If you’ve given something up for Lent, you’re in the home stretch now and that chocolate Easter egg, glass of wine or can of fizzy stuff is almost within reach. Millions of Christians around the world choose to deny themselves a treat during Lent and use it as a time to remember Christ’s sacrifice. And millions of people with different faiths or no faith equally use Lent to challenge their willpower, lose a few pounds and increasingly – raise money to help better the world around them.
You only have to look at UKFundraising’s website to see the range of creative fundraising campaigns which the UK’s biggest charities have devised in order to tap into this universal spirit of wanting to do something good for others this Easter.
Sense of Happiness
And giving makes us feel good – that’s a fact. At least according to results of research published recently by O’Brien and Kassirer in Psychology Today which showed that a group of people given $5 to spend on the same treat for themselves each day for 5 days, recorded a lower sense of happiness at the end of the study that the group who were tasked to spend their $5 each day on other people.
But what if you don’t have a spare fiver? What if you are up to the wire, the cheese wire even, at the end of every month? Does that disenfranchise you from the happiness of giving? I think it does.
Digital journalist Jack Derwin recently wrote a helpful article for the Australian edition of Your Money in which he listed 5 signs of financial health, all of which I’d wholeheartedly endorse. https://bit.ly/2UtmEWt
But the one that really caught my attention was the fifth point where he says “the final sign of financial wellbeing is having the ability to give to others. Whether it’s supporting your favourite charity, giving to a worthy cause or helping out a friend in need, the capacity to give is a mark of true financial freedom.”
Financial wellness is not just about getting the numbers to line up on the right side in your bank account – although it is certainly about that. It’s also about holistic wellness – getting someone into a position where they are in control of their finances and therefore in control of their lives.
That’s what our Affordability Passport is all about. We use state of the art open banking technology and the world’s fastest categorisation engine to do it, but what I love is that one of the things we can achieve for our customers is one of the world’s simplest and most ancient of pleasures. The joy of giving.