Getting a Little and Giving Back

Jan 22, 2011 Leave a Comment

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about how to manage my finances and invest my money in a beneficial and meaningful way.  While I was going through my mail this morning, I found that I had received a few things that made me begin to consider these options a little more.  First of all, I got my income tax forms.  Exciting.  It's interesting to see the difference between how much money I "made" and how much I actually got to keep.    Next, I got two letters from two wildlife foundations asking me for money.  One is the National Wildlife Foundation, which I have given to in the past, and the other was the World Wildlife Foundation.  I'm considering giving to one of them, since I do like animals a lot (I mean, who doesn't?) and I got really upset the other night watching a show about two moose babies whose mother got shot and there was no place to put them so they had to be killed.  Matt turned it off before they got to that part though.  He's nice like that.  And also?  Donations = tax deductible.  I don't know how much it really amounts to in the end, but it would be an interesting experiment.  I should just ask my dad.

Ok, so far, I've gotten stuff telling me how much money I make and how much I give to the government and some places asking me to give them money.  Wouldn't it be nice if someone gave me some money in the mail?  Well, the stars must have been aligned correctly today, because this was the next thing I opened.

yup.

Now, let's backtrack a little bit to last summer, when I received a mysterious survey in the mail with two crisp dollar bills inside.  The letter attached said, "Here, have $2, and if you fill out this survey you will get $10."  At first I thought, yeah, right.  I didn't even think the money was real at first, so I asked Matt to check.  After it was confirmed that the money was, in fact, real, I decided, what the heck?  I'll give it a shot.  They said it would be about 6 months, so of course I had forgotten all about it until just now.  But they kept their promise and I now have $10.  Woo-hoo!

So now that I am super rich (haha) I really do want to give back.  I'm thinking I'll go with one wildlife foundation and one nature-type foundation.  So who should I give to?  The Nation or the World?  The world is a big place and can use help from everyone, for sure, but there's a lot going on right here at home too.  I'm also seriously considering donating a case of food to our local food bank, maybe a couple times a year.  It's a better alternative to giving those bums at the intersection a dollar toward their beer/drug fund.  These are things I need to consider, along with some other investments I need to make (again, need to ask my dad) and just keeping better track of my day to day spending, which I will start doing once my computer gets fixed and I can make myself a little spreadsheet.  This year will be the year I stop just spending money, and actually figure out what I do with it. 

Oh yeah, and I'm participating in Saturday Steals.  You should too!

9 comments »

  • Rachel @ dreamingofthecountry said:  

    I love the fact that charities can claim back gift aid. In the UK it's about 25p for every £1 donated.

    Let us know what you decide to spend it on :)

  • wildology said:  

    I think there is a karmatic rule to giving....the more you give the more you get. I usually give to NWF and a fund for the Chesapeake....but then I read an article about the "biggest" root impact to wildlife being education of women. Huh? Who knew? Educate women, they have fewer babies and have them later in life, and that leads to less population and less sprawl and more wildlife habitat. So I switched NWF this year for Greg Mortenson's deal. Every little bit helps!

  • Chloe said:  

    Cool! That's a great steal! :)
    I wish I got money in the mail too!

  • stlawgal05 said:  

    As for an environmental ngo to donate to, I usually do The Sierra Club. And I love the idea of a case of food to the food bank a few times a year. But I would call first to find out what foods they really need before shopping for them. They could probably also use gift cards to grocery stores.

  • Maureen said:  

    That actually makes a lot of sense about education. Here in NM, a lot of our population is of a certain type that tends to be highly uneducated and with that comes a lot of kids, most likely unplanned. It's a vicious cycle, but you're right, every little bit helps, as long as they're willing to make a difference in their own lives.

  • Maureen said:  

    I've considered the Sierra Club and a few others as well. I'll probably just read up on a few and pick my favorite. Thanks for the advice about calling in first. That's a good idea. I also like the gift card idea, too.

  • Camille said:  

    1. FREE MONEY, NO STRINGS ATTACHED??? Amazing.

    2. You are so nice for being interested in charity. I hate charity. If I got ten free dollars I would use it to buy a burrito or something worthless like that. You are inspiring.

    3. Thanks for participating in SS!

  • cgbookcat1 said:  

    The last few years I've given a small amount of money to a wildlife rescue/rehabilitation center in Maine. They're small enough that I have a good idea of where the money goes, and they clearly use their money to help animals.

  • Maureen said:  

    I will have you know that so far I have only spent a portion of the ten dollars on a chai latte. It was delicious!

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