вторник, 25 апреля 2017 г.

How to Give Generously When You Don't Have A Dime - Little Girl Designs

How to Give Generously When You Don't Have A Dime - Little Girl Designs
How to Give Generously When You Don't Have A Dime - Little Girl Designs

How to Give Generously When You Don't Have a Dime - You don't have to have a lot of money to give generously. I'll share with you several ideas on how to give today for little or no cost! @ littlegirldesigns.com

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I’ve been thinking about this post for a while. Little Girl Designs is about living a creative life. It’s about having a generous heart and giving to others out of that overflow. But I know that there are many people out there who don’t have much. They might read this blog and think, “Well, she doesn’t know how it is. I have so little to buy groceries with, the last thing I can do is be generous.”

But the truth is, I do know what it is like to not have much. I’ve gone through seasons where the budget was so tight there wasn’t a budget. It was food for groceries, gas, and rent. The end. And we’re in a season right now of me staying home to take care of our daughter while we finish paying off our student loan debt. Things are tight, but God always provides.

We realized early on that if we decided to focus all of our energy on paying debt and building up our savings, we would most likely develop stingy hearts. Giving generously is a heart habit–if you stop doing it, it requires an adjustment and growth to start again. So, that being said, we decided to continue giving as we could.

And I write this with a lump in my throat because as