Wednesday, January 08, 2014

January Challenge #1: Low-Spend Goals First Update and KIVA Report

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This is my first check-in for the No-Low Spend Challenge hosted by Carla of My 1/2 Dozen Daily. To recap my goals (actions in CAPS): 

1/ Limit my shopping to two days per week (I am setting Tuesdays and Fridays... for now) **ONE INCIDENCE OF UNPLANNED SPENDING: AN EYE APPOINTMENT I HAD FORGOTTEN ABOUT, SO I AM ADDING A FIFTH GOAL**

2/ Plan all my meals ahead of time, preferably weekly **I SUCCEEDED IN PLANNING ALL MY MEALS**


4/ Investigate part-time work which will not interfere with my home responsibilities **SO FAR I HAVE JUST CHECKED THE FEDERAL GOVT JOB-BANK**

5/ NEW GOAL: Set aside a "bumper" for unplanned or emergency spending in the budget.

Thanks, Carla, for helping me to get organized in my finances (yes, these baby steps is "me getting organized" LOL).


I realize belatedly that I haven't yet shared my KIVA experience here. Way back in September of 2012, I discovered the world of micro-lending during research for a jewelry design challenge. I was fascinated at the prospect of lending directly to an entrepreneur somewhere in the developing world. Since then I have made 30 loans ($25. each) to borrowers in 27 countries. 

These are LOANS as opposed to donations, and KIVA has an over 99% repayment rate. I receive the payments back over time and can reinvest in a new loan (I always do... it is amazing to hear about the success of the entrepreneurs). I can choose loans by country, by sector (agriculture, clothing, health, housing, retail, etc.) or even by gender. I have lent 60% to women; most recently I have been seeking out loans for sewing businesses (Iraq, Kosovo and Jordan). At this point, I can make one or two loans every month from the repayments alone :)

The need is great, the result rewarding and it is so easy to fit this in any budget! I believe a first-time borrower can still get that initial loan for FREE (donations set aside for this), and if you link via another borrower, they can also receive a bonus loan for FREE! This is my invitation link if you are interested in taking advantage of this wonderful program. For Canadian borrowers, you can also enter though this invitation link for KIVA Team Canada

Here is the latest inspirational video from KIVA:

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