Being Generous on a Meager Budget

Being Generous on a Meager BudgetDo you wish you could be more generous? Many people find it hard to be generous while living paycheck to paycheck; but, surprisingly, there are plenty of creative ideas and simple ways you can give.

Sometimes the strongest forms of generosity come in the most simple, seemingly unimportant acts. We give because we have been given so much for which we need to offer prayers of thanksgiving and because we are encouraged to give back as we have been given. And showing love to our neighbors is a great way to do just that, and it is also important to model that to our kids. Since Christmas is the season of giving, don’t forget giving goes far beyond the financial realm.

Acts of Service
We usually think of donating money as being generous. But you and your family can serve together in many ways which are completely free. The feelings and values you will be instilling in your family will be priceless.

You can:
• Serve the hungry at a food bank or by distributing food at a soup kitchen for the homeless.
• Help a local charity by serving to help set up fundraising events or cleanup after them.
• Offer to help the neighbor clean up her yard or give a friend a ride home from school.
• Volunteer to help and serve within your church.
• Volunteer as a family through Habitat or other charities.

Donate Something
You can donate your kids’ outgrown clothes and shoes to children who are younger than yours who would be able to get some use out of them. This is also a great way to recycle and be resourceful with the things we own. You can donate your used cell phone or electronics to Family First on iDonate. Resale shops or charities that serve women and children and the needy are always accepting donations of books, appliances, clothing, furniture, and other household items. You will be directly helping these people through your generous donations.

There are special ways you can donate to worthy causes throughout the year, especially at Christmas. Lots of charities and organizations organize the delivery of Christmas gifts to children in families who will not be receiving any gifts at all, and you can find special collection drives for needed items. Some of the drives for needy families and children are for:
• Toys
• Warm winter coats
• School supplies
• Backpacks for school

Watching your children gain firsthand experience with the impact of their giving will be a treasured family bonding experience you’ll remember forever. They’ll see how incredibly blessed they are and how important it is to be a generous and cheerful giver who blesses others.

Acts of Kindness
Random acts of kindness are an easy and fun way to help spread a giving spirit throughout your family, community, and the world! You can:
• Pay the clerk at the coffee store for the next person who walks up to the counter.
• Bring cookies to the volunteer firefighters in your community.
• Give someone a hug that needs one.
• Have your kids create coloring pages and take to the hospitals and nursing homes to brighten someone’s day.
• Write a handwritten thank you card to let someone know how much they mean to you.
• Have older kids mentor younger kids in a school or club.
• Bring someone a bouquet of fresh flowers.

The possibilities are endless! Have fun with this! You and your family can do something kind for family, friends, or others you meet as you go about your day. It all starts with one small act of kindness, and that act of kindness ripples out in an endless sea of acts of kindness. Once a person receives an act of kindness, they can’t help but “pay it forward”—or give. It sets off a chain reaction of good and kindness, giving and generosity.

It feels really good to know that your one good deed is hopefully causing others all over the world to do a good deed for someone else and encourage them that there are giving and generous people in this world. We are all connected.

So let not your pocketbook be what rules your choice to give or not to give. You can give your time, serve, donate, help, encourage, teach, smile, and give. Be creative and come up with more fun and thoughtful ways to be generous as a family.

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