A Little More Giving + Home Brew #7

Whilst not specifically one of my 2016 goals, I mentioned that I intend to regularly donate a little more to charity.  I have opened a CAF Charity account so will be topping this up on a monthly basis.

Of course, I could have started donating regularly without opening such an account but the CAF account allows me to donate anonymously as I dislike being contacted by charities and don’t want to feel like I’m being ‘guilt tripped’ into handing over more money after I’ve made a donation.

I don’t have a lot of time to volunteer, so donating a bit of money is all I can really do right now. I already make adhoc donations throughout the year, eg sponsor friends on charity runs, Movember sponsorships, Christmas giving tree etc. These monthly donations will be on top of my usual donations.

Tawcan’s Christmas post made me think again about how lucky I am to be in a position where I can put relatively large amounts of money aside towards FI and early retirement when there are lots of people less fortunate than myself who are not living happy lives. Other bloggers such as TheFireStarter and Huw @FFB40 (also Organised Redhead) donate regularly too so it’s about time I put my hand in my pocket more often and do my little bit. Others donate their time, some others donate blood, which is something I don’t do (although I do donate unwanted clothing and books etc).

One Charity or Many?

There are many charities I feel strongly about – close members of my family have been affected by cancer and heart conditions so I like to support those charities. Children, the homeless, the hungry, the elderly – I want to help these too but would it be better to just concentrate on a single charity or help as many as possible?

Perhaps I could just choose one charity and help that one but I’m not sure I could just stick with just the one as I wouldn’t know which one to help and would feel bad about not being able to help others.

However, what I should do perhaps is to whittle down on the number of charities I want to help so I can donate a little more to my chosen ones – I can always select other charities next time but in the main, I want to try to help smaller and more local charities.

Warm Fuzzy Feeling

Whilst it makes me feel good (and a little less selfish) to donate, the amount I’m donating is really quite pitiful in the scheme of things – I am still in my wealth accumulation phase, only really at the start of my saving/investing journey so I’m very much thinking of me and my own priorities first.

My donation by  itself is unlikely to change anything but I’d like to think that it just goes towards some ‘greater good’ and hopefully not squandered like certain charities.

I’d like to think that when I do get to FI and no longer have to work full-time, I will be able to donate some of my time and energies towards charitable causes.

Anyway, until then, this is the small way in which I’ll try to help out.

Winter/Spring Brew

I wasn’t organised enough last October to put a ‘Christmas brew’ on so I didn’t do this festive kit until January – named after Santa’s favourite reindeer, ‘Dasher the Flasher‘! 🙂

The brew was just about ready for me to take a few bottles to the recent FIRE Escape gathering in Wales, but some bottles still aren’t quite ready so this brew has taken a while to condition.


Customised beer labels, no less!

The kit produced 44 bottles (just over 21 litres/37 pints). As the kit cost me £23, this works out as £0.52 per bottle or £0.62 a pint.

The beer is very clear and pours a good head (yay!). Not very bitter at all, with some sweet tones, a bit like liquorice (according to Lou).


Alcohol strength just over 4% so very drinkable over a weekend!

I think I prefer this brew to the last one I made and certainly, I would try to put this one on again in the winter (the kits are only available then).

I’ve now done 6 beer kits and one cider kit. I was planning to brew (and document) 4 more beer kits before I revert to my favourites and just brew those.

However, with finances a little tighter this month, I’m going to brew a kit that I’ve done previously (Woodford’s Wherry), only because I have one spare.

A bit more pressure this time round as it won’t just be colleagues and friends sampling this one, it’ll be the first time my family will be able to try the fruits of my labours….eek!

Next proper home brew update in that case will probably be late summer.

In the meantime…CHEERS! 🙂

12 thoughts on “A Little More Giving + Home Brew #7

  1. Awesome to see the home brewing still going strong. I’ve still got half a keg left from December which I’m still debating whether to drink or discard. Should really get back into the swings of it!

    • Cheers Guy – whilst I’m still very much enjoying my home brewing hobby, the gloss is coming off slightly – sterilising the stuff can become a chore and yes, when you have a load of beer left, you do sometimes fancy drinking something else! I’ve yet to discard any though. Maybe Mrs ERG can use some in her cooking – beef and ale pie etc!

  2. hi Weenie, I give to charity, and have always felt it’s a good thing to do – it feels wrong to put all my money towards goals just involving myself, I guess. I diversify across a few charities – I don’t have a lot of time spare to look into them all but hope at least some are reasonably efficient with what they do with donations! Having said all that I don’t give masses as like you I’m also in the accumulation phase and do want to reach FI sooner rather than later.

    The home brew looks lovely! 🙂

    • Hey Cathy
      I’ve still not chosen my charities but will do as you do, diversify across a few.

      Once I’m closer to FI or reached FI, I can donate more plus also donate my time.

      Thanks for stopping by and the home brew is a good ‘un! 🙂

  3. Hi weenie,

    Funny you have posted this as this has been on my mind as well recently. I am pretty much decided on giving 5% or 10% of my matched betting winnings away to charity in a robin hood style gesture (take from the rich, give to the poor). I feel like it’s the least I can do as it seems like easy money really.

    I just don’t know what charity’s to give to which is why I’ve been stalling on it and haven’t had any time to research about who I want to give to. I’ll check out CAF, so thanks for the link to that!

    Totally agree that we are in a lucky position and it’s good to spread the wealth if we can. I really liked Tawcan’s post you linked to and the bit about frugality leads to generosity, I totally dig that sh!t!!!


    • Hey TFS

      Great minds sort of thinking alike, plus I like the idea of the Robin Hood thing.

      Good luck with choosing your charity – even with the CAF link there are loads to choose from but at least you can narrow down/filter your search.

      Cheers and good luck with the matched betting!

  4. Good on you for giving to charity. We make monthly contributions to the air ambulance and Alison gives countless hours a month as a volunteer to people with Downs Syndrome.

    The beer looks great and that is a truly remarkable had you have on it.



    • Cheers Richard and yes, I’ve heard a lot about the wonderful work which Alison does.

      The beer is actually tasting better as time goes – let’s home my next one is just as good!

  5. Hi Weenie,

    On the charity giving front, I’ve been toying with the idea of doing an annual review of the charities I donate to, and creating my own personal list of who I’m going to donate to for the year ahead (mixing it up a bit each year).

    The charities I’ve chosen to currently support are all through something that’s personal to me (cancer research for a good friend who passed away (Tash’s Bashes), an African school where my friend’s mother is on the committee, Petcare the charity I got my cats through, Starlight Children’s Foundation which I found out about when one of my friends asked for donations to this in lieu of a wedding gift). As you already know, I also donate toward 1 monthly entry into my local Myton Hospice lotto. I hope you are able to find some charities that have meaning for you to support.

    I’m hoping I may get to sample some of your famous home brew at one of the future FIRE Escapes if you bring more along again!


  6. Pingback: robin hood rides again + what are your best charities? - theFIREstarter

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