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I'm an undergraduate student. Apart from savings, I just started on a internship, my first job, where I am earning a somewhat good sum for the country where I live. For the first time, I have some financial independence from my parents. My parents' use of money is thoughtless and greedy, so I never thought much of making use of it. Now having financial independence is opening up a lot of moral questions.  I have two choice now: either donate part my earnings, or save up for the long term. Whatever it is, I want to maximize what good I can do with it, and I will not tolerate any less. My savings, of course, could have great consequences in the long-term.
My question is mostly of an empirical nature. I would be very thankful if you could lead me in the right direction for doing my own research.

Aside from that, I have the question of whether to use my own or my parents' money for my everyday spending, which is negligable, and I am estimating would use up no more than 7% of my earnings. They wouldn't mind lending me that. Like I said, money in my parents' hands has no value to me. It is wasted either way. However, I really wish for that independence, as an opportunity for self-education and simply because it makes me feel good.
This question is more philosophical, but I'm struggling with it.




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This seems like a good idea to me. I didn't donate immediately when I had my first job because I still felt financially illiterate and I didn't have a great sense of my overall spending and income trends. A few years later, when I had a few months runway in savings and a better sense of my financial position, I went back and made donations proportional to what I'd earned in years prior. This had the additional benefit of clustering my tax writeoffs in a single year, resulting in a nice tax refund.

Hi Brian, I think this is a great question! There are a few things to consider:

-Some people find that making a habit of finding and donating to highly effective causes helps them develop habits they use later in their life. For example, Giving What We Can encourages students to donate 1% of they earnings. https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/about-us/frequently-asked-questions

-Some people find financial independence from their parents either virtuous or important from a practical standpoint (for example if it gives you more freedom to make your own decisions). I think it's reasonable to care about that.

-You probably have a lower income as a student than you will at most other times in your life, and you certainly have less wealth. You might want to consider whether the money you earn could be used to save you time or help you learn more or make new connections as a student.

-You also might want to consider your financial security after you graduate. Could this money give you more time to look for a good job, rather than taking the first job offered?

I'm a grad student so I make very little money, but I have a comfortable margin of saving, so I donate 2% of my income. It's not a huge amount either way so I don't overthink it - I just do it because I want to.

I also had the chance to use my parents money for daily spending and I rejected it because I really strongly value independence. If I valued quality of life more I would lean more on them. It is a personal decision which one you care about.

I signed a pledge when I was a student to do this. I wanted to make helping others a big part of my life, but also wanted a relatively normal life and career. I found it reasonably easy to do by not inflating my lifestyle too much from when I was a student, basically just acting as though I’m on a lower salary.

Also, I listened to Peter Singer, author of The Life You Can Save, on this podcast and it really changed the way I think about charity. Would recommend.

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