In recent years I have faced my attitude to financial matters or rather lack thereof. One of especially confounding things to me was that of donating money.
How, how much (if at all), and why exactly — these kinds of questions about donations started to come up.
Money in Ukraine
As I opened with — my attitude to money is borderline missing. I would not call it dysfunctional, but rather disorganized.
You see, growing up in Ukraine, money is a short term subject. On average people make small sums and live paycheck to paycheck. The financial instruments (like deposits and loans) are scarce.
And if you do have opportunity to save up — the currency crashes will wipe it out. The latest crash, induced by recent unrest and conflict, devalued currency to a third of what it was.
And this was the third major crash in mere ten years history of hryvnia alone.
So my financial upbringing resulted in shallow attitude to money, consisting of:
- don’t spend outside of my means;
- don’t do debt of any kind;
- try to save up or whatever / why bother.
Could have been worse, I suppose.
Donating in WordPress
My transition to a career in WordPress industry brought on more exposure to civilization. I call it that only half in jest.
Asking for donations and donating money just didn’t map to anywhere in my mind or finances. I could not remember anyone in my family ever making donations or even talking about it. I had no example to go by.
And it didn't look like an easy subject either. I saw how people opened themselves to scrutiny and judgement of others.
In more informal instances, such as someone paying for my meal or taxi unprompted… I felt weirded out. Still do.
The process of money going one way just–because messed with my sense of balance. It was hard to form an attitude. So I had ignored the topic.
Making a plan
While back I encountered statement that generosity and donating money is favorable to our psychological well–being.
This was a new angle to consider. Maybe I was losing out by dodging the subject. On other hand donating money to improve my state of mind sounds selfish.
But… Less selfish than not donating at all, isn’t it?
I had a tiny mental breakthrough. Why not try?
I failed to come to terms with the issue in theory. It was time to confront it in practice. I started an experiment with several rules:
- Whenever I encounter opportunity to donate in my daily life — I will. Since I trust my people, it is logical to trust their example and choices in donation activity.
- I will stick with modest sum for each donation. Not meaninglessly small, but not large enough to risk trigger financial freakout.
- I would do so anonymously, since I am not ready to deal with social aspects on top of financial ones.
Yeah, writing this post freaks me out too by the way.
So I went and did that for a while. Not going to quantify anything in this post for the reasons above.
I would not say it made me a better person or anything.
But… Maybe for the first time ever I felt some of that griping financial insecurity inside me fade away.
Like there are things to do with money, other than gather a pile and hope it doesn’t turn to dust.
You might not think it even a step, but for me it is a leap.