In a recent Wise Bread entry, there is a link to Think Before You Pink, a site discussing the number of companies who have linked up with the Susan G. Komen Foundation and now advertise that $X from your purchase will go to supporting breast cancer research. I freely admit that in my cabinet right now there are at least two cans of soup with a little pink ribbon on them. Of course, it’s soup I really like.
There are so many charities out there, and so many of them are very worthwhile. But it’s hard to figure out which ones are good and which ones are not quite as great. Throughout the year, I check out charities on Charity Navigator. This is a site listing a number of charities with background data and rankings of each one. They evaluate charities and provide you with the information you need to decide if that charity is right for you. And if you decide that it isn’t, you can search for another charity supporting that cause with a better ranking.
Charities are rated by looking at their organizational efficiency and their organizational capacity. This shows you how the charity uses its money and how it is growing in programs and services over time, two very important questions when you’re thinking of donating. The site also tells you the salaries of notable executives on the board of the charity. While I believe these people do deserve a good salary, there are limits.
Digging out of debt and really don’t have the money to put towards a charity? I’m not going to argue with you. But you might want to check out GoodSearch. It’s a search engine powered by Yahoo. Choose a charity on the front page, and then every search you do, the charity receives 50% of the ad revenue from that search. Sure, it might be only a penny. But as we all know, pennies add up. You can even add a search bar to IE or add GoodSearch to your search box in Firefox.
Megan is a 30-something government employee in the Washington, DC area. She got interested in Personal Finance when she got out of college and realized that her paycheck wasn’t going to go as far as she had hoped. Since starting this blog, she has managed to buy a house and make a solid start on her retirement goals, and hopes to help others do the same. Here is her story:
In 2007, I was a gainfully employed 20-something with no debt but not a lot of knowledge about personal finance. It was a co-worker’s comment about Roth IRAs that sent me to the internet, searching for information. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t know a whole lot about personal finance and that my current financial situation was due a lot to inherent frugal tendencies, generous family members, a fear of debt, and good luck. While that was working for me, clearly I needed a better plan.
While I had no debt, I was also pretty much living paycheck to paycheck and not worrying about going over budget (I say this as if I had a real budget) because I had an emergency fund set aside to cover any overages.
Except that’s not what an emergency fund is for.
So I did a lot of research, read a lot of blogs, and decided that I needed a plan. I needed to budget. I needed to know what I was spending my money on. I needed to prepare for the future.
I decided to create a blog not only to make myself accountable to others but also to share the knowledge that I gained along the way. I’ve learned so much from my fellow bloggers, and I hope that my readers can find something useful in what I have to share as well.