I often wonder if every family is as quirky as mine…probably not. I just ran across an old Facebook memory where my oldest son, Griffin, got embarrassed at school by using a word that he thought was a real word; in fact, it was just one we made up and used all the time at home. Couperfs is one of those words. My husband made that one up when we lived in Texas. As you’d expect, the Sunday edition of the Dallas Morning News was chock-full of what Hoosiers would call money-saving coupons. But, in Dallas, at the time, these coupons were actually perforated. This eliminated the need for scissors or, if you were a Neanderthal, crooked ripping. It was really quite lovely. Find a deal, tear along the perforation, and ta-da, the world couperf was invented.
Those were our newly married days back in the suburbs of Dallas when we were both fresh out of college and learning how to balance a budget a mortgage, insurance, and car payments all on our own—so couperfs were a great way to save a few bucks and allow for a date night or two. Fast forward a couple of homes and kids later and we are still saving with couperfs. True, they’re not perforated in Indiana, but we still clip them out of the Chronicle-Tribune to save a few extra bucks…after all sending a kid to college is expensive—and we still call them couperfs because old habits die hard.
My husband and I have this sort of weird grocery store ‘dance’ that we do—it’s kind of a grocery shopping system that we run like a finely tuned football play at the Super Bowl. When we’re ready to check out, I stand in line while he goes to get another empty cart. Then, while I empty our full cart onto the conveyor belt, he loads the empty cart with our bagged groceries. I’m tellin’ ya, we’ve got this down to a science. Then, as we roll away, we play the Price is Right game where he guesses how much money we saved that day…without going over. After all these years, he’s remarkably good at this game!
You might be asking yourself, “Why in tarnation is a dual-income family bothering to clip coupons?” Well, because we saved $1,411.00 last year. One thousand, four hundred, and eleven dollars. That’s 14 Benjamins and some change! I don’t know about you, but to me, that’s a lot of extra moola that we earned on a lazy Sunday afternoon clipping coupons during cheesy Hallmark movies. And, the end result is pretty sweet, too–that savings gives us more opportunities to be charitable.
You see, generosity isn’t necessarily related to your tax bracket, it’s related to your willingness to give—no matter the amount. Occasionally, we’ll come into the office and see that someone has dropped change, literally coins, into our mail slot. Children will come to the Community Foundation with their parents and donate some of their allowance to the funds they love the most. And families, some like mine who have a lot of their discretionary income funding a child in college, give small amounts frequently which can really add up.
The bottom line is that every little bit counts. Whether you clip couperfs or forego one of your grande, quad, nonfat, one-pump, no-whip mochas this week, if you really want to exercise your generosity muscle, you can. We have over 400 funds at the Community Foundation, and the beauty is, the choice is yours. You can pick which fund you’d like to support or start one of your own. Your generosity can benefit exactly what you want.
Let’s face it, friends…our political climate in 2017 feels like mixing M&M’s and Skittles in the same bowl…CHAOS! Perhaps we could counterbalance the noise with some big generosity. Or would that be bigerosity? Or generosibig? Either way, let’s go out there make a significant, positive, hopeful, difference-making impact.