Today I’ve got a guest post from Jordann, a part-time runner, yogi, local foodie, and personal finance aficionado. She’s also a full time marketing professional living and working in Atlantic Canada. She writes about her life at her blog My Alternate Life. Today she’s going to talk all about giving to charity on a budget. Make sure to follow her on Twitter and Facebook! – Mo’ Houses
In my world, I’m on a pretty tight budget. I have a lot of student loan debt, that I’d like to get rid of as fast as humanely possible. I’ve given up a lot of spending habits in order to funnel as much cash as possible towards my financial goals, and no item in my budget has gone untouched, unscrutinised, or unchanged.
Even though I want to get out of debt as quickly as possible, it’s still important to me to be a good person, and that means giving to charity. I think it’s really important to give back to the people less fortunate than myself, and to support causes that I care about, like animal welfare and the environment. After all, if I don’t donate, why should anyone else?
Still, it’s hard to part with my hard earned cash, especially since I know every dollar that goes towards other things is a dollar more I’m going to have to pay on my debt down the road.
For this reason, I try to find as many ways as possible to donate other resources of mine towards charity. Here are some of the ways I do that:
Donate My Blood
I never used to donate blood. I was in the disqualified group for the longest time. For awhile it was for being under the required minimum weight, then it was for my tattoos, or travelling abroad. Finally in the last year or so, I’ve been able to start giving blood on a regular basis, and have donated several times so far. It’s a quick and easy way to donate my, ahem, resources. The actual part where the needle is in my arm only takes about 15 minutes, and the whole appointment lasts no more than 45 minutes. I can donate once every two months, and my blood will go towards giving life to people who are in desperate need of that precious resource.
Donate My Time
I love to volunteer and have spent many hours doing so for various organizations. Most charitable organizations are in need of people to volunteer. Whether it’s organizing an event, fundraising, or something as simple as walking a dog at the local shelter, there are endless ways to volunteer for charity organizations.
Donate My Skills
Many organizations have plenty of volunteers who can donate simple skills, but complex skill donors are harder to come by. I’m a marketing professional and as such have experience creating websites, brochures, catalogues, creative writing and social media management. Skills like these are of tremendous use to charitable organizations, who are often so busy with the day to day running of the charity that promotion often falls by the wayside.
Donate My Stuff
There are plenty of charities who are always in need of materials to continue their operations. Places like shelters, food banks, and the salvation army typically welcome the donation of blankets, food, and anything with resale value. Being a minimalist, I spend a lot of time de-cluttering. When I do this, I always have a “donate” pile on the go, and anything that isn’t obviously garbage goes to that pile.
Giving to charity is, in my opinion, and important part of being a good human being. I can’t always just write a cheque and let my money do the talking, and in those situations, I’m happy to donate whatever else I have that is of value.
Is giving to charity a priority in your life, even when you’re living on a tight budget?
(Image: pichado photography/flickr)