What’s your goal with all of this paring down and de-cluttering?
For me it’s more time, space and less debt and stress.
But I also want to give more. I want to be a better spouse, parent and citizen.
Those are lofty goals but I believe that small actions can help me achieve them. I can be more accommodating and selfless if I find the time and energy to take care of myself, to eat well and exercise. I find that time by having a small home that is easy to maintain and having less stuff that would require more hours of work to pay for.
It all fits together. Have less stuff so I can give more.
One of our goals as a family is to volunteer for causes that are near and dear to us. We’ve done a poor job of this since we moved overseas. Chris walked in a cancer research fundraiser (and Henry and I alongside him) but otherwise we haven’t joined any committees or volunteered our time. We need to get on that.
We also want to contribute financially to causes. Since getting out of debt we have started to set aside money each month to make an annual contribution to a cause. I want to give more financially. Sure, like most families we need to save for the future, unexpected expenses and our son’s education but I want to start giving now. Even if it is a small contribution.
Chris and I discussed it and settled on putting aside 100 GBP (roughly $160 CDN or US) each month. I know, it’s not a huge amount. But it’s a start. We’ll decide annually where to give that money. Cancer research is near and dear to us as both of our mothers have been treated for cancer. I’m also a big supporter of grass roots programs that encourage youth participation in sport. We’ve got some time to think about it and research where we want to send our dollars next fall.
We’ll continue to make additional financial contributions as they come up. At least every other month we have a request for sponsorship or donations for walk-athons or fundraisers. We’ll make those contributions work within our monthly budget.
As my sister wrote a while back, we’ve decided to open up our hands. Growing up in a family where finances were always tight, and debt was the norm, has often made me panic about money. While I want to continue to work on good spending habits, living below our means and saving, I also want to loosen my grip. I want to ride that fine line of saving for the future, enjoying life and not worrying too much if something unexpected comes up and we don’t meet a savings goal. Giving money away will help me with that.
It also just feels good. Money can buy happiness when you spend it on the right things.
This is a small start but it’s something.
This blog will also be a way for my family to give.
The Minimalist Mom’s Guide to Baby’s First Year will be released on November 5th. I’m excited to have a launch date and even more excited to tell you about a wonderful cause that some of the proceeds will support. From November 5th to November 12th, $6 from each sale will go to Care.
Specifically the funds will go to support two maternal health clinics to serve women in the provinces of Kasongo and Masisi in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Why the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)? The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world. According to UNICEF, there are 990 pregnancy related deaths per 100,000 live births in DRC compared with 13 per 100,000 in the United States. The lifetime risk of dying in childbirth for a Congolese woman is 1 in 26.
By building a new facility in each of these locations, Care can provide services for approximately 25,000 people who currently have no access to care.
- $1,500 can buy a delivery table
- $100 can buy a stretcher
- $40 can buy a mattress
- $25 can buy a bed frame
I’m hopeful we can meet several of their targets and support the development of a maternal health clinic for these women in need.
These are small beginnings to what I hope will be a long road of giving.
How do you decide which charities you support financially, volunteer for or donate goods to? For those of you that make regular financial contributions, how did you decide on a dollar amount to contribute?