Making Your Money Work For You and Others

By: Aviva
Aviva is participating in Allowance for Good's autumn 2013 Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy program.

This past week, we were asked to record our expenses on a personal budgeting worksheet. Before starting, we were to give ourselves an estimate/budget for each category of expenses. Then, as the week progressed, after recording all of the money which we spent, we compared our estimates to our actual expenses. Many people found that they over-estimated in some categories while largely underestimating in others, most often bills which are paid by our parents. I believe that a lot of us learned about the varying amounts of money that go into certain things and learned that we might not be as financially literate as we might think.

To me, financial literacy is about knowing what to do to make your money work for you AND others. In class, I learned about the different things to consider when deciding how to use my money. These included researching the place where I am giving my money to see if it is reliable, and considering the impact of my monetary contribution. An important factor that our class came up with is knowing if an organization to which you are donating has a plan to use your money to its full potential, aka making the greatest impact. 

The lessons I learned from the budgeting worksheet and the discussion about financial literacy will stay with me throughout the future. The most obvious place where budgeting and financial literacy will be put into play will be when I go to college, and don't have my parents with me to help me with managing my money. Financial aid and loans for college also require knowledge on these topics. Farther into the future, when I have my own stable income and decide that I am ready to donate a portion of that income, these lessons will help me make smart decisions about how and where to donate. These lessons have helped me become more confident about my financial future.

Aviva is a Catalyst for Good because she believes that all people have the right to health, education and happiness!