*Note: This post is sponsored by Society of Grownups, a Brookline-based company offering online classes and financial advice to help navigate being a grownup and encourage conversations about money, happiness, adventure, and personal values. Check out their classes and more here.
The winter season takes us on a roller coaster of experiences and feelings. Sure, we have fun holiday parties, shopping sprees, giant feasts, and glittering festive decorations. Yet it is also a time of reflection, connecting with family and friends, and giving back.
You may recall my past posts with Society of Grownups, including learning when to spend and save, as well as how SoG helped to teach me how to be a financially responsible adult after moving across the country.
This time of year reminds me that part of being an adult is learning to not only be grateful for what you have, but to give back to others who do not have as much as you do.
Growing up, my mom taught me to be grateful and give back. She told me that while a lot of life is about hard work and dedication, some of it is straight out luck - the country, city, and neighborhood you are born into can give you a head start or extreme challenges in life.
She would routinely take me to the local family homeless shelter (Hamilton Family Shelter) to donate clothes, and would volunteer to drive for Meals on Wheels, a service which provides meals to those who cannot leave their homes due to illness. Sometimes we would volunteer together at the local soup kitchen as well. Volunteering and giving back was normalized for me.
In high school I would sometimes spend time helping out at the SF Food Bank with my friends, whether it was sorting fruits and veggies or preparing meal kits for the less fortunate.
As a grownup, I strive to continue this tradition. I still send donations to that same women & children's shelter every year, and this season I'm participating in a program which provides brand new stuffed bears to children in need. The program provides the bears, and participants dress each bear with baby clothes before donating them to the children. I went to Target on Black Friday and got the cutest striped onesie with a lion on the front. See my bear below:
Just as my personal values dictate how I should save and spend money, so do they drive how I choose to give back. I believe that everyone deserves life's basic necessities, be it food, shelter, or comforting toys. Whether I'm contributing financially to a cause I believe in, or donating my time to volunteer, it always feels good to help others.
Society of Grownups makes it easy to transition to adulthood. Be sure to check out their online class "You're A Grownup, Don't Panic." I took this course in June and it was life-changing! They break it down into easy steps on how to get a good financial plan for yourself - long and short-term. You get a high-level overview of financial planning, including tips to getting a good credit score, how to strategize the best retirement plan, and general best practices for budgeting. This class is great for everyone who wants to make sound financial decisions in simple, easy-to-understand language!
Comment Challenge: How do you give back?