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Whether you do it at the start of the year or the start of the month, you probably lay out a budget from time to time. As you put aside money for home improvements, vacations, and the unexpected car repair, also include line items for your philanthropic activities. If you know that you give money to your alma mater each year, put that in the budget. If you have a cause that is close to your heart, add that, too.
If you're not sure to which charity you might want to give, or you know that each year brings its share of sad events that require financial relief, just set aside a dollar amount so that you have some cash to send when the time arises.