Over the years, I’ve spent a lot of time doling out advice on how to save money or fix your finances. What I haven’t written much about is what to do with all the money you save. I figured that part is up to you. That money could go towards buying new stuff. Or maybe you want to invest it with the intention of retiring early.
However, today I’d like to make a case for donating at least some of those savings to charity. I realize that some of you don’t have a lot. If that’s the case, I understand, this isn’t the post for you.
However, if you are doing fairly well financially, perhaps think about making a donation to your favorite charity. If you are one of my mostly American readers it is easy to take for granted all the benefits that we have here. Many don’t have clean running water, much less an Internet connection to read this.
Many charities have a rush of money at the end of the year as people look to stack up tax deductions. That’s great, but it comes to a screeching halt in January. So this is the time of the year to surprise them with a donation.
I’m not going to tell you what charities you should support. That’s a personal decision. I like to support our troops (via the USO or Wounded Warriors) and dogs (just because I love them). Lately, though now that I have children I’m thinking I might donate to UNICEF.
It does not necessarily have to be money that you donate either, as you can give old items that you have no intention of using. For example, if you have an old boat that you are unlikely to use again, you can donate it to charity. The process is easy, as you simply contact a boat donation charity and they will sell it at auction. The money then goes to a children’s charity to help those who need it the most. Now that you know how to donate a boat, you have another option when giving to the less fortunate this year.
As Sheppard Book said in the movie Serenity, “I don’t care what charity you believe in, just donate to it.” Okay he didn’t say that at all. He really said, “I don’t care what you believe in, just believe in it.” It’s one of my favorite quotes about religion though, so I had to fit it in.
I’ll step off the soapbox for now. I’ll mark my calendar for another charity post next year.
EL @ Moneywatch101 says
I enjoy giving to charities. I will give to ST. Jude Cancer charity this year and my job matches up to $100 dollars in charitable giving.
robyn weinbaun says
as i’ve commented before, my friends and i do the ‘penny plus per mile’ for each mile we clock on our bicycles, we donate at least a penny to some charity. doesn;t sound like much except we round up [15 miles becomes a quarter] many of us work for companies that do charitable matching [bank of america, disney etc] and we average 5-7,000 miles per year. this is in addition to the ‘usual donations’ to the sentinel matching fund [matches your donation and money goes to local homeless shelters, after school care, hospice] when i get a bonus of some kind, a portion gets set aside for charitable giving. one of the best things about working fulltime is i can do this, pay all my bills, support my ex, AND give money to causes i care about. heck, i even rolled my wedding into a charitable event, but that’s another story!
Mel @ brokeGIRLrich says
Yeah, Firefly references!!
I agree that it’s important to remember how much we have comparatively. My worst week struggling here would be a cakewalk compared to how little so many people have in other countries. I think we also forget how far even a small donate can go in many other countries. When the typhoon hit the Philippines, if you went to their Red Cross site instead of ours, donations started at something like 200 pesos, which was like $3.50. And that was enough for them to actually achieve something useful over there.
And Robyn, have you downloaded CharityMiles? It’ll donate to some charities for free if you log your miles that you bike, run or walk.