How Do You Make a Difference?

Do you care about making a difference?

This question has been ringing in my head for days now. The question of my career and plans for the future is up in the air often lately as I pivot and change plans and try new things. It’s an exciting time and I feel like I’m growing a lot and learning new things. But am I making a difference? Does any of what I’m doing matter if it isn’t making people’s live better?

How to Make A Difference

There are lots of ways to make a difference in the world. The first step is to define what making a difference means to you, since it’s a different concept to everyone. Then you find ways to actually do things that make a difference.

Below I’m looking at the different ways I’ve considered this idea of making a difference.

how to make a difference

Making A Difference With Your Career

There are lots of careers that are fulfilling because they make a difference to other people. From the medical field to being a teacher, there are lots of ways you can use your working hours to help other people. Maybe you work for a non-profit or you set aside a certain amount of hours for projects that matter.  Or maybe your whole profession is about making a difference and helping people.

I’ve personally struggled with this area because it feels like my career has not touched this area. The work I’ve done in the past hasn’t fulfilled me in this area. I sometimes look at my friends who are doctors and teachers and psychologists and wish I was making a more tangible difference like they are doing.

Making A Difference With Volunteering

An obvious way to make a difference to other people is through volunteering. You can spend your time outside of work donating your time and skills to help people and organizations that need it.

In my past I volunteered a lot but it slowly tapered off as I spent more time blogging and working on side hustles. I miss that volunteering mentality and lifestyle that used to come easily to me. I plan on reconnecting with this part of my life and spending more time in volunteer work.

Making A Difference In Other Ways

Obviously you can make  a difference in the world in other ways. Maybe it’s through a regular donation to a cause you care about. Maybe it’s through the way you raise your children and support them. Maybe it’s through a blog you started to help other people.

I like to think I make a difference with this blog. I recommend products and ideas that I’ve used to help me get out of debt and make major progress in my financial life. Sharing those things with other people will help them do the same thing. Changing your financial life can change your whole life, so it does feel like I am making a difference in a small way.

How do you make a difference?

Obviously it will vary from person to person and based on what you consider making a difference, but I want to know! How do you make a difference? How do you plan to make a difference in different areas of your life? Is it something you even think or care about?

Photo Credit: BKColby Gutierrez-Kraybill

How to Compare Final Expense Insurance Quotes

Enjoy this submitted post!

One life insurance company may give you “what seems like a” good quote on final life insurance. However, this does not mean that they have the best quotes on the market. This is why it is important for you to compare final life insurance quotes from different companies to make sure you get the best deal.

Check with Several Companies

When shopping around for final expense insurance many customers consider the first two to three companies that they run across during their search.  It is important that you check with several companies because you want to be 100% sure that you are getting the best quote. Keep in mind well-known companies will not be as willing to work with you because they already have a reputation that sends them tons of leads each day.

Read Reviews

During this day in age, you can find reviews about everything. This includes life insurance companies. If you want to know exactly what to expect from the company, the best way to find out is by reading what their current and prior customers have to say.

Check the Amount of Coverage

All companies have a different amount of coverage set for a specific payment amount each month. This is because they want individuals to purchase final life insurance as soon as they are eligible and pay for it for numerous years before it is utilized. However, by shopping around you can get a good deal. For example, some companies may charge $68 a month for $10,000 and another company may charge $90 a month for $20,000.

Do Not Think Your Current Insurance Provider is the Best Option

It is not uncommon for your current insurance provider to have final life insurance plans available. However, companies are not always loyal to their existing customers. Therefore, even if you have been paying on a different insurance plan through your current company for years, you should not automatically assume they are going to give you the best quote.

Closing Thoughts

Qualifying for a final life insurance plan may be easier to qualify for than a traditional life insurance policy yet it does not mean that you should go with the first offer that comes your way. Regardless of what company you go with you can provide a loved one with a lump sum of cash when you pass away. Usually, these policies cover between $3,000 and $30,000, which will allow the beneficiary to have enough money to pay for all of the funeral expenses that result from your death. They can even pay off any of your debts that will roll over to them.

The Best Thrift Store Shopping Tips

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is shop, but with my goal of spending less each on a monthly basis means I can’t spend much when shopping. This is one of the reasons why I visit second hand stores and thrift shops. I still get the thrill of shopping and finding new items to wear but my money goes a lot further.

