Sunday, September 4, 2011

The 10% Challenge

Will you participate in the 10% Challenge?

Here's how it works:

Step 1
Every time you buy something, mentally add 10% to its price. Then base your purchasing decision on this new price.
For example:

Do I buy it?
Take-out dinner
New tires
No, I don’t want to spend over $500. I continue looking until I find tires for $400. Price+10% is $440, which is acceptable. I buy these tires instead.
Prescription medication
Yes. I don’t really have a choice.
Step 2
At the end of each day, stick the 10% in an envelope. You can put in cash, the receipt, or just a sticky note. Keep track of every single purchase with no exceptions.

Step 3
At the end of the month, take all the money you have accumulated and send it to Doctors Without Borders, the IRC, UNICEF, Oxfam, or one of the other organizations working for famine relief in East Africa.

I like this method of giving for several reasons:
  • It helps answer the question of what is the "right" amount to give. Ten percent of everything I spend feels right to me.
  • It helps me keep track of my spending.
  • It puts a silver lining on unexpected expenses like emergency vet bills. At least someone is benefiting from them.
  • It allows me to think of my donation as a tax on my purchases, which makes donating become a habit that I don't have to think about, just like sales tax.
 Please join me in the 10% Challenge. You can help save the lives of thousands of people. You can invite others to participate by clicking the Facebook button below.

"I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do." - Edward Hale


  1. That is a great way to save money then help others. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Love your blog! Thanks for commenting on mine--I look forward to following your story. A big, huge congratulations on your referrals! Fingers crossed for a sooner-than-later court date!

  3. I have a fellow 10%er!
    So excited!