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Money Can’t Buy Happiness…Or Can It?

They say money can’t buy happiness. But that’s only if you’re trying to buy your own happiness. It turns out, what you do with your money can actually buy happiness . . . both for you and for others. A recent study found that spending more of your income on others has more of a positive impact on you than spending money on yourself.1  Another study found the same to be true in both rich and poor countries.2 

While more money can help alleviate some of life’s stressors like paying off debt, making the rent or mortgage payment, or buying a reliable car, it doesn’t increase your happiness when you spend it on yourself. But the opposite is true when you choose generosity.

Three Benefits of Donating to Charity

The concept of generosity seems radical these days with inflation and the cost of living continuing to rise. But thankfully, that hasn’t discouraged people from contributing what they can. Last year, Americans gave $499.3 billion to charity.3 That’s a huge testament to the role generosity can play in creating a culture of giving. 

At SageSpring Wealth Partners, giving is at the heart of what we do. Our most meaningful work is getting the opportunity to advise our clients on how to give both purposefully and effectively. We’re proud to say that last year, 343 of our accounts contributed to nonprofits and charities. This year, we’re hoping that number continues to grow. 

Here are three benefits of donating to charity you can experience this year: 

1. You can make a difference in the lives of others. 

You can’t necessarily buy happiness for yourself, but you can absolutely help others experience that through financial gifts. By donating to charities, foundations, nonprofits, and even churches, you can make a huge impact on the lives of those in your community and around the world. Is there a cause that breaks your heart? Is there a foundation that’s working to find a cure for a disease you or someone you love has been affected by? You won’t have to look too hard to find someone who could use a helping hand financially.

2. You’ll gain more happiness.

As we previously mentioned, multiple studies have found that generosity begets happiness. As the giver, you’ll receive far more joy through your generosity than if you were to spend that money on yourself. It’s time to start dreaming: How can you increase your joy this year through your financial gifts?

3. You can receive tax deductions. 

With your generous donation before the end of the year, you can receive a charitable giving tax deduction on your 2023 taxes. Before you give, check to see if your donation qualifies for deductions with the IRS here. There are many different ways to give: donor-advised funds, stocks, and even bundling your donations. If you’re unsure of how you can best utilize your charitable tax deductions, we’d love to help. 

Want to learn more about how you can give wisely this year? Contact a SageSpring Wealth Partner today. We’d love to help guide you as you use your finances to impact your community and increase your joy this holiday season.

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Jeffrey T. Dobyns


President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS 

Jeffrey T. Dobyns

President, SageSpring | Financial Advisor, RJFS

Beyond crunching numbers and investment strategies, at SageSpring, we’re about building relationships. When you encounter Founder & President of SageSpring, Jeff Dobyns, it’s easy to understand why this is at the very heart of who we are as a firm. You won’t find stuffy formalities with Jeff; instead, you can expect to find him sharing a warm smile, communicating a compelling vision, or patiently untangling life’s complex challenges with clients. He believes in truly getting to know clients, understanding their aspirations and priorities, and navigating their financial plans with a tailored, comprehensive approach. Our team members have often been caught taking notes on Jeff’s effortless relationship skills from a distance, and we admire them for striving to learn from one of the best. 

Jeff’s financial expertise and wisdom are the perfect match to his innate people skills. Jeff holds the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification, Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), and Chartered Financial Consultant (ChLU®) designations, and has held executive positions with financial planning firms for more than two decades. 

His dedication extends beyond the office to the boardroom and the local community, where Jeff is passionate about giving back. He serves as Chairman of the Board of Men of Valor, a prison ministry and mentoring program. Jeff also serves on the board of Send Musicians to Prison, which shares hope, healing and restoration with the imprisoned through musicians & artists. Jeff actively supports other initiatives in the community by sitting on the board of The Signatry of Middle Tennessee and the Halftime Institute of Nashville. 

Witnessing his four children, Gracyn, Hunter, Tanner, and Logan, excel on the field is almost just as rewarding, if not more, than celebrating the victories of seeing his clients overcome obstacles and build wealth. Spending weekends boating on the lake, hiking mountain trails, and fishing with his family are the moments Jeff cherishes most. It’s this grounded perspective that reveals the true meaning of wealth for Jeff: not just numbers on a page, but the freedom to create experiences that enrich your life and the lives of those you love. When you choose the Dobyns McMillin Wealth Team, you choose more than financial expertise. You choose a partner who champions your dreams, celebrates your victories, and walks besides you on the path to achieving your unique goals.

**Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER TM, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.