Donating to the homeless

Seems as though we have many people on this forum who are paid very highly. I'm curious to know if being in the top percentile of earners has made you more humble. Ever since starting in finance, have you donated to homeless people more? Have you tipped the coffee shop worker even though she messed up your order 3 times just because you can? Have you started to invest in companies that focus on social welfare as opposed to just profits? I feel as though these are some of the key aspects that a normal citizen hopes to see out of higher-paid individuals but I wonder if that's really the case. 
Or has the extra income made you spend on more luxury items? 
Do you work 100+ hours a week for a big payoff, or do you work 100+ hours a week to give back to society even more? 

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Nearly half my money goes to taxes. I don't live an opulent lifestyle and any money I have leftover goes to student loans. If I had more expendable income, I would focus on taking care of my family first and then the community I live in. 

When I lived in San Francisco I learned the hard way that putting money towards social causes really doesn't change anything. The people you are trying to help must first want to actually be helped. Unfortunately, their brains are often mush. 


I tithe 10% of my after tax income to various causes and tip generously. But no, I don't give much to the homeless.

Might as well buy heroin and cocaine for yourself or set the cash on fire instead. 


I know a handful of people who do it. Biggest buckets for my donations are something like this:

25% church - general fund

50% various charities mostly educational and for low income people

25% emergency funds - I've started planning this one ahead of time but did for years by accident. There's always a tornado, flood, hurricane, war or something around the world where someone needs a hand


I asked my mom the same question one time and she told me “if [Homeless person] uses my money for drugs, then god will deal with that accordingly. I’ve acted on my values and principles and anything beyond that is simply out of my control”


I agree with this to an extent. Sure, it's their choice and not yours to do drugs. You're doing the right thing.

However, if it's a choice between giving $5 to a homeless guy who is going to smoke crack or giving $5 to a scholarship for underpriviledged kids or even $5 to a homeless shelter, then I think that is preferrable. 

Hence, you still might not want to give to a homeless crackhead in preference for other choices that will have a bigger impact.

Real issue is people who are not giving anything to anyone while harshly judging others.


I do not. I try to give a few hundred bucks a year, but it's also hard to justify donating 1k+ when you don't have any line of sight into your career which basically describes most financial professionals in their 20s. I'm hoping to get much higher conviction / stability on that in the next yr or so, after which I'd aim to ramp up charitable donations above $1k to maybe even $2k by early 30s

I do think it's important to give, but gotta take care of oneself and one's own first. AI also makes this calculus hard since you have no clue what the terminal value of your career will even be like! Which means opp cost of giving is higher, so that's something to calibrate too 

Also that said, I wouldn't give to the homeless. Find a great charity where nearly all proceeds go to the end recipient, that's a more impactful way to give (i.e. cancer research, putting a kid thru school in Vietnam, etc)


Yeah, I give them a few bills if I see someone. I tithe to my church and also give to a food drive a few times per year.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Who are you? How do you have so many bananas? Do you work this app as a full time job? Sorry I just see you on so many posts lol

My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, Commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my vengeance, in this life or the next.

"If you always put limits on everything you do, physical or anything else, it will spread into your work and into your life. There are no limits. There are only plateaus, and you must not stay there, you must go beyond them." - Bruce Lee

Haha, but Isaiah has good insight, even if one doesn't always agree with it. He's a staple; there's also a forum thread on here trying to piece together who he or she is. That being said, there is a certain lower-valued calibered talent that is a troll and seems to have made his life on here posting engaging topics. Interested if it's AI driven or just a board Senior. 


I tip to the baristas, valet, and whoever. But I always tipped service people. Unfortunately, I have found most homeless people near me are homeless, usually due to an addiction or mental illness or both, and the people panhandling aren't even always homeless. I won't give any of them money. EoY, we tip our building staff, mailman, dry cleaner, and housekeepers during the holidays. We do not dooooo not tip our landlords haha. 

What has changed is the amount we give, we are slightly more generous. 

