Microlending, Moderate giving, and Megasaving

Or, time to put my money, quite metaphorically, where my mouth is.  (to do so literally would just be putting money in my mouth, and even I’d agree that’s pretty dirty.)

Have I mentioned that it’s absurd how well they pay software engineers?  So I have some money saved.  And that money is doing me totally no good in a bank credit union account.  Let’s talk about three things I will do with it.

1. Lending money.
How much money involved: medium
How much money it will cost me: very little; most loans are repaid
How many lives it could change: a lot
How much it will change each of those lives: probably a medium amount
How much I know about it: not much
How much info I need from you: not much

I’m planning to put a significant chunk of this money into Kiva.  (or another platform?  I’m open to suggestions.)  Within a month.  There, I said it on my blog, now it’s for serious.  I’ll post again when it’s done.

2. Donating money.
How much money is involved: probably less than I microlend
How much money it will cost me: well, all of it.
How many lives it could change: potentially a lot
How much it will change each of those lives: also potentially a lot?
How much I know about it: a medium amount
How much info I need from you: not much

I gave some money to the Social Justice Fund NW.  This has been part of a 6-month-long-ish project that we’ve been working on.  Some awesome folks from SJF have been handling all the hard work (putting out the call for grant applications, organizing all the site visits, etc), leaving about 18 of us young folks (age 20-40) to decide where our money goes.  It’ll go toward organizations in WA, OR, ID, WY, and MT.  I’ll let you know more when we figure out exactly which organizations will receive grants.  (right now we’ve narrowed it down from 63 applications to 20.)

I’m planning to put together a drive at Google, too, to help fund some schools in foreign countries.  I’ll let you know how that goes too.

3. Saving money.
How much money is involved: a lot
How much money it will cost me: well, the goal here is that it’ll make me money
How many lives it could change: one.
How much it will change each of those lives: infinitesimally.
How much I know about it: meh?
How much info I need from you: some!

For the rest of my savings, I’d like to put it into an interest-earning account.  This has two purposes: to earn some interest, and to be disconnected from my ATM card in case my wallet is ever stolen.  I’ll put about a half year’s salary in here.  And it’s my “emergency fund”, so I want something that’s no risk, and pretty liquid.  Where should I put it?

Finally, in keeping with the spirit of “talking openly about money because nobody does anymore”, I’d be willing to put dollar amounts on these items, in case you’re interested to have something to anchor to; at least one data point to give you a ballpark.  But this is all about donations and stuff, so posting it on my blog would be braggy.  So let’s say, if you’d like to know amounts, email me.


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