• Tuesday, March 05, 2024
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How to give to others — without spending a dime


Despite my occasional weather-induced moodiness the past couple months, I’ve been happy and just enjoying life.

My thoughts, which used to focus on money a tad too much, started to shift. Now I focus more on trying to do nice things for others — especially my friends and family.

Maybe this is due to the life changes I’ve gone through the past couple of years, or maybe it’s just maturity. Either way, what makes me happy now is not earning a ton of extra money — but instead, doing nice things for others and spending time with those closest to me.

I’ve also set a goal for myself to practice acts of kindness. And, since my budget doesn’t allow for helping anyone monetarily, I’ve started making lists of the things I can do for others that don’t cost a dime.

Here are my ideas so far:

Help out with cleaning or other hated chores

My brother hates to clean; I mean, really hates it. I, however, don’t mind cleaning at all. I like to organise and don’t mind running a vacuum or picking up a broom. Plus, I love to look at the end results after I’ve spent a good hour cleaning.

For him, there’s no better gift I could give than cleaning his house. He already has all the necessary cleaning supplies, so a trip down to visit him and an hour spent cleaning will work out perfectly.

Give a couple a kid-free night

My other brother just had his second child: a beautiful baby girl! I think it’s important that couples with children have kid-free nights every once in a while so they can work on their relationship with each other.

I recently kept my nephew for two nights so that my brother and his wife could settle in with the new baby. Once the baby gets old enough, I’m looking forward to keeping both my niece and nephew at least once a month so that my brother and sister-in-law can spend some time alone.

Assist with home renovations/repairs

My mom purchased a new house early last year. The place had almost nothing in it — not even flooring, cabinets, or complete bathrooms.

Over the past year, my mom and her husband have had contractors in and out of the place trying to make it a home. Finally, a year after purchasing the house, they’re down to the finishing touches. And, since my mom really dislikes painting, I’ve volunteered to help her with all of it.

How to help strangers

 That about covers helping my family, but I also want to help complete strangers. Here are some ways to do that without spending any money:

Let someone go ahead of you in the grocery line

Let someone pull out in front of you in traffic

Volunteer your time for a cause you believe in

Smile at someone who looks frazzled

Sometimes, it’s just the little things you do or say that can brighten up a person’s day.

I’m not negating the fact that money is important: it is. The lack of money can make a person miserable. We shouldn’t forget, however, that there are much more important things in the world.