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!

Philanthropy and Financial Literacy Reflection

On Wednesday, April 3, 2013, Allowance for Good began its newest program, Emerging Leaders in Philanthropy: A Student Seminar Series. Chicago-area youth are invited to participate in a weekly seminar to learn more about the global philanthropic sector and how they have the power to be philanthropists and agents for change.

Emma, reflects on our second session, focused on Individual Philanthropy and Financial Literacy.

Allowance for Good is a nonprofit organization helping broaden education across the world.  I am partaking in a course they are doing to learn about being a global citizen and a philanthropist. Philanthropy is the love for humankind as a whole. Throughout the sessions so far we have learned the true meaning of giving, budgeting and philanthropy.

Everyone seems to know the act of charity, a passive transaction where you do not partake in the doing of making a situation better. The first week we figured out the true meaning of philanthropy as a social corrective that you take part in to make a difference around the world. In philanthropy you are actually taking action and are motivated to act on your thoughts, and either you do something about the problems being faced or inform people of social challenges and potential solutions unlike a charitable act in which you just give and go.

We also talked about budgeting our money and how much we really spent on things we don’t necessarily need.  It was surprising to me how much money an average American family spends when we really don’t need all that we bought but if people cut down on their personal spending’s the people who receive the money they spend won’t make enough to get by. In other words I’ve figured out if we cut back, others do not benefit as much because spending our money results in the livelihood of others. We also talked about what should go into your budget. You should spend on yourself to keep yourself healthy, save for college, your kids, retirement, or whatever you need, invest so that you can make money and share with the people in need. In other words, we learned about financial literacy. Although in America we live a pitch perfect society, other places need our help and money so saving and sharing can make a difference in many ways.

Brainstorming with our youth about personal budgeting
So if you are interested come and join and be a part of something bigger, take action and give back to the rest of the world, be a philanthropist. You don’t have to be old and wise to help out anyone any age can help with any amount. You can be a philanthropist so start now when you’re young because we are the world’s future.