As an OzBargainer, there's nothing worse than spending money unnecessarily :P But let's face it, beyond food and shelter etc, most of our spending is strictly unnecessary.
I've been getting interested lately in effective altruism [1,2]. The gist is two principles: firstly, the philosophical position that :
If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do it.
It certainly is in our power to prevent bad things from happening (i.e. to save lives and prevent suffering), so we should.
The second principle is that, rationally, we might as well use our power to do so in the most effective way possible. (I'm sure this is a principle that OzBargainers can agree with!)
So, I've decided to pledge 5% of my annual income to these effective charities . Why 5%? See these calculators [5, 6].
I encourage you to check out the links below. I consider myself to be quite a rational person, and I've yet to find any holes in this argument. I was very impressed with the TED talk in particular .
What do you guys think?
 http://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities (note: they're currently not tax-deductible, but that's ok. I've yet to find an equally reputable resource focused on charities that are tax-deductible in Australia.)