How to Stop Being Stingy

Americans are among the most generous people on earth, with about 92% of adults making monetary donations to non-profit organizations. Many people find that giving to those less fortunate, as well as to friends and family, creates a special feeling they find hard to describe. If you're not one of those who likes to give, maybe it's time to stop being so stingy.

Start small by giving to charities and good causes. Add the extra dollar to your grocery bill for the local food bank. Throw a couple of quarters in the collection box at the fast food drive-through. Stop complaining about the price, and buy a box of thin mints from the little Girl Scout. During the holidays, drop[ some coins or bills into the collection kettles operated by the Salvation Army or other groups.

Consider the situation of wait staff in restaurants. They earn $2.13 per hour from the restaurant, and the rest of their income from the tips left by diners. Watch them bustle about, attending to everyone's orders and making sure their diners are satisfied, and ask yourself if you'd do that work for $2.13 an hour. Learn to calculate 15 percent of your tab and leave it for your waiter or waitress after your next restaurant meal.

Think of the benefits you'll reap. A truly stingy person never gets rid of anything. But all those clothes you donate to the thrift shop can add up to a nice tax donation next April 15. Make sure you get a receipt for your donation so you have documentation for your deduction.

Bite the bullet, and force yourself to pick up the tab the next time you're out with friends. It will be a delightful surprise to everyone, most of all yourself. In such cases, someone else generally leaves the tip, and you can instruct her on how to calculate it if she doesn't know.

Ask a friend or relative who is particularly generous to describe the feeling she gets from sharing with others. Listening to someone else tell her story may be the encouragement you need to stop the miserly attitude.