If you've ever wondered about sponsoring a child but weren't sure if you could afford it - I'm here to tell you, you can. When you sponsor a child through World Vision it only takes 48 of your dollars each month to change lives.
Lifehacker has partnered with World Vision to share the stories of child sponsorship.
When I say change lives, I mean it. When you sponsor a child, you're not only helping an individual. In fact, for every child sponsored, another four benefit.
World Vision partner with community groups in your sponsor child's area to run long-term development projects that involve 10,000 to 50,000 people for up to 15 years.
That means your money will not only go towards your sponsor child, it also helps the entire community through projects that improve things like education, safe drinking water, essential healthcare, food and setting up agriculture.
Just a few tiny tweaks to your monthly routine will ensure you have enough money left over to make a difference in the world. Here are five easy ones to get you started.
1. Cook your own meals
If you haven't realised this one yet, or you have but keep putting it off, then let this be your final motivation. The extra money you save can easily sponsor a child.
Skipping just a couple of dinners out per week means that you can not only improve the life of a child in need, but improves quality of life in the whole area - such as implementing healthy sanitation systems that, in turn, reduces preventable deaths.
2. Avoid food delivery
On that note, when you do choose to eat out, make the extra effort to head to the restaurant yourself instead of using food delivery services. Making the effort does a lot more than save you $5 a pop in extra delivery fees.
Food delivery apps might make it easy for you, but according to Australian restaurants, they're destroying the industry and could force many places to close. Just before these apps blew up, they had a profit margin of 10%. These days it's only 2-4%. Just one extra reason to save money.
3. Start using LED lightbulbs
Sure, quality LED lightbulbs might cost a little more upfront, but according to the Australian Government's Energy Rating, a typical Aussie household will save $253 in associated costs by switching to LED.
At just $4 a day, LED lights cost less to use. Then factor in that you would need five cheaper halogen bulbs to last the length of just one good quality LED bulb. Suddenly that initial price point isn't looking so inviting.
When you compare that easy change to being able to sponsor a child which in turn helps reach one new person with clean water every 30 seconds, it seems like a no brainer.
4. Pre-plan your gift buying
Don't let 2019 be yet another last-minute Christmas, where you frantically drop cash on whatever seems vaguely suitable. It's time to get organised.
Keep an eye out for sales during the year on anything your loved ones might enjoy. You'll not only save a lot of money, but you'll end up with gifts that your friends and family will actually enjoy and use.
5. Clean up your subscriptions
Remember that streaming service you signed up for because you hate ads but now you never use? Cut it off and put the money you save towards something beneficial instead.
Whether it's magazines, music, shows or food: subscription services have a funny habit of making it very easy to forget they're still taking money out of your account each month.
Consciously declutter your spending so you can spend the money on child sponsorship and improving access to education for all the kids in their area.
There you go, all pretty easy ways to cut down on spending so you can use the money for something so much better. You can find out more about the important work World Vision does and help change lives here.