I have to be honest; I am a terrible giver, like the worse of the worst. I horde money and have an issue freely giving any of it away because well, once upon a time I was broke and had no money to give. That struggle has stuck with me for so long that I had a very hard time giving money to those in need.
But through my money struggles, I learned many different ways to give without spending money. I learned that giving things other than money was actually more rewarding than giving money. If you are struggling this year with giving to those in need, I hope this list of ideas will help you give without going broke.
Give Your Leftover Holiday Meals
I have an old coworker who every year does this. Her and her husband, take all their holiday leftovers including deserts, load up their truck and head to a homeless camp right off the highway exit ramp by their home. They distribute out the still-warm leftovers and sit around the fires talking with the homeless for a few hours.
Okay, I know this one is bound to upset a few folks, but if you receive gifts that cannot be returned for cash or you know someone that will be able to use the gift, re-gift it. Of course, there is a way to do this incorrectly, do not give gifts that have already been opened or used. My kids receive so many toys for the holidays and honestly, most of the toys are duplicates of ones they already have. I usually take those unopened toys, add them to our gift stockpile and re-gift them to other children.
In my Where to Find Free Stuff Online post, I give you several places and ideas for finding stuff for free online. These freebies are great items to give as either gifts or to give to those in need. You could use your free toothpaste, shampoo, and other personal hygiene items to create bags to give out to the homeless or fill an Operation Christmas box. I know that I have an entire box full of free stuff that probably will never be used by me but I know that others could desperately use them.
Another Man’s Trash is Another’s Man’s Treasure
My church runs a center for women who are pregnant that cannot afford basic needs and as such are struggling to prepare for their future baby. I know that most frugal living experts tell you to keep your baby in the smaller sized diapers because it saves money, but I know that with my boys, they have a zillion more blow-outs with in ill-fitting diaper than with one that fits. As such, I usually end up with a pack of diapers that no one can fit in. The Hope Center that my church runs will accept my unused packages of diapers, washed baby clothes, and many other baby-related items. If you are looking for a way to declutter your stuff and a way to give without spending money, look for centers similar to the Hope Center where you can donate your used items or already opened items to help someone else in need.
Gift Those Credits
Most online retailers now offer referral credits if you refer your friends to them. These referral credits are a great way to make your money work for you and I use my referral credits all the time to stretch my family’s clothing budget. These referral credits are always a great gift to give to someone who can maybe use them more than yourself. I know someone who gave her referral credits to StichFix to a mom who desperately needed new clothes for a new job. That one box greatly helped that mother who was struggling to afford clothing for herself. Sometimes the easiest way to give is right under our noses.
I have to quote Chris Rock “Jesus was the least materialistic person and we have turned his birthday into the most materialistic day of the year.” As we enter a season of giving, I am hoping to become a better giver myself, whether it is the money we are saving through our 90-Day Savings Challenge or one of the many “free” options. The best free option, is to just give your time, sometimes just talking with a lonely person will do more for them than all the money in the world could ever do.
What are some ways that you give without spending money?
JOIN THE CHALLENGE!
Money controlling you? I know the feeling. My family has been living this real life on a budget for a long time and I can tell you that there's never a perfect season, but with a few changes you can start to reign in your money issues.
Join the 5-Day Challenge today and start getting your money life in order this week!