Well, I did it. I finished reading the book and I went to the website, where I pledged (along with nearly 10,000 others from all over the world) to give 1% of my income (there is a sliding scale designed so that those who can afford to give a higher percentage of their income without sacrificing lifestyle or comfort do so) to an organization working to end world poverty. I decided I will make the donation on or about September 1, when I move into my apartment and can be fairly sure that I will be unemployed from then on out. So now I’m in the process of researching which charity(ies) I want to make my donation to.
After I go through all my paystubs, I have a feeling I will actually decide that I can afford to give more than 1%. And if I can’t, I’ll also continue my local in-kind and time giving, and I pledge to find out as soon as possible how I transfer my blood donation information to the Massachusetts Red Cross so that I can continue to give away my blood six times a year. And I’m doing my part in updating my Facebook to remind people that if I can afford this, those with salaries can certainly afford it, too.
In the meantime, I’m just going to continue to enjoy my summer and work to maximize my income and savings (making more for donations and more for things like decorations for my tiny apartment), minimize my spending (got the most fabulous groupon+coupon and ended up with $50 of organic food to be delivered at a credit card charge of $5….awesome!), minimize my carbon footprint (I still have two rides on my bus pass and should use them, rather than driving, plus while my parents are out of the country I can greatly lower the amount of electricity and energy I use), and maximize my enjoyment of free things like the library, my piano, friends, and working on the novel.
I think this is a good thing to add to my lifestyle.
(By the way, I made the pledge at http://www.thelifeyoucansave.com, and you should, too, because if you’ve ever bought a latte or an ice cream cone, you can afford to give a little and still be happy.)