We belong to a bunch of societies and museums that we donate to. Usually, the second or third tier, think 300-500 donations once a year, supporting various causes. We donate to Big Brothers and Big Sisters, Emily's Closet, and usually a couple of local charities, like bringing food to the food assistance bank. My SO works for a non profit so gets days of community service she always volunteers for. In the end it is still probably less than 2-3% of my take home and less than 1% of our combined take home. 


Haven’t been able to donate to the homeless since I had my triceptica surgically removed at 16 years old. I’m unable to process poverty anymore. Can highly recommend the procedure.


Starting to make good money didn't coincide with wasting money.  I tip waiters, but I always have.

I come from down in the valley, where mister when you're young, they bring you up to do like your daddy done

I used to but I stopped since most have 0 gratitude and aren't doing well for a reason. I mean what difference does it make at that point whether I do or do not.


I would recommend donating to an organization like GiveWell or directly to one of the non-profits they recommend. Your dollar will go much further and they intentionally are trying to only fund where there is actual impact based on research and measurement of outcomes. GiveDirectly for example targets communities in parts of the world where even just like $5 can have a significant change in quality of life - they also follow recipients to see if there are ways to improve who, how and when funds are received. Even if they aren’t looking to donate internationally, they also evaluate and recommend non-profits in the US.


I already donate 42% of my income and another 9% of whatever I spend plus another 6% on the first 130k I make (donated on my behalf direct by my employer). 


Idk if this counts but instead of donating money, I try to donate my time to “worthy” causes. With student loans and growing up in poverty, I don’t fully feel comfortable donating money and not knowing how it is spent. Much rather spend a few hours a month at a soup kitchen or preparing care packages that are distributed.


I am broke as fuck (especially when I compare myself to other replies here), but my rule of thumb is - if the guy asks for food in front of a grocery store/fastfood/whatever, I buy him some food. Not giving away cash, as you unfortunately can't trust them and their supposed intentions with it (and as someone already said, you can buy drugs or burn the money yourself). 


DO NOT help the homeless. Help people that are actually productive members of society that maybe fell on hard times, but most homeless are bums, drug addicts, and mentally ill money pits that leach off the toxic empathy of our culture while contributing nothing but crime while lowering property values. It's the same logic as below. 

Please Do Not Feed The Animals Your Kindness May Kill - External Waterproof 3mm Rigid PVC Board Sign

"The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly" - Robert A. Wilson | "If you don't have any enemies in life you have never stood up for anything" - Winston Churchill | "It's a testament to the sheer belligerence of the profession that people would rather argue about the 'risk-adjusted returns' of using inferior tooth cleaning methods." - kellycriterion

If this is satire then the entire state of California must be a poorly executed skit.

"The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly" - Robert A. Wilson | "If you don't have any enemies in life you have never stood up for anything" - Winston Churchill | "It's a testament to the sheer belligerence of the profession that people would rather argue about the 'risk-adjusted returns' of using inferior tooth cleaning methods." - kellycriterion

Don't forget 40% of Americans don't even pay taxes. So the productive 60% of society is subsidizing the rest. 

"The obedient always think of themselves as virtuous rather than cowardly" - Robert A. Wilson | "If you don't have any enemies in life you have never stood up for anything" - Winston Churchill | "It's a testament to the sheer belligerence of the profession that people would rather argue about the 'risk-adjusted returns' of using inferior tooth cleaning methods." - kellycriterion

I grew up in a low income household in a tier 4 country (Brazil/Serbia/England) to blue collared parents. My father worked a very physically demanding job (construction worker/gigolo) and my mother worked two jobs. By day she was a teacher at our local kindergarten (Summer Fields/Dragon School) and in the evening should was a piano teacher for rich kids who would eventually go off to elite boarding schools (Eton/Westminster/Wycombe Abbey). This very humble upbringing meant the only times I could go out to eat were on special occasions. My 13th birthday was spent at a pastry shop (Greggs/Pret). My mom’s exposure to rich families meant I would always hear stories about rich kids and lavish styles but never get to experience them myself.

This instilled into me from a young age the importance of staying true to my roots. I promised myself that when I grew up, and if I made it, I would always be a giver, no matter what, and would never forget where I came from. I wanted to be like David Beckham telling his wife to be humble and stop being a posh twat on reality television.

