To clarify, we’re not going to take everything we earn and give it away, we’re just thinking of a creative way of finding more money to donate to charity.
How Will We Calculate
Any time we save money that we would have spent, we’ll tally it up and give it to charity. There’s a difference between spending less and actually saving money.
You’re simply spending less if you’re shopping for a TV and decide to go with a $500 version instead of the $800 version. You still spent money, you just spent less of it. That’s not real savings.
Contrast this with the example of bringing that $500 TV to the register and it ringing up for $400 because of a special sale that you weren’t aware of. You were fully prepared to pay the $500, so the $100 savings is very real.
Our First Donation Of The Year
The first instance happened this week when I was getting ready to file my taxes. I use TurboTax, which this year would have been $69.99 for the federal return + $36.99 for the state return. I was fully prepared to pay that because what other choice do I have? Luckily, someone at work had a code that made it totally free. So I made a $106.98 contribution to charity on Saturday night.
There are a few categories that I can think of right now where we’ll be saving money this year.
Using coupons when we shop online. Anything we were going to buy but a quick Google search results in a price drop is a perfect candidate.
AmEx Offers. Sometimes there are offers for “save $10 when spending $20” at a store. If it’s somewhere I shop anyway, that is real savings for me.
There will be others that pop up throughout the year, like random $15 off Google Express orders that we use.
Which Charities We’ll Donate To
There are charities we support every year, but I’d like this money to go toward new causes. With all of the recent changes to our country, we feel it’s important now more than ever to put our money where our mouth is and support social causes that we think are important to the fabric of our society.
The first payment of $106.98 went to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). I can’t think of a charity more deserving of our money, whose mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.”
I am really excited to start this adventure, and it motivates me to be extra vigilant in finding real opportunities to save money.
What do you think of my plan? Can you think of other situations where I’ll find real savings?