With all the bad things happening nowadays, it’s hard to feel good about being safe at home and even more so about going out for coffee or a nice meal. I know I’m not the only one—feeling powerless and guilty while others are suffering and crying for help. You wish you could be there with them or do more. I’ve been feeling really frustrated and overwhelmed about it, but I can only do so much.
I would be a hypocrite to say that I’m completely ditching these little binges on food and coffee so I can be at one with the less fortunate. I honestly need the pick-me-up every now and then. I definitely can’t give up the occasional visits to my local coffee shop or the eat-outs to catch up with my closest friends. These are privileges I am very grateful for. However, I’ve come up with a way to feel a little less guilty and powerless and a little more conscious about how I spend. What I do is this:
Mindful Spending & Proactive Giving
Donate 20-30% of the amount you’ve spent in shopping and/or eat-outs for a good cause.
At the end of the day, I compute how much I spent in total, get the 20% and donate the amount to disaster response NGOs and other causes I care about. If the amount is only PHP 1,000 and below, I make it 30%.
The causes I care about the most are animal welfare and climate change, but I also look at other things that require urgent action such as calamity and disaster relief. Usually, I alternate donating between humanitarian and animal welfare organizations.
It’s also very easy to practice this; it only takes a few taps on your phone screen and you won’t even break one drop of sweat!
Electronic wallets like Gcash and mobile banking apps have the feature of saving your favorite recipient so you don’t need to enter the details every time.
Just enter the amount of donation, and that’s it! Gcash and Lazada also have a section dedicated to donations where you can see a list of various organizations you can donate to.
If you have PHP 200 to spend for Starbucks, what’s a few more bucks for a good cause, right? Also, this helps me to be more mindful of where I put my money into. Do I really need to go out for a cup of joe today or should I send this coffee money somewhere else? Would I have extra money to donate if I go out to my favorite restaurant today?
It may sound so simple, but I often have to remind myself that a little goes a long way, especially if many people are doing it. I used to feel a little ashamed when I donate only a small amount compared to what other celebrities and wealthy people are giving, but I also know that donation drives reach hundreds of thousands—even millions—of pesos not with one person’s donation but many who have chosen to chip in what little they have. So remember, even if it’s only your extra 10 or 20 pesos, if you wish to donate it, PLEASE DO. If there are hundreds of you who do the same, that 20 pesos will not seem so little anymore.