As vegans, most of us are compassionate souls and share
some concerns regarding animal rights, food production,
and often many other issues that we feel should be addressed.
Thank goodness that there are organizations out there
who do exactly that! Even if we cannot afford the time
to become an active participant, we can donate money
to those who are. Our money can then be spent promoting
the causes that we find important, and affecting the
social changes that we desire.
I have donated time, energy, and money to various causes
that were important to me. One day in the mail I received
a letter from an organization that I hadn't heard of
before. They also supported my cause! I researched them,
confirmed that they were reputable, and donated some
money to them also. I didn't realize it at the time,
but this new organization was just the tip of the iceberg.
Through the power of networking or marketing my name
and address were suddenly on the mailing lists of dozens
of organizations. I began to receive letters from many
groups, all of them very earnest in their pleas, and
some of them honestly needed donations immediately to
avoid terrible consequences. I'm not made of money though,
and I found myself facing a decision: should I turn
down these requests, knowing what the consequences might
be, or should I donate my money to these causes? Will
animals die, the environment degrade, and children be
abused because I did not donate to that organization?
If I donate, will I still be able to afford to eat or
make my rent/mortgage payment?
It is important to realize that there are thousands
and thousands of charities and other organizations promoting
causes, and there is no doubt that many of them involve
an issue important to you so many of them in fact that
just donating a "recommended minimum amount" to each
one would collectively involve a massive sum of money
that very few of us could ever afford. This forces all
of us to decide where to draw the line. At some point,
even if it pains us, we must refuse to donate money
to a deserving group.
Does this situation sound familiar? The painful reality
is that money makes some things, but not all things,
possible. No one person, not even you or I, can save
them all. Individually though we can definitely make
a difference. That compassionate soul of yours can shine
though, but how do you know how much you can donate
and still have enough left over to pay your bills? Creating
a personal budget is the first step towards managing
your money and establishing how much you can give. Budgeting
is an easy step that can have a dramatic impact on your
life. It will help to pinpoint where your money is going,
and help you to set some goals. You may have many financial
goals, such as paying off a credit card or buying a
house. Additionally, set goals for donations to your
favorite causes. A budget will help you to discover
how much you can afford to donate, and when. Budgeting
will put YOU in control of your money. There are many
web sites and books with tutorials, but at its simplest
budgeting is nothing more than writing down a list of
your monthly bills, and totaling them. Compare that
amount with your monthly income. Having money left over
(or not having enough) will indicate how much you can
give (or where you need to cut back).
It's great to feel in control of your money, and to
know that your donations are having a positive impact
on others' lives & without having a negative impact
on your own.
e x t e s s a y -
Copyright © 1998-2013 by Jo Stepaniak
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