Fresh off of my snarky “crowdfund my wedding” post a few weeks back, I have been keeping an eye on the latest crowdfunding trends. What a racket!
There was the story of the attractive and heavily criticized “posh brat”, an aspiring master’s degree student, who was able to fund her degree from Oxford through a crowdfunding plea. Over 26,000 British pounds ($44,000 USD), to be exact.
Whatever happened to using your youth and good looks to pay off your degree through more admirable endeavors… like stripping?
I love one I found in a Google search, from an aspiring law student (because what the world really wants now is to fund more lawyers). The result? $0 towards a $51K goal after 28 months. Ironically, the prospective student is pictured 20,000 feet in the air during a skydive on the campaign page.
But this one, from a better-off-than-most-beggar soliciting the Get Rich Slowly blog for $158,600 to pay off his family’s mortgage got me fired up. Why would anyone in their right mind give to such a cause when there are impoverished, disease-ravaged children literally starving to death? I’ll let him explain,
“For starters, you get to be a part of a fund that helps a family achieve a life-long goal of having financial freedom.
If this still doesn’t answer the questions “what’s in it for me?” or “what do I get for donating?” I answer with a question: “Wouldn’t it be great to be a part of something that helped one family at a time?”
If a regular guy like me was able to actually receive $5 donations from approximately 31,000 people, what stops me from starting an organization that helps others who want to achieve financial freedom?”
Well… how about that you aren’t able to take personal responsibility for your own mortgage, for starters?
I hear there are credit card debt payoff crowdfunding campaigns out there as well, but I’ll refrain from making your blood boil further.
Sure, it would be nice for a group of people to swoop in and absolve you of personal responsibility. But it’s a mighty big ask. The average personal savings rate in this country is 5%, average mortgage debt is at $147,591, average student loan debt is $31,646, and the average auto loan debt is at $30,738!
People have their own bills to pay. And in the limited amount that they want to give to others, it’s typically reserved for more admirable causes than directly or indirectly subsidizing your poor spending and saving habits. Animal rescue and shelters, hunger drives, food banks, disaster relief, disease fighting research, etc., etc.
And lets say that enough people do show questionable judgment and save the day for you. Your end goal may be met, but you will have to live the rest of your life knowing that you did nothing to earn it.
There’s still something to be said for going out and earning it the hard way. Whether it’s digging yourself out of debt, funding your own education or wedding, or paying off your mortgage after decades (ideally only years) of hard work – those are intensely rewarding things. They are things that you can feel good about for the rest of your life. And the destination to get to those end goals can teach you valuable lessons. It’s called personal responsibility. And it is rewarding when seen through.
And, yes, many are fighting through tough situations that are no fault of their own and need actual real help. These examples are not that.
Have some personal pride, chase it, and earn it. Everyone will be better off for it, yourself included.