Money and your mind: generous to a (financial) fault

First. The good news. If you’re a habitually generous person you’re likely to be happier.

Science has shown that small acts of kindness light up part of our brains with a “warm glow”, according to a study from the University of Zurich.

But the bad news?

If you’re generous you may be likely to overspend and over-commit yourself to other people.

As author David Miller writes for Psychology Today, a very generous person is unlikely to be able to say no, which makes them vulnerable to friends or family in need and charities.

Our tips for the hearts of gold

Think first: If your first inclination is to help a mate out financially even if you might not get that money back, think again before you commit. Take at least 24 hours before you make any promises and make sure it is something you can afford.

Put yourself first: Like the oxygen mask in an airplane, make sure your needs, including your future needs, are met first. There’s no point in helping someone else out at your own expense.

The big picture

The world needs acts of kindness. While there are a few of us out there blowing all our money on the people around us, it’s more likely we’ll be focusing on ourselves.

So today spend a little on someone else and enjoy that post-generous act brain glow.

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Disclaimer: This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. The information in this article is general in nature and has not been prepared with your personal circumstances in mind, so please consider if any advice is appropriate to you before making any financial or taxation decisions.

Money Place AFSL Ltd ACN 601 061 438 holds Australian Financial Services Licence 466327 and Australian Credit Licence 466327.