Late last year, I felt a real sense of unease. I had focused my frugality and harnessed it. But I still felt like there was something missing.
Looking at Mint, I realized what was missing: charity.
Right around that same time, my local NPR affiliate asked me to double my monthly contribution. I replied to the email personally, thanking them for the email, and I wrote, “your email reminded me that I do need to give more, and I’m embarrassed to say that I only give to this station. At this time, I feel like I need to give elsewhere, and will take that $10 extra that you’re asking for, and give it to another cause.” To their credit, they replied with, “that sounds like the right thing to do. Happy Holidays.”
Then, the search was on. It was Christmastime, so I thought about starving children. I went to World Vision, and set up an automatic contribution of $10/month. Then I made it a goal to be more charitable in 2012.
Months went by, and my credit card debt was gone. At the beginning of this month, I knew it was time to pick another cause. I’d like to be giving $100/month by the end of this year, since I don’t really know how else to give. Very first world of me, I know.
My local alternative paper is called the Willamette Week, and every year, they do a lot of research on local non-profits. It’s called the Give Guide, and it’s a handy list. I found a non-profit called Farmers Ending Hunger, which helps cover the costs associated with getting fresh food donated by Oregon farmers from the field to those who need it most. Their minimum contribution was $25/month.
So, $10+$10+$25 +$45/month.
Any suggestions on what to do with the remaining $55/month? I’ll be looking for my next one next month.
It’s hard to talk about why I want to be more charitable, and give more money, without sounding preachy, so forgive me. I am part of the 1% and not the 99%. I have been broke, but I have never been poor. I sleep inside, I eat every day, and I’ve been to college. I’m lucky and I know it. I believe that positivity begets positivity, and that there are too many people in the world and in my state that go without.
I can’t do much, but it makes me feel good to do a little.
Why am I frugal? Why do I try so hard to save money? Ultimately, it has to be for the greater good, not just so I can have $100 more in my accounts.