Who I’ve Donated to This Month

My husband and I had a very expensive November. My husband got in a car accident (he was fine, thank goodness!) and totaled his car. I’d been wanting an electric car, and since he got a new car last time, we agreed it was my turn. I searched for used electric cars and finally settled on a 2013 Nissan Leaf with under 40,000 miles on it for just under $10,000 before taxes. With my husband’s insurance settlement, that meant the car cost $2,000 total — no loan, no payments. The car is all mine.

Of course once I got an electric car, the electric panel at our house decided to fall apart. It had been a long time coming — I don’t think that thing had been updated since the house was built in 1940-something. We found a great electrician who was baffled by how old the panel was and had to go find a part that would work before fixing it, but we got our electricity back up and running the next day, so now I’m driving with zero emissions. It’s nice.

We also have been in the market for a supplemental freezer, but met with some amazing Black Friday deals (even though it wasn’t Black Friday at all), we ended up buying our dream refrigerator that has a huge freezer for $800 less than what we were planning on paying before (it was a long-term goal to get that fridge) and only a couple hundred more than we were planning on spending on the new freezer. Now our roommates have their own fridge. It’ll be interesting to see what that will do to the electric bill, but it was becoming increasingly apparent that the tiny fridge my husband and I had for our two-person home was not cutting it for a house of four, especially when my brother and I have Celiac disease and much of our gluten-free things need to be frozen because there are no preservatives.

Then we had our termite inspection and were not surprised to find that we have termites, so we’re out about $2,000 there. While the termite inspector was under the house, he found a plumbing leak, so we also had to get a plumber out.

Long story short: it was a very, very expensive November. We feel good about everything we purchased and all the services we paid for, but spending so much on ourselves at once also made us feel like we need to share more, so we set up monthly contributions to the following non-profit organizations in addition to other donations we make throughout the year*:

ACLU

Center for Reproductive Rights

Maldef

NAACP Legal Defense Fund

ProPublicaProPublica

Planned ParenthoodPlanned Parenthood

Sierra Club

Democracy Now

Natural Resources Defense Council

International Refugee Assistance Project

From my own allowance, I also set up a sponsorship of a girl in El Salvador through Save the Children and will be making donations next year to Doctors without BordersDoctors without Borders and The Southern Poverty Law CenterI’ve gotten enough loan repayments from Kiva to reinvest that money in budding entrepreneurs in impoverished areas, and I adopted a local Kindergartener for Christmas whose parents can’t afford gifts and got him a couple sets of Legos.

No one I know will be getting Christmas presents this year (not that they would expect them — I haven’t given gifts in ages), but strangers will benefit, and that makes me feel better about the, uh, shitload of money we spent in November.

*As fun as it would have been to donate to these charities in Donald Trump or Mike Pence’s names per John Oliver’s suggestion, I decided not to. Still, the meager tax deduction I’ll get will ensure at least a little less money is going to their terrifying executive branch.

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