If you clicked on this article hoping to keep more of your money, then you came to the wrong place. Money buys everything we need, and a lot of the enjoyment in our lives. It can also, however, buy a better world. That’s a use of money we seldom engage in. If you’re curious about how you can use money to improve global conditions, just by the way you live your life, then we’ve got some answers. For now, forget about getting more money. Instead, consider putting your money to better use.
Give More Away
Sure, you’ve heard this one before. There are hundreds upon hundreds of nonprofits and organizations. You likely already give to a few. But–being generous can actually make you happier. If you’re not feeling a rush of joy from your financial contributions, maybe you’re not giving much away. A gift isn’t a gift when it’s the leftover crumbs you swept up after dinner. You might need to take a change to your lifestyle in order to really give to the world.
Build a Smaller Home
One of the best ways to save your income (and give it away) is to live in a smaller house. With less room for your stuff, you won’t consume more than you need. In order to live effectively in a small home, however, you often need to have it built. Organization and storage become a top priority. So does making use of vertical space, with lofts and upper shelving. In order to keep your space as effective as possible, that level of organization often needs to be designed and built by a home builder in Lake Orion, MI, Eau Claire, WI, or wherever you may live.
If you invest, you may not have considered the ethics or social impact of the businesses you work with. You can, however, track the environmental and social effect of the businesses you invest in, and check them against social, corporate governance, and environmental criteria. If they’re making positive societal impact, you can feel better about investing with them. You can check the companies you invest in with VFTSX.
It’s hard to give away money when you don’t know what you’ve got. If you’ve never been good at saving a chunk of your paycheck, now might be the time to start. Keep track of your spending, your monthly needs, and your income. Once you know what you’re working with, figure out how you can set aside a certain percentage each month. 5%? 10%? 15%? Whatever you’re able to swing, that will add up in the long run.
Research Your Causes
Before you invest, find the causes you’re most passionate about, and screen the organizations that represent them. You can use Charity Navigator to see if an organization really needs your contribution, or if your impact would be put to better use elsewhere. Go with your gut and work with charities you know you feel good about.
Knowing who you want to work with will help you stay on top of your giving-plan, and give you better incentive. Once you know what your money can actually do, you might be even more inspired to give it away.