Thursday, April 10, 2008

Donate to your School - Cincinnati Bell!

Everyone knows I love finding ways to donate that don't cost me a thing...just a bit of time! I add this into my total of savings for the year! Why? Well, because if we donate what is expected of us, we would be shelling out around $1,292 a month to charity! And, I add this to what we donated for the year ( not for tax purpose, though ). But, for our own calculations.

And, I can tell you...we live frugally. I cut coupons, we save for our retirement, our children and even for our parents. My husband and I, we are financial through and through and we have analyzed our numbers, and decided what is best for our future down the road. We don't spend money on things we don't need...NORMALLY. ( I will admit, I did buy a book for $40 plus dollars that could only be found in Australia...that is for a future post, though...shh....don't tell my hubby ) But, usually, we don't throw money away.

But, over $1,200 a month would be a shock to us. We just recently were able to finally get to a little above that number to donate monthly to our kids 529s...and we are still below where they say we need to be saving for the one son.

And, maybe we are saving too much. I may need to look at all these numbers again soon. But, in my mind, if I can make sure we are well provided for in our old age, our children our provided for, and our parents ( if they would ever need it in the future ), I feel we are providing a service to society there, too.

So, this is why I think taking advantage of what we can donate for free is important. Maybe I am crazy, because it is not really my money being donated...but I see it like this. If I didn't take the time to cut all those crazy box tops, tyson lables, etc. If I didn't take the time to manually take my recycling to the township recycling bin each week ( just did it today ) instead of having it picked up at the curb, they wouldn't be getting that extra money. So, even though another company is paying it...they WOULDN'T be paying it if I didn't take my time to collect the stuff.

In addition, we donate our time. What is it worth? I don't really know how to calculate it. My husband and I both teach Sunday school each week. That is an hour of our time, plus the time we take at home to prepare crafts and our lesson plans. I was in charge of the Church Nursery one year, and ran it again for Vacation Bible School. That took a lot of my time, even at home, putting together schedules, calling, filling in when workers were sick, etc.

I was on the board of our local Moms Club, a non profit for stay at home moms, for 3 years. It was fun, but also work at home. And, although it was benefiting other stay at home moms, our organization also did then donate to local charities.

I can go on with other things I have done through the years. And, none of them cost money. But, they did take effort and time. But, they are important to organizations, too and really can benefit you, as a person. And, I think it is a good life lesson for my children to see their parents taking time to volunteer and help others. They don't see us cut checks or even know that aspect is going on in the background of their lives.

And, then, of course, we do donate monetarily to organizations, too. Please don't think I am that tight! :-)

AND...we donate through the free methods. And, I do ( I probably shouldn't ) add the money saved by collecting and donating thru these means as part of our annual giving ( like I said...not for taxes, though ). But, I do feel it is important to use these methods and give these organizations that little extra.

With that said, here is the latest and greatest way to give! If you live in Ohio, Cincinnati Bell will NOW give your school $10 just for signing up at CB Learn if you are a Cincinnati Bell customer. You do have to sign up for e-bill, if you don't already, to qualify. It is free and actually quite easy. Plus, you are saving paper!! It is a one time donation, BUT they will earn more if you ever buy new service, add additional features, etc. So, make sure to check CB Learn out if you are ever getting ready to change your Cincinnati Bell service to see if they will donate when you alter your plan.

And, if you are not a Cincinnati Bell customer, don't forget to check your phone company to see if they offer any donation plans. If they do, add a comment so others can benefit, too.

Finally, what is your take on the whole donation issue? What is the right amount? I have always struggled with the fine line of pay ( certain percentage ) to charity, and the old phrase, "pay yourself first". Meaning, save, save, save. Live off of what is left. We tend to balance in the middle. And, with prices of everything going up, is it affecting your donation and saving numbers? I hope not! What about you? I would love to know what others do and advice for me and everyone else.


mom_of2boys said...

I wrote a post about fundraisers a while back. With our schools in financial trouble, it seems like they keep adding fundraisers and not taking advantage of the "free" money. There are other options beside fundraisers and I don't think they have anyone researching.

Link to my post, if you are looking for other programs.

As fas as our donations, monetary donations have been put on hold (due to our financial situation). I still donate household items and clothing to different organizations whether it's Amvets, Goodwill or the local mom's group that's raising money for charity.

Carrie @ said...

Love the post. Here is my original post for all my readers. I guess I should have included it in the article above. It highlights all the ways you should be donating for free. Thanks for the reminder in your comment!

dsfg said...

There's always blood donation. Something that is very needed, free to donate, and bonus: cookies and juice when it's over!