Don’t get me wrong. I think Kickstarter, Gofundme, whatever is awesome when folks want to raise money for worthy causes and rally friends and family together quickly to help a person in need.
But we’ve seen over and over in the news where people have taken the kindness of others too far. One woman simply wanted people to fund her trip to Vegas so she could see the Pacquiao Mayweather fight, one guy raised a butt load of money to make potato salad. The end result, was $55,000. The originator of the campaign was said to have planned to give a lot of the money away to hunger-fighting charities.
Ok, so even the ones that kind of start out as a joke, can go on to do great things.
However, I’ve been seeing somethings that have been kind of frustrating. There are people who actually want other people to help them pay for vacations to “save their relationship” or even crowdfunding to help people pay for their weddings.
People are asking for money to pay for semesters of school, the sob stories are endless.
And it’s not like I don’t have a heart. On more than a few occasions, I’ve seen and contributed to crowdfunding efforts to put people into the ground.
These kinds of things upset me. Our culture is turning away from responsibility, and the joy of really working hard toward something, saving and then enjoying the fruits. At least have an old school rent party! Damn.
People need to learn more about life insurance so cash-strapped loved ones aren’t passing the hat online.
A great friend of mine would never have asked her friends to foot the bill for her amazing trip to Italy. So instead, she opened up an account with smartypig.com, a free site where you can save money for whatever it is you want and set goals to get there. Personally, I think especially for weddings, people need to start there before asking everyone for money, to actually FUND THE EVENT!!
Some people have the rationale that people give the couple money as a gift anyway, so if the couple can’t afford and really wants the wedding or honeymoon of their dreams, they can just use the money they’d get anyway up front to pay for it all.
But I don’t think that’s the point of monetary wedding gifts.
The true, point of monetary and of registry gifts isn’t a chance to let you live out your childhood Nickelodeon Toy Run fantasies out in Target, or Crate and Barrel as an adult, but be the jumpstart to helping you and your new spouse build your new home and transition a bit more smoothly into your new lives together.
I’ve always felt that when you throw a party, large or small, it’s a given that you’ve taken on a lot of the responsibility and cost to provide YOUR GUESTS with a great time.
If your guests offer to help, or offer you money, or want to bring things, then it’s an added bonus. But when I throw something, I have an expectation to make it so, that the guests just show up and enjoy themselves because I invited them. The only time, I wouldn’t do that is if there are ticketed events, and even still, I’d get a group rate, tell everyone in advance the cost and it’s up to them if they want to join.
As a society, we’ve got to do better. I really don’t mind helping people, but after a while, it gets really old because for some of this stuff, as grown adults, you need to take care of your own business rather than depending on the generosity of others for every little whim.
Once again, I don’t have a problem with helping people who are ill and have crazy medical care bills, I don’t have a problem with helping a college student just starting out or is just short of a couple thousand to graduate, but to ask for money every semester and ask for the entire cost of tuition… sometimes your baby can’t or shouldn’t go to that school and needs to go someplace less expensive where you can get a better financial aid package.
There is such a thing as over extending your resources, and you don’t ever want to do that in the event you truly are in dire straits. It’s important to exhaust whatever possibilities you have first before setting up that kickstarter page and potentially turning off your friends and family who are already, like you, paying their own bills, taking care of their own responsibilities, wanting to go on vacation too!
For the most part, I do think crowdfunding is great and for mostly worth-while causes. But yup, you will totally get the side-eye from me if you seriously want me to fund your pay my student loan campaign, when I have student loans of my own. And some people might say, hey, if people want to give, regardless of the situation, that’s what they want to do. And sure, people are free to do that.
Maybe I’ll start a campaign to help me contribute to other people’s crowdfunding efforts without going broke…
Would you give??