Q: So far, my husband and I have managed to keep our jobs, but with the economy the way it is we’ve really cut back on our spending for fear we’ll have to live off our savings some day. As part of this, we’ve almost stopped giving to our church and the charities we’ve supported. Are we wrong? — N. McK.
A: The current economic crisis has affected a large fraction of the US and the world, and it is prudent to plan ahead and reduce your spending. Charity is certainly viewed as a virtue by most, but it is important that individuals and families maintain the ability to provide food, shelter, education, and recreation for themselves. If the only way you can support your family is to reduce or eliminate charitable giving, then you should not feel you are doing anything wrong. If you would still like to contribute to your community, you could try donating your time to local organizations that feed and house the disadvantaged, teach people to read, or mentor young people. These activities may also provide you with rewarding, educating experiences and some recreation.
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