Queer Money™ Questions Answered
Every once in a while, we mix things up a bit on Queer Money™. This week is one of those weeks. Queer Money™ this week is all about your questions. We’ve taken 3 questions from the Queer Money™ Facebook group and are sharing our thoughts with you on these 3 topics.
The topics include, how we find a charity to give our money to, how much Queer Money™ group members spend dining out and super easy tip on how to cut that by 10-50%, and a question about how to fit tipping into your dining out budget, along with our advice on how much to tip.
Listen to the Queer Money™ Facebook questions this Queer Money™:
Where should my LGBTQ giving go?
Here’s our first series of questions from a member: I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ll give back to the community. I’m 31 and beginning to realize my own capacity to help others now that my debt is going away, and I have a comfortable amount of retirement savings. As I to look at local nonprofits, I’m overwhelmed. There’s a huge amount of need in the queer and trans communities. The nonprofits requesting assistance seem to be everywhere. When you decided to start giving back, did you pick one nonprofit to support? Many to support at lower levels? Did you start your own nonprofit?
Of course, there are many ways to determine how to give. John and I suggest that one of the best ways to give back to LGBTQ charities is to start locally. We do this with the majority of our donations. This is because we’re closer to the impact these charities are having our communities. We can speak directly to those who run these charities and see where our Queer Money™ actually goes.
We also suggest asking any charity that you plan to give to about the percentage of their donations that go to those they serve. Many national charities have been exposed for giving single percentages of their funds to those they serve, while 90% or more of their funds raised pay salaries or other overhead costs of the organizations. These organizations aren’t really serving people, they’re job creators for those who want to get in line and take money under the guise of doing good. So, ask for an annual report or written proof of where their funds go. Charities are responsible to their board of directors, too. They’ll have financial documents.
We love to eat out
Our second question was one that we posed to the Queer Money™ Facebook members. The poll and results (the numbers after each dollar range) are below:
- How much money do you spend on average each week on dining out?
- $0 – $50 – 16
- $51 – $75 – 11
- $101 – $150 – 8
- $151+ – 4
- $76 – $100 – 2
It’s interesting that nearly two-thirds of respondents say that they spend between $0 and $75 a week dining out and one-third spend $75 or more a week. Clearly, we cannot compare these numbers to the respondent’s salaries, but this does validate once more the two surveys above. Our LGBT community loves to spend our Queer Money™ dining out.
Since our goal is to help you ‘Live Fabulously, Not Fabulously Broke,’ any way that we can help you cut costs is a win for us and you. Recently we discovered that Groupon.com has upgraded the way they work with restaurants. Instead of having to buy an offer and then show it to the server, now you can register a credit or debit card with Groupon. Then, when you claim an offer (no exchange of money happens) the restaurant will refund your card when you dine at the restaurant, saving you anywhere from 10% to 50%on dining out. No longer do you or the server need to cringe when you pull out your phone to redeem your coupon. Smart move Groupon! Download Groupon today, and start saving money on your dining out.
When and how should I tip?
Our final question discussed is: Wondering what the consensus is on tipping? When eating out for dinner, I happily do what is expected and tip 20%, but what if I go to a counter to get my $10 soba salad and there’s a tip cup there. I budgeted for a $10 lunch, but suddenly find myself stuck between a rock and a hard place because I want to stick to my budget, but I also don’t want to appear cheap to the cashier. What would you guys do, tip or not tip?
We both believe that great service deserves a great reward. At the same time, we also understand that in the U.S. many don’t earn a living wage as wait staff, behind the counter staff and service-centered jobs. Tips are designed to reward those who provide good service to help them earn at or above a living wage.
Below are some of our thoughts on what to tip:
- Sit down restaurants
- Home delivery
- Coffee Bar/Bar
- Bad Service (keep in mind that bad service may not always be the fault of the one serving you and thus they may not deserve to be punished for something out of their control)
- 0$ – 5%
- Foreign Country (many countries do provide a living wage to wait staff, so do your research and tip where appropriate)
- Country rules
- Sit down restaurants
That wraps it up for this episode of Queer Money™. If you have questions or want to participate in the conversation, join us in the Facebook and join the Queer Money™ group.