5 Good Things Your Money Can Do…for Others

When it comes to personal finance, it’s easy to be a bit self-centered. We ask questions like: How much can I save? How can I make more money? How much do I need to retire? We spend a lot of time focusing on fixing our own problems. Now I’m not here to knock personal responsibility and taking care of your family. I value those things.

Today, though, at least for a moment, I challenge you to look past yourself. How can your wealth accumulation (income minus expenses) help others? I’ve got a few ideas below. Contribute your own in the comments below.

Provide a Small Business Loan – One of the absolute coolest tools on the Internet is Kiva.org. Kiva is a social lending (i.e. peer lending) site that only deals with interest-free loans. Small business owners around the globe in need of a few dollars to grow a business idea can receive a loan from you, facilitated by the Kiva program. You get your money back, and someone somewhere is creating a better life for themselves.

Ways to Give MoneyDonate to a Human Need – We are blessed here in the US with our standard of living. Others around the globe aren’t so fortunate. You know this. Drill down into the charity of your choice with a visit to CharityNavigator.org.

Give an Extra Tithe – If you have extra funds, consider an extra tithe to your Church. No one said you couldn’t give more than 10%. Be sure to consider a special designation of the funds if you want to support a particular project (i.e. mission trip).

Invest in a Child’s Education – I love this. Help someone afford college. Set up a 529 college savings plan or contribute to one already open. This is a tax-advantaged account that help to ensure the funds will be used on educational expenses. Start a 529 with a free $25 bonus.

Give an Unexpected Gift – Surprise a family member or friend with a gift. Give something consumable like a restaurant gift card or a plane ticket. Take them somewhere they would never think to go on their own, and give them an experience they could never afford themselves.

Photo by Mr. Kris



Last Edited: June 23, 2010 @ 5:25 pm The content of ptmoney.com is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice. Visitors to ptmoney.com should not act upon the content or information without first seeking appropriate professional advice. In accordance with the latest FTC guidelines, we declare that we have a financial relationship with every company mentioned on this site.
About Philip Taylor

Philip Taylor, aka "PT", is a CPA, financial writer, FinCon CEO, and husband and father of three. He created PT Money back in 2007 to share his thoughts on money and to meet others passionate about managing their finances. All the content on this blog is original, and created or edited by PT. Read more about Philip Taylor, and be sure to connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, or view the Philip Taylor+ Google profile.

Comments

  1. Thanks, Neil! Agreed. The best thing to do when you start feeling sorry for yourself is to go help someone else.

  2. Hi

    It’s so refreshing for someone to talk about helping other people. It will give you something that simply helping yourself never will. I love the idea of kiva.org – must actually do something about it.

  3. Neil! This is fantastic. I’m not inordinately wealthy, being an allowance-funded fifteen year old, but this Kiva.org thing is something a girl like me can manage! I’m also enamored of the entire charity concept — heard of Heifer International? That’s one of my favorites.

  4. When I say “Neil”, I mean, “PT.”