Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Spending

I don't know much about money, but I reckon Kevin Rudd's onto something: when you're feeling broke, one of the best things you can do is spend a little.  It eases the pressure beautifully, you feel heaps better, and then you're able to tackle your money problems in good spirits.
Flipping through a magazine yesterday, I saw an idea for spreading around a little extra cash:  through these people, Kiva.org, you can invest a small amount of money directly to someone in need of a bit of capital to help their small business - be it sewing clothes, milking cows or growing bananas.  What is only a small amount of money in Australia, as little as $25, can mean a lot to someone in one of the poorer countries of the world.

I just wanted to let you know about it.  I'm not trying to be preachy.  One of my least favourite sensations is the mix of 10% guilt / 90% irritability I feel when I encounter advertising which tries to guilt-trip me into donating money.  It's not that I don't think those poor little kids with the big swollen bellies deserve help - I just don't want to be made to feel bad about it.  I hate those depressing voice-overs and the mournful music they play while they describe the worst cases of poverty.  I don't want to be rung up during my dinner - how do they even know what time we're going to eat? - and I always look away from those sad round eyes peering out from my Saturday paper.  I used to think I must be naturally misanthropic, but what I have found is that when left to my own devices I do feel compelled to help other people.  I want to be inspired, not guilt-tripped, into helping.  I find it's much easier to do it in my own time.

Around this end of the year I usually like to make a small donation on behalf of Hayden and myself, especially when I feel like we've been lucky, or when I'm grateful that someone has taken a chance on one of us - and that has happened quite a bit this year.   It feels like the right thing to do, to pass that chance on to someone else.

2 comments:

katherine h said...

I missed your birthday and I didn't even know it...happy birthday. And thanks for blogging about our book...I'm just trying to get all the essentials done before my weekend in Melbourne...Yayyy!

BigCat said...

I totally agree with you. I can't stand that guilty based approach to anything, including giving.

That thing about spending a little money when you are broke is true too.