Connecticut / Dec. 5, 2012 / by Amy Rose

As the year draws to a close I've begun to make plans about the future. It seems that living on a bus while doing this presents the unique uncertainty of not having a location which I can make plans around. The only thing I can inevitably count on is being on a pretty strict budget - this amazing year has left my savings suffering, but no regrets here friends.

I've started researching ways to save money and get my mind ready to start thinking about what my priorities will be in a few months time - and after this year of meeting so many people making a difference with a little money, I've realized that a priority will be giving. Even if it's not much, I've personally felt the difference a few dollars can make in a small organization or nonprofit.

In my stumbling around the internet, I happened upon the blog 'And then we Saved' and a post on an interesting web app called 'instead.' Instead boasts enabling people to live below their means to give more. On their 'About' page they offer this brief description, "a micro-donation app for non-profits that encourages people to live within or below their means in order to give. It's a non-profit entity with pending 501(c)3 status." When you land on the page you select what you will be giving up to fund your small donation.

When you click 'GIVE' you are given the suggestion to donate $3, to which you can add or detract from. Then you go on to choose your nonprofit - but before you do so you're given the option to make an account which you can do with Facebook. The account gives you tax-deductible records, speedier giving in the future, and the ability to favorite your non-profit. 

You can choose to skip that step, and then are directed to a form that gives you a list of about 40 organizations to choose from. Most of them are pretty big organizations - To Write Love on Her Arms, World Wildlife Fund, Doctors without Borders, and Charity Water. After you select, you put in your card information and click 'DONATE.'

It seems like an excellent way to work in giving regularly, even if it's a small amount. I think it really helps to conceptualize giving money as giving up a coffee, beer, or popcorn at the movie. It also might prod a little more saving