know the children’s coordinators are always desperate for helpers! It would be neat if the animal shelter will let you bring your kids to help too. I used to volunteer at a battered women’s shelter and bring my son with me (this was before we moved). I loved that he got to see a variety of cultures and races and see that we are all equal.
      More of my posts in this series will have ideas for getting KIDS involved in giving activities. I’m can’t wait!

      Thanks again for coming and reading and I hope you’ll be back. :)

  • I’m always trying to think of what I can do and feel like I’m not giving enough. I get so many things in the mail asking for money, and I have given small amounts occasionally, but can’t afford to send money to all of them every month. And you see the commercials on TV that tug on your heartstrings and it just gets so overwhelming I don’t end up doing anything. We do give our weekly contribution at church and I’ve been meaning to get together a box of food and diapers to take to the food bank, but I haven’t got around to it b/c having a little one you have to get in and out of the carseat makes something like that rather daunting. But I’m looking forward to seeing some of your ideas and hopefully I can incorporate some myself. :-)

  • Giving of ones time is often much more important than giving money. Something we try to teach our children by giving them opportunities to give their time. I look forward to reading more!

  • I haunt clearance & “as is” bins. I recently picked up 1 lb bags of peanuts for 14 cents and 12 ct packs of candy canes for 10 cents. Cleaned the shelf of the peanuts and bought 50 boxes of candy canes, under $25 — going straight to the food bank, which also takes coupons. I have a garden, but there’s just 2 of us. I often have seeds left over. They go to a community garden in an “urban desert” area with little to no access to fresh produce. I’m trying to educate my neighbors about the many edible plants which are native, lovely for landscaping and easy to care for. I pick up school supplies throughout the year when I can get them cheap and give them to my local school, along with Box Tops for Education and Labels for Education — even though I have no kids — because I’m so grateful for the terrific education my school district provided. I address letters for the American Heart Assn. I really don’t have money — disabled & husband finding little work — and frankly need help myself. However, I find that doing what I can for others takes my mind off my own problems. There’s always someone else who needs more, or who needs what I can give.

    • I love those clearance bins too! And you are so right, it is satisfying to help others and helps take the focus off our own struggles. Thanks for coming and reading, I hope you’ll be back. :)

  • This is so exciting. I can’t wait to see how I can give more. I have been wanting to include my toddler {she’s 2 1/2} and would love some ideas we could do together. :)

    • Lauren, my youngest is almost 2. :) I am working on an ebook of ways to get your children involved in giving! Be sure to follow my blog so that you’ll know when it is available! I will be incorporating some of those ideas into my biweekly posts here as well. :)


  • I completely agree with giving of your time if you don’t have money to give. I have done this for years- volunteering at my kids schools, as a girl scout leader for 5 years and as a junior achievement volunteer for the past 3 years. Once you do volunteer your time you realize what an impact you can make. Thanks for the great post.

    • Thank you for coming by and leaving a comment!! Yes, volunteer work is HUGE! I also go to my son’s school and help about 5 times a month. And I remember my mom being my girl scout leader! :)

  • Cheryl Barnett Saves

    I love this show and like the ideas you gave for sharing. I used to have time to get involved in activities to raise awareness and cash but now I am one of the ones looking for the help from these places. I still involve myself on awareness of and a few other places.

    • Cheryl,
      I’m so glad that you are willing to accept help in a time when you need it. I know how hard that can be. That is what it is there for though, we all help when we can and we all receive help when we need it. That is the ultimate goal of a community I think. :)

  • What a great idea! Small gifts can be big gifts in disguise. What matters is that we share our own gifts, whatever they may be. Some years it may be money, some years it’s time, and some years it might be only a few kind words. But every gift matters.

    • I agree Betsy, “small” gifts are often big. I have several notes/cards that people have given me over the years that mean more than any gift from a store ever could.

  • I like this show and glad that you shared :D..

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