Camembert Paninis are good, but is there something better?

Published by Selwyn on

Camembert Paninis are good ... but is there something better?

What if we could give more and save more than we ever thought possible? What if that was not only possible, but easy – and even fun!  These are the core questions driving the Give Better dream.

I think you’ll agree we would all like to give more, in an ideal world. We can all think of causes we endorse, organisations we support: individuals and groups doing work that really matters, that in some small way make this world a better place. They all need a bit more of our cash, don’t they? And never more than now, in this new covid world.

And if you’re anything like me, you wouldn’t mind saving a tad more as well. Maybe you want to go travelling (locally, of course :P) or you dropped your $1000 I-phone in the loo and it no longer turns on. Or perhaps you’re wanting to jump onto that ever-elusive property ladder, but even after cutting back on those smashed avos, that first rung remains hopelessly out of reach.

Dreams are free, as they say, but in reality it just ain’t that easy. After all, money doesn’t grow on trees. But — it does grown on cheese. Let me explain. 

After all, money doesn't grow on trees. But — it does grown on cheese

Jess' Story

Picture a standard central Auckland cafe. Jess, a marketing consulting working in town, has popped out for a quick pick-me-up. Plus, she wants to support her local cafe at this time. The staff can already guess her order: a medium-sized latte, and a delicious, camembert panini. 

She’s about to make her order, when she suddenly remembers she and a friend have just signed up for the Give Better challenge. 

Jess realises she really wants that latte. But the panini – well, she pauses before she purcahses, and realises feels pretty ‘meh’ about it. She was just buying it out of habit. But on reflection, she see she’s actually be just as happy with a cheese scone instead. She decides to ‘Give Better’. 

Here’s what happens next, in four simple steps: 

  1. She buys the latte, and relishes every sip! She savours the moment. 
  2. But she purchases the scone (worth $4) instead of the panini (worth a whopping $8), effectively freeing up $4 in the process. She gets out her Give Better app, and enters in that amount.
  3. Immediately, $2 zooms off to support Youthline’s work with rangatahi struggling with mental health. 
  4. The other $2 is saved towards her next date night — she’s got her eye on a new plant-based restaurant in town!

Ah, I see ... so you're saying people shouldn't enjoy their camembert paninis?

Not at all!

No: the point is not that spending on the panini would have been bad. Give Better is emphatically not about guilty-tripping people into spending less. From start to finish, Give Better is about adventurefreedom and, above all, joy. It’s about turning ‘meh’ spending into something much better. 

                                                   What’s this ‘meh’ spending? 

As we explain it on our website, ‘meh’ spending is any spending that just doesn’t add much joy to your life. 

It’s the membership for the gym you rarely go to. That third coffee you buy without thinking, and barely enjoy. It’s buyer’s remorse over your latest gadget. It’s the camembert panini that might have been ok, even good, but actually there was something much better on offer. ‘

'Meh' spending is why your purchase just doesn't add that much value to your life.

So why not transform it into something better?

You see, Jess might have have no doubt enjoyed that panini, but the scone + giving + saving combo brings her far more joy.

In other words, Give Better presents Jess with an opportunity she otherwise might have missed. How often do we make purchasing decisions automatically, even unconsciously, without really weighing up if the purchase will bring us the most joy?  In such spending moments, before our tired or inattentive brains trundle down the well-worn tramlines paved by habit and oiled by the marketing machine, Give Better steps in. It speaks with a gentle and friendly whisper, reminding us to ask: “what will truly bring us the most joy? The panini might be good, but is there something even better on offer?”. 

  1. Better for the world: because people and planet are helped through the work of the many  valuable organisations and causes you receive our support;
  2. But also better for you: because you save, you salivate and you savour.


Instead of ‘meh’ spending, why not save for things you know will bring you joy. Your next date night. A roadtrip with friends. Or reducing financial stress by paying down your mortgage. Nice going!.


Salivate over the impact of your giving. Science tells us giving often makes us happier than spending on ourselves — so much so, you can detect the difference in your saliva!  Learn more here.


Let’s be done with mindless spending and buyer’s remorse. So you’ve paused to consider … and realised that that, yep, bring on that second glass of wine. Good for you. Go ahead and buy it. Savour the Moment.

That’s all very well for Jess, but what’s the big fuss about? Heck, this is a mere $6 we are talking about… 

                                                  Jess, however, is not alone 

George buys one less drink while out with his mates. He splits the difference between Amnesty and his investments. He teams up with his friend, Rahul, who starts biking to work once a week rather than bussing two stages. Rahul is saving desperately for his wedding in two months time, so he toggles the settings to make 90 percent of the money he frees up go towards saving. The rest he donates to the work of the Breast Cancer foundation. Mei cancels a lightbox account she had signed up for to watch game of thrones, but had never really used since. She gives the bulk of the difference to SPCA, and a bit towards saving for a new clarinet. 

And these four stories are just the iceberg. Imagine 1000s of young kiwis. Millions of small decisions. It quickly adds up to a tidal wave of generosity.

Millions saved. Millions given. And a whole movement of people habits of giving, saving and savouring the moment. 

                                                That’s the Give Better dream. 

Categories: Our Vision


Emma Wylie · September 21, 2019 at 3:27 am

I love this! Please keep me in the loop as it progresses 🙂

Give Better and COVID-19 · March 26, 2020 at 9:35 pm

[…] reading on, go back to the homepage of our website and watch the animation video; or read our first blog. […]

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