Anyways, fast forward 2 decades, and I’m now finally a first year associate at a mid tier bulge bracket (UBS/Barclays/BofA) in NYC where I’m making over $300k all in. I make sure to think about where I came from and tip my MD as much as I can afford. Last year, I tried to go for 15% of my after-tax pay but increased cost of living made it hard, so I settled with 12%. It’s okay though. My MD is a serious rainmaker and bringing in deals all the time. I’m in an industry group (Healthcare/FIG/consumer) and most of the deals our industry group head brings make the headlines. Just last month we worked on UMB's $2 billion all-stock acquisition of Heartland Financial USA. It was definitely an intensive few weeks but the guidance our MD brought was remarkable, so I’ll do my best tip him more this year.


Absolutely! I have 4 quarters each year I do this for. In January; the top 5 reasons of death have to be looked up first. Heart disease is always one. So $25.00 DEF has to be paid out by me within the Jan-March window. The organization is so nice too; I get to choose who in dedication (If I want) who I would like it to be made in recognition/honor of, and they send me a beautiful card with their name on it. Pop's, I know you're shining down on me from Heaven!

May to July- I better have $25 out the door to Wounded Warriors. Send it July; perfect! A lovely card I get to hand write to one of them and they send such nice tokens and magnets of honor to be kept.

September-November window- $25 in donation to Food for the Poor and I better get my effing money to them by Thanksgiving, I say to myself.

And of course, Christmas. The homeless gets the last $25 again. So sad. Who the eff am I to be dining around and clinking wine glasses all year when these poor souls of the world are starving.

I feel so sad for the sick children of the world but I feel like that is the number one direction people look, and where most donate a dime. There are adults and others in the world suffering too. 

Again, who the hec am I to be purchasing up lotto tickets but can't send $10-$25 bucks to a starving (freezing cold maybe) person's way? A wouldn't drop a penny in a Star$bucks$ bowl.

God Bless All!


I do not donate money to the homeless but I have donated my time.  I was at a family members birthday party in NYC recently.  My family member lives in a 3 bedroom apartment, which probably has a value of several million dollars.  He was never particularly wealthy but he married into a very wealthy family.  During the party, I chatted with his father in law, who worked as a portfolio manager for the Putnam Funds and also had a high level position managing money for a bank in Asia.  This is all after graduating with an MBA from Harvard.  His family also had a lot of wealth from the oil industry.  He was super nice.

The next day, I chatted with my dad about him.  Here is a direct quote from my dad about him, " He is also a very kind generous man. One time I met him in NY sitting on the benches on Broadway dividing the street. I asked what he was doing here, his reply,  I have a lot friends in NY, meaning homeless people who stop to say hello, he gives them between 60 and 80 cash to tide them over.


Giving money to the homeless is your definition of “giving back”?

You need to learn a thing or two before you start preaching…


God gave the rich to the poor so they can be provided for, and God gave the poor to the rich so they can get into heaven

in brief, yes I do donate more now than I used to when I had student loans and credit card debt. my financial situation now is such that I have more than enough to pay for those for whom I'm responsible, save for my future, and still have some excess. I give this excess principally to research I care about, veterans, and last but not least Catholic charities. additionally I'll keep some cash in my wallet in case I stumble across someone needy. I simply make a quick judgment call if they're being genuine (most of the time I give) and then ask them to pray for me.

some people do question why, because I already pay a lot in taxes, because the government should help these people out, because there are fraudsters out there, and because the likelihood is that someone is going to use it for drugs, alcohol, or junk food. that is all outside of my control, and while I do pay a lot in taxes and hate how our government uses funds, that doesn't absolve me of personal responsibility, that'd be akin to the parable of Lazarus getting stepped over by the rich man every fucking day. and though I can't save or help everybody, it's a certitude that I'll help no one if I don't try. what is in my control is trying to help monetarily and with prayer, beyond that it's outside of my control. God loves a cheerful giver, and while it breaks my heart to see people in dire straits, I'm very grateful I have the means to try to help.


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