It was another one of those evening. Tired from another day of work, Alf reached home at the throes of sunset. Each evening, he would open the mailbox at the lift lobby. Always, looking forward to one day receiving a letter that says, "You've won a million dollars!"
There was never any reason to believe it would happen. He didn't have any known rich relative, nor done anything to expect such unexpected gratitude. But there was always "hope". Then again, "hope" was a 4-letter word. But one could always hope for some long lost but rich distant relative to appear one day. Never know.
On opening his mailbox, he was faced with the usual stack of letters. "Bah, tree killers." But it was certainly more acceptable than receiving numerous unsolicited phone calls in the past.
There was the usual sprinkling of letters promoting some new condo sales at all ends of the island, and property agents touting sales made at his condo with bold declarations of several units sold at a million bucks each. "Looks like a lot of millionaires from here" he thought.
Some of these leaflets used to include lovely magnets with nice photos of the agent and contact numbers. Some certainly looked more pleasing to his eyes than others. He had loads of those pasted on his refrigerator. So that was a lot of nice looking people on his refrigerator. Seems like there were less of these nowadays. Must be a cost cutting thing going on. Times must be getting hard for property agents.
And then, a letter seeking donation to a charity organisation.
"Dear, you think we should make a donation?"
Alf's wife glanced over and peeked at the letter, "Good to do good deeds."
Alf studied the letter further and made up his mind to do so. The letter also indicated that the organisation would automatically update IRAS for income tax purposes.
Curious, what's that about he wondered? Researching further on his Samsung S5, he discovered that for every dollar donated to recognised charities, he would receive 2.5 times the value in deductibles to his taxable income.
"Dear, did you know that if I donate $4,000, I would receive $10,000 deduction off my taxable income? At a tax bracket of 18% that I'm at now, that means I would avoid $1,800 of tax I otherwise have to pay.
"You mean you only need to spend $2,200 to donate $4,000?"
"Guess that's one way to look at it." He shrugged.
Alf's wife contemplated this new insight. "You know what? If you donate $50 to each charity, you can donate to 80 organisations?"
"That's a fascinating idea!" He was feeling excited already. 80 good deeds. Why not? Good karma too. He was getting really excited.
With apologies to much better written stories by other financial bloggers (esp. Bully the Bear) for the inspiration. 8)
Secrets of Millionaire Dwarfs [Bully the Bear]