Friday, July 29, 2011

Monday, July 25, 2011

Just A Thought

I started doing something new recently, so I thought I'd share it. When I bought my house (I bought a house, by the way) I went into the bank to get a cashier's check for the down payment and, somehow, before I left I had opened up a new savings account. I bank with Wells Fargo, and they offer a Way-2-Save program where basically for every debit card transaction you make, one dollar ($1) goes into your savings account. I think Bank of America has something similar, and other big banks probably do, too.

I don't know about the rest of you, but I use my debit card all the time, so it is pretty easy to rack up some substantial money. I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with the money until a few weeks after I started the program. In late May some friends of a friend lost their 18 month-old daughter very suddenly to an undetected anatomical abnormality. I heard about it through Facebook, and our mutual friend started up a collection to help the couple with the hospital bills. It was just such a sad story that I decided I wanted to help, and it dawned on me that I had $50 sitting in this savings account. So I donated the $50. And THEN it dawned on me that this was something that I could do every month—pick a charity and donate whatever I had saved during the month. Remembering Ryann was June's donation, and UNICEF, specifically UNICEF's relief efforts for the famine in the Horn of Africa, was July's donation. I also donated to Doctors Without Borders (MSF) this month since my June donation was early in the month and I had quite a bit saved up by late July. MSF has been my go-to charity for disasters; I donated to them for both the Haitian and Japanese earthquakes.

Anyway, I thought I'd share that in case anyone else was interested in doing something similar. It is so easy to do and since you put away just a little at a time you don't really notice that the money is gone. What I especially like about it is that when you hear about some awful thing that's happened and you want to help, you don't have to think "Oh, can I really spare $50/$100?" because you've already got it set aside.