- “Go on a Goodwill Shopping Spree: The bargains I find at Goodwill never cease to amaze me. I recently purchased a mint-condition, sealed Sopranos jigsaw puzzle for $2. I sold it for $10 just a few days later. OK, not a lot in the grand scheme of things, but if you could do that with $25 worth of Goodwill stuff, you turn it unto $125. Rummage through the collectibles and glassware, and check out all the pictures, CDs, and garments. Every Goodwill store holds gems, you just have to know where to look. And remember, the money you spend in there goes to a very good cause. It’s win-win.”
- “Adopt an Animal That Needs a Good Home: We recently adopted two kittens from our local animal shelter. We were shocked at how cheap it was to do this. They had so many cats, dogs, and other animals to care for that they were almost giving them away. It was sad to see a sign like “buy a kitten, get a grown up cat free,” but I guess tough times call for new ideas. The price for the adoption of the two kittens, plus inoculations and spaying/neutering, came in at less than $25. We gave the shelter double that because we know how much they rely on donations. But, if you want to do some good with your $25 and make a friend, spending it on a new pet could be just for you. As always, don’t do it on a whim, and don’t buy a pet as a gift for someone else (unless they come with you). Animals need loving homes. If you can provide one, get down to your local shelter.”
- “Loan It to a Farmer or Entrepreneur in a Third-World Country: One of the best non-profit ideas I’ve seen in a while is Kiva.org. It’s based on the principles of “microfinancing,” which basically means you can donate a sum as small as $25 to the fund. The borrower will make a request for funds, and if successful, he or she will get a loan funded by the more than 500,000 lenders around the world. The borrower then makes repayments, so if you put your money in, you will get it back at a later date. But in the process, you have helped someone realize a dream who normally wouldn’t have a chance to.”
Love the Kiva idea (had never heard of that site before), and adopting a pet..but only as long as that’s not of a spur-of-the-moment thing. Adopting a pet is a big deal. Naturally, don’t agree with spending $25 on used games (it only hurts the industry and puts money in GameStop’s pocket – boo on that). A few other thoughts though:
- Give money to a Kickstarter campaign. Just this week I gave to the Cheetah Conservation Documentary. There’s some seriously cool stuff going on within the Kickstarter community and I’d highly recommend you check it out.
- Donate to a site you like that’s currently free. I read a lot of webcomics and visit a lot of news sites that offer their work for free. $25 can go a long way to sites that want to keep offering services for free but need contributions from time to time.
- Save it. I’m a terribly miserly person in some ways and prefer to save my money rather than spend it. People in the U.S. have ridiculously low savings rates compared to global averages. Sometimes it’s best to just follow the advice of this great SNL skit: