Since the holiday season is in full swing, this is the perfect time to consider giving back to others. Depending on where you are in your journey of becoming debt free this can be really tough. It’s hard to scrap up enough money to put toward your debt let alone donating money to others.
Since my kids are getting a little older I want to show them that giving back to the community not only helps them, but it makes us better as well. Helpguide.org states that “Children watch everything you do. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference and how good it feels to help other people and animals and enact change.” This is especially true during the holiday season. To show our children that Thanksgiving is more than eating until your pants are about to pop or about what you get from Santa. Sometimes giving your time and talents to others has a larger effect on your financial journey than one would realize.
Here are some ways you can give back without wrecking your budget:
Call the local food bank or shelter to see what events they have going on until the end of the year. If you have older kids this is also a great opportunity to get them involved. Another great place to start is by calling your church. Many churches have events that you could volunteer for as well.
There is no better time than the holidays to let someone know that you are thinking of them or to thank them. The whole family can make “Happy Holiday” or “Thank You” cards. Some people that you can make cards for are the elderly in nursing homes, the troops, police officers, firefighters, and even veterans.
There is no better time to clean out your house of items that you don’t use. Even though we limit the toys we buy our kids for Christmas, they still get a lot of items from family members. Ask everyone (including yourself) to go in their room and take out 10 items that you no longer need. This can be toys, books, clothes etc. There are countless of local organizations that accept any types of donations. You can even clean out your pantry and donate non-perishable items as well.
Use Your Talents
Are you a musician or singer? Donate your time by singing at the local nursing home. Love children? Offer to babysit a new parent’s baby. Like animals? Volunteer at a local animal shelter or walk someone’s dog. Are you good at rallying people together or setting up events? Help organize a drive in your community. Sometimes these organizations need help with new ideas or someone to set everything up and getting people to donate items too. Some great winter drives items are socks, coats, blankets, and toys.
Sometimes when we are on our journey to financial freedom it’s easy to become so focused on ourselves and our lives that we become a little jaded to other’s circumstances. Now is the perfect time to take a step back and see what you can do for others. This might just be the thing to help you get energized about getting out of debt to not only continue to make a better life for yourself and your family, but that you can also bless so many other lives.
Therefore, don’t let the financial journey you are on stop you for giving back. Sometimes the cheapest things in life are truly what others treasure the most.
How about you? What are other family-friendly ways that you can give back without wrecking your budget?