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By Carol de Giere

Leaving a Legacy

Next time you sit on a bench in a public park, see if it has a name plate on it. The bench and your surroundings may have been sponsored by a thoughtful donor. You find the spirit of giving in the library books you read and the art work you enjoy in a local museum. Donated items enrich our lives and reminded us to leave legacies of our own to enrich the lives of future generations.

Many career tracks create visible legacies: architects leave their buildings, writers their books, programmers their software. But to purposefully give a gift to present and future generations expands your heart and mind in a different way. Some people tithe a percentage of their income to their religion. You may pass on a portion of your own success to your political party or your school. Whatever your focus, giving is an acknowledgment that our success, financial and otherwise, comes to us as part of a flow of energy which has its origin beyond our limited individuality.


First you decide to give. Then you need to decide what you have to give (such as money, household items, advice, or your time). Finally, you need to consider what you can afford to give. The HP Palmtop can help you with all but the 1st decision.

NoteTaker and Database can be used to create a list of contributions you are contemplating, like tree donated to new church yard in the name of each of my children, or book a year to local Headstart program. By keeping notes in NoteTaker you can focus your donations towards the causes that you consider most meaningful.

You can create a spreadsheet to track your income, the number and amount of your donations, and the percentage of your income you donate. Our Publisher Hal Goldstein recommends the practice of contributing 10% to a spiritual cause without strings attached. Pick a percentage you're comfortable with and stick to it.

Wayne Kneeskern, Thaddeus accountant, suggests sitting down at the beginning of the year and thinking about the contributions you want to make and the charities to which you wish to give. Then you can create spreadsheet columns for areas such as Church, United Way, Charity X, Girl Scouts (cookies), Boy Scouts, etc.


You can create a donations budget and use Pocket Quicken to track withdrawals from a donations account. As you record outgoing checks or cash in Pocket Quicken, the program shows the amount remaining in budget categories. An easy way to set up such a budget is to use Pocket Quickens credit card option. Press (F2) to Add an account to Pocket Quicken. Name the account Donations or Tithe and select Credit Card as the Account Type.

Let's say your take-home pay is $3,000 a month and you decide to donate 10% of that. Enter $300 as the balance for the new account. Because you've set this up as a credit card account, the program assumes that $300 is a negative balance. Any amount transferred from it will reduce the total.

Sometime during the month you write a $75 check to your church. Open Pocket Quicken, highlight your Checking account and press (F2) to enter the check. Enter the pertinent data in the various fields. At the Category field, press (DownArrow) , then press (D) until you highlight the [Donations] account towards the bottom of the list (all accounts are listed in this menu). Press (F10) and Pocket Quicken enters the check in your checkbook and subtracts $75 from the $300 in your donations budget. Do this for each donation you make until the $300 is used up.

Keep a donations account in Pocket Quicken and when someone asks you dig deep, you'll know how deep to dig.

All this helps you fulfill a basic human desire the need to leave a legacy. The next time you're sitting on a bench in a park, smelling roses donated by another, you can feel the satisfaction of knowing that you are planting roses of your own.

iPhone Life magazine

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