How to Keep Your Pledge (2)

How to Keep Your Pledge (2)

You’ve taken the pledge. You’re going to give a percentage of your income to effective charities working to save and improve the lives of those living in extreme poverty. Nicely done! 

But now what?

Three and a half years ago, I took the same public pledge. Keeping it has been easier than I thought it would be, thanks to some tips and tricks I picked up along the way. Every week, I’ll be sharing a strategy that worked for me or another fellow pledger. 

If you have a giving strategy that you’d like to share on this blog, email it to


Strategy 2: Save

If you’re a natural saver, you’ll enjoy looking for ways to cut costs from your lifestyle. Bring your lunch to work, skip those pricey coffee drinks, and look for bargains. As you save $5 here and $10 there, set it aside. It’s going toward your charitable donation at the end of the year.

I found the largest savings in my food budget. When I cook dinner, I make extra portions, pack each portion into reusable containers, and grab one from the fridge on my way to work. Every time I bring my own lunch instead of dinning out, I save $5-$10. If I can manage it once or twice a week, I’ve saved 1% of my income by the end of the year. Easy!

Entertainment was another great place to save. My boyfriend, my best friend, and a few others I know have taken the pledge too. We look for free and low-cost ways to have fun. Hiking, picnics in the park, free concerts, and free museum days can easily save $15-$25 per person. Skip the bar and host drinks at your place. Grab some popcorn and a bag of candy for movie night in your friend’s apartment. By replacing expensive entertainment with a free option once a month, your savings will add up fast – and so will your impact for people living in extreme poverty. 


We all handle money differently, and our relationship with money changes overtime. You know best what strategy will work for you. Mix and match the strategies on this blog, or come up with your own. Just keep giving!

Have you found a great way to keep your pledge? Share it with us!


Claire Knowlton is President of the Board for The Life You Can Save. She lives in Los Angeles and works as an accountant and auditor of nonprofit organizations.

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About the author:

Claire Knowlton

Claire Knowlton, President of the Board for The Life You Can Save, is an independent auditor of not-for-profit organizations in the United States. She shares her Los Angeles apartment with a physicist, a fluffy cat, and a window garden.

The views expressed in blog posts are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Peter Singer or The Life You Can Save.