Because I’m out and about thrift shopping this weekend, I wanted to share a roundup of posts all about how to make the most of thrift shopping. Below are links to some posts I’ve discovered online that will help you be the best thrift shopper you can be!

thrift store shopping tips - 5 tips to become a thrifting pro
5 Tips for Thrifting That Would Make Your Grandma Proud by Thirty Handmade Days

Mique shares her top 5 tip for thrifting that have turned her into a thrifting fanatic. She also shares the top items she looks for when thrifting – some of my favs too!

thrift store shopping tips - how to shop thrift stores like a pro
How to shop Flea Markets & Thrift Stores like a Pro by Entirely Eventful Day

Aly shares her tips for thrift shopping like a pro. She offers several great tips for finding pieces in thrift stores for your home and her site has other posts about this style of shopping.

ultimate guide to clothes shopping at thrift stores
Ultimate Thrift Store Guide to Successful Clothes Shopping by Faith Filled Food For Moms

This awesome post contains 15 tips all about buy clothes at thrift stores. A lot of people will buy home furnishings at thrift stores but find clothes a whole different thing. These tips will help you learn what and how to buy clothes successfully from thrift stores.

thrift shopping tips - how to save big at the thrift store
How to save big at the thrift store by It’s Always Autumn

This post is all about how to get the best deals at the thrift store. Her tips are all about knowing when to go to the thrift store and knowing what to look for when you go.

thrift store shopping tips - 5 reasons thrifting isn't working for you

5 Reasons Thrift Shopping Isn’t Working For You by Thriftanista in the City

If you’ve always hated thrift store shopping and can’t seem to make it work then you need to read this post. Thrifting can be a lot more fun and less of a struggle when you know the reasons why it’s not been working for you before!

Beautiful young woman near rack with hangers
Thrift Store Shopping Tips by Sarah Titus

Sarah shares her best tips for thrift shopping including knowing the prices for certain brand items and knowing which thrift stores in your area have the best merchandise. Definitely some great tips because not all thrift stores are equal!

thrift shopping tips - how to find awesome thrift stores in your areas
How to Find Awesome Thrift Stores in Your Area by Vintage Design.Me

Speaking of finding the right thrift stores, this post is all about how to do it. This blogger shares the top tips and processes for finding the best thrift stores near you.

rules for second hand shopping thrift shopping
7 Rules for Secondhand Shopping by Figuring Money Out

Yep, I wrote this post about secondhand shopping because it really is one of my favorite ways to shop. It combines getting new stuff with the thrill of the hunt and still keeps your budget intact. That’s my kind of activity! In this post I share my own personal rules for thrift shopping at secondhand stores.

Hopefully all these posts will make you enjoy thrift shopping and walk away with some great deals!

thrift store shopping success
19 Signs You’re Addicted to Thrift Shopping by Buzzfeed

Just for fun…. check out this post about signs you might be addicted to thrift shopping. Super cute thrift store shopping themed image from annerbananers.tumblr.com. I think I might be addicted to thrift shopping!

Tax refunds – Do you get them?

On the way to my working location for the day I heard a commercial on the radio about how 70% of people get a refund. CNN reported that nearly 8 out of 10 people get a tax refund.

Who gets a tax refund?

I’ve read and heard lots of personal finance bloggers and gurus talk about how getting a tax refund is stupid because it’s an interest-free loan to the government. “You’re letting the government hold you money! For no return! That’s dumb!” Financial planners are always advising against overpaying the government during the year but the majority of us are doing it and getting refunds back at tax time.

According to IRS data, the average amount of a return was about $2,800. More than 84% of people making under 25k filed and received a return but those numbers dropped drastically as income rose and for those making $200K the amount of refunds was just 34% of filers.

chart americans refund

In general, people might hate paying taxes, but we love getting refunds. The psychology of it registers it as “free money” to most of us rather than money we overpayed to the government. Most of us seem to want to make sure we don’t owe the IRS money and have a bill in April and instead err on the side of caution even if it’s giving the government a loan.

So, did I get a refund this year?

I did!

I understand the logic of not getting a refund, but I still enjoy getting a refund each year. I pay in taxes directly from my bank account four times a year for quarterly estimated taxes on blog income, so it’s nice to once a year get back money instead of paying in. Thanks income from the day job!

What do people do with a tax refund? 

The most common things people do with tax refunds are paying bills and buying big ticket items. People love to take a vacation with their tax refunds!

It seems that responsible uses of the money are not very common. Only a small percentage of people use the tax refund to pay down their mortgage or bolster their savings accounts.

So what did I do with my tax refund money? I put it in savings! I’m one of those unusual people that doesn’t make plans for my tax refund. Instead I simply put it in my savings account and feel more secure with my bigger emergency fund. I’m ready for whatever comes along! I’ve never been one to blog my tax refund money on a vacation or any big item for fun. Even if I’m debt free I like to take that money and make sure it benefits my personal financial situation in the best way possible.

Did you get a tax refund this year? What are you doing with the money if you did get a refund?