2021 Giving Challenge

Not sure if anyone here would be interested in this, but I’m doing a giving challenge with a couple work friends in 2021 and thought there might be some people here interested as well.

The idea is to track and match spending in a given category or categories (restaurant spending, hobby spending, etc.) with an equal amount of giving (donations, time, etc.), with each person doing the challenge defining for themselves what they want to match and how.

Timeline-wise we’re planning on doing the challenge for the full year with the option for category/donation adjustments each quarter, but that’s something that could be personally defined too if people didn’t want to do a full year or wanted to change categories more often or something like that.

Personally I’m starting this quarter (Jan-March) with matching monthly spending with the exception of home principal, yearly lump-sum things (ex. property taxes), and anything that comes out of my paycheck before I see it (so no matching on any taxes or 401k savings or anything like that) with donations or gifts, and I’ll figure out if I want time to factor into giving or if I just keep it completely separate next quarter since I didn’t get around to doing that before Jan. 1.

(@anomalily, if I was supposed to ping you first, apologies and I can delete this. I got the impression from the About Challenges thread that posting and then asking for approval was the correct order, but I may have misunderstood)

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Nope, you did it right! I have to approve new challenges post them here and then I’ll approve, which I did!

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I don’t actually have any category that’s equal to my giving goals (aiming for 10% of expenses, which will likely be about $2,000 annually…I don’t have anything else I spend that much on).

Actually, I spend about as much on groceries as I do on giving - $166/month. Interesting…

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Toward the end of 2020 I had the idea to give as much to orgs that provide food assistance as I do on food for myself. I didn’t quite get there, and I’m unsure about what to do with orgs that provide more than just food assistance, but I want to make this a goal for 2021.

Also, I tend to do most of my giving at the end of the year but want to get away from that. If I’m committing to this challenge (and I am!), it will be incentive to give monthly when I do my end-of-month spending totals.

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I like this idea, I need to work out what to match it with. I have been wanting to increase my donations but haven’t got around to it. So hopefully this inspires me

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I’m interested but I need to match it with a low category as I’m low-ish on income and have aggressive debt payment goals.

I’m thinking I’m going to aim to match what I spend on my electric bill, which I haven’t averaged out but ranges from $35 to $70 ish a month. Last year my donations ranged from $20-50 so this would be a meaningful but not impossible jump.

I would just have to match totals for the year, not have an exact match every month. For me giving can include traditional nonprofit donations but will more likely be direct giving to people in need (gofundmes, direct Venmo or cash app, handing people money), donating to bail funds/legal defense funds, and purchasing food/items to distribute through the mutual aid group I participate in.

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Interesting challenge! I will have to discuss with spouse on this one before I commit. Last March when we both started working from home I moved our (really high) gas budget over to donations since we weren’t driving our long commutes anymore. Now that we’ve gotten used to that amount, I think we could increase it a little further.

I like the idea of matching our groceries since they tend to be $0-200 higher than our current donation budget (we’re high income so $200 is not that big of a deal in this household and we could definitely match it). Not sure if that would just incentivize me to spend less on groceries though?

Maybe we should try to spend less on groceries so that anything left over in that category goes into the donation bucket? I’ll keep thinking…

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Oh fun! I kind of do this with myself already, so this fits into my life quite neatly. :wink:

General goal this year is for my charity spending to minimally equal my groceries spending. Ideally, it would equal (or exceed) my total food spending. My charity spending was about same as my groceries spending in 2020, so hoping I can do the same in 2021.

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Ok I’m going to commit before I get tempted again…

Commitment 1: I will match every dollar I spend on clothing for myself up to $150/item*, with donations, within a month. I currently owe $65 to a good cause (Soma sale :grimacing:). GoFundMe can count, personal gifts do not.
Commitment 2: By end of Jan, I will figure out my baseline donations, amounting to at least 10% of my average spending (working up to 10% take home). Matched donations will be one-time giving on top of this.

*I have only ever spent this on winter outerwear. I don’t expect to buy anything over $150/item or even close, but I want a loophole should anything expensive become Necessary come November or something.

Either I will sort out my relationship with my wardrobe/consumerism, or I will give much more to those who need it. Win-win?

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this is an interesting idea, thank you for sharing it.

I’ll need to discuss with the shadowy one as to what thing we’d match and whether we’d do it as monthly or quarterly contributions.

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Clothing spend: $65
Donations: $33 to gofundme for someone I don’t know in climbing gym community, $32 to fb acquaintance fundraiser for her chronic illness (dysautonomia).

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