Having lost my much beloved cat at the beginning of the week I realised I could never have another one; it's too heartbreaking to lose them. Shame really as my retirement plan was to be the "Crazy Cat Lady"; I'll just have to be one who doesn't have cats now. Anyway, I sat there yesterday afternoon thinking about how much money I should be able to save now I no longer have a cat (insurance was stupidly expensive and as I never had to draw on it they had tens of thousands out of me over her 20 year lifespan). There is no more food to buy, worm and flea products, cat litter or beds to replace each year (alongside the treats she had on a regular basis). Then it struck me. I've not had the money I've been paying out each week, and while I could do with it, I could also do some good with it and so I have taken the amount I was paying out each month on my cat and split it between a couple of different animal charities.
Whilst researching different ones - I wanted to make sure as much of my money as possible goes to the animals and not some admin person or bigwig sitting in an office giving orders - I came across a website called "Give as you live". It's a bit like quidco in that for every pound you spend through certain shops you can raise money. The difference to quidco is that while you earn money via that for yourself, with the "Give as you live" site you can raise money for good causes and charities. It costs you nothing to sign up and while the percentage which they pay out is tiny, even just a penny from everyone who joins will help to make a difference. I'm off to share it with anyone and everyone. The stores on there are ones I use regularly too - Amazon, Ebay, Sainsbury, Boots. John Lewis, Argos, Next and M&S are also signed up to it. What an absolutely great idea. You can even go via that T supermarket that I refuse to shop in - that fact that T shop are offering to hand over money to charities via this site is the only reason I have included a mention for it. The best bit is that Expedia are one of the partners; I plan on using them for flights, car hire and possibly motels (if they have them) when I book the road trip. They give up to 6%. With the costs involved in my trip that's an amazing amount of money that will go to help the charity I have chosen. Of course I could get that money for myself through other partners and while the odd £1 or £5 here and there will help me out, it will help out the charity I have chosen far more and I would rather forego that amount to help a sick, injured or unloved animal (I believe they cover other charities as well - I just went for an animal one as it was my cat which started this all off in the first place). If anyone wants to sign up to it please message me for my charity will benefit from you being recommended - you can then do the same with your friends to earn more for your chosen charity. I am well aware the company who set up the site will take a whacking amount of commission but even so the smallest of amounts can soon add up to something much bigger.
I am aware I could use the money myself to put towards my roadtrip but it's not always about me. As I've said above I've not had it before so won't miss it and if it means it can help keep alive someones much loved pet, or feed an animal waiting for it's furever home then that's good enough for me. I know the road trip money will come from elsewhere when the time is right. In the meantime I like that I am able to help feed an animal that would otherwise have been overlooked. Unlike humans, animals don't get a choice on where they live or how they are treated. As much as I want to travel stateside with my Number 2 and see/experience all the things I dream of, there are some things which (to me) are more important.