10 Fabulously Free Ways to Give Back This Season

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I celebrated my birthday this month.


So, I come to you as someone a little bit older and wiser.

Besides being happy that I made it through another year alive and kicking, I took a moment to appreciate the many amazing, funny, quirky, kind, and remarkable people I encountered this year in the real world and blogging world (that includes you).

On the journey to financial independence (saving money, making money, etc., etc.), it’s so important not to lose sight of other things that matter like connecting with others.

Money can pay for the things we want to do.

But, it’s the connections and experiences we have that really make for a fulfilling life.

Here are ten ways you can connect and give back to others for free this holiday season:

1. Bond with our elders.

Head over to an elderly home to read or visit residents.

It’s just a bit of your time that can make a world of difference to someone living in a home who does and sees the same people day in and day out.

Seniors always seem to have interesting stories and perspectives, so you can gain something from the experience as well. And if you’re talented with the vocals, you could even sing some carols.

For elderly residents that have family or friends they haven’t seen in a while, you can offer your phone or laptop for Facetime or a Skype session. (I love watching seniors use technology.)

2. Put your pastry chef hat on.

You can make cookies, cupcakes, or something else delectable for the office or a group you belong to like a sorority or fraternity. Who doesn’t like to enjoy something sweet?

3. Party with the animals (you party animal 😀 ).

Yup, connecting with others includes animals!

If you’re an animal lover (like me), you can volunteer at a local shelter feeding, cleaning, or simply playing with the animals.

If you can accommodate pets at home, fostering a pet until they find a forever home is another way to help.

4. Lend your expertise.

If you’re handy or have expertise in another area that can help someone else, share it!

For a neighbor or friend you could:

  • Rake leaves
  • Fix leaky pipes
  • Change lightbulbs
  • Help them move
  • Unclog a toilet (okay maybe not, but you get the idea)

For those with other specialities like writing or solving math problems you can think of a creative way to assist. For example, I’ve helped a few people touch up their school papers since I’m a writing type of gyal.

5.  Donate time to those less fortunate.

Sign up to volunteer at a homeless shelter or food bank. Volunteering to serve those in need is always a rewarding experience that you can do with the whole family.

Find homeless shelters here and food banks here.

6. Give your gently used suits.

Do you have suits that you no longer wear?

Dress of Success is a nonprofit that provides professional clothes to women in need. We’re all about our business around here, so helping a woman who’s trying to “get that money” is a worthwhile cause to support.

7. Give your gently used warm clothes.

For others in need, warm clothes are a necessity during cold winter months. You can give gently used warm clothes including sweaters, scarves, hats, and jackets that you’ve outgrown or no longer wear to charitable organizations like Goodwill.

8. Babysit some kids.

If you know a family member or friend that desperately needs a break or night out, be a pal and offer to watch the children for a while. Childcare isn’t cheap, so this is a gesture that someone who can’t otherwise afford the help will appreciate.

9. Write love letters.

We hardly ever take the time to write out anything these days. So, receiving a handwritten note or letter is quite the surprise.

Handwrite appreciation messages to people who have made a difference in your life. You could even include the letter in your annual holiday card.

10. Volunteer doing random fun things.

Pretty obscure heading for this idea, but still fitting.

There are volunteer opportunities for almost anything and some you might actually really enjoy.

For example, the site Volunteer Match shares volunteer opportunities like helping ESL students practice English or teaching older adults how to use technology.

You can hop on over to Volunteer Match to search by city to see what volunteer work is available near you.

Ultimately, giving back doesn’t have to be all about the money. It’s the intention behind your actions and the connection that you make with the people you serve.

Anything else to add to this list? Share below!

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Taylor K. Gordon is a writer and money blogger. She writes on how to live your best life without going broke.

  1. Reply Femme @ Femme Frugality November 23, 2016 at 11:14 pm

    These are great ideas, Taylor! Was so glad to meet you at FinCon, and hope that the upcoming year brings nothing but more connections with like minded people for you!

    • Reply Taylor November 30, 2016 at 1:42 pm

      Great to meet you too! I agree, it was my first FinCon and it was awesome to meet people who think and work like me 🙂

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