Triangle Giving

The other day I was staying late in the office and heard through a thoughtful guy named Aaron about an organization called Giving What We Can.

Giving What We Can members give at least 10% of their income to the most effective charities towards the goal of eliminating extreme poverty within this lifetime.

I appreciated and admired Aaron’s take-charge attitude when it came to such a committed, proactive approach to giving what he can.

10%, I thought, was not insignificant. Especially for a soon-to-be graduating senior.

What kind of a commitment am I able to make?

On Saturday I heard a wonderful story that took this idea of giving what we can to new heights.

The story was about parents who were interested in instilling important values surrounding money into their children.

The basic philosophy is that as soon as the kids are old enough to be handling money, they are also old enough to learn to save, spend, and give it away.

When it’s time for them to take on responsibilities around the house, and are compensated for their good work, they are given a triangle bank – with three slots – to help them manage their money.

Kids are taught they must save 1/3 of their income, spend 1/3 of their income, and give away 1/3 of their income.

How do you choose to spend your income? What do you save for? How and to whom do you choose to give money away to?

This has given me a lot to think about these past couple days.

I wonder what other lessons – be they about money or otherwise – could be great ones for kids to learn from a young age?

And like the triangle bank, what other habitual activities provide regular structure to practice habits we will hopefully continue to practice through the rest of our days?

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