At lunch with a friend yesterday, they mentioned how they set aside a portion of money each week to spend on other people. It’s part of their standard budget, just another category alongside rent, groceries, or entertainment.
What does he spend it on? Anything from buying a coffee for someone at work, to treating friends to dinner at a nice restaurant. One week he might buy a small gift for a friend.
I suspect for some, the thought of formalising giving into something so austere as a budget seems mechanical and forced, contrary to the spirit in which giving should take place. As someone for whom spontaneous giving does not come as naturally as I might like, this practice is a way to build the character I aspire to.
I think it is a virtuous practice, and hope you all find it as helpful as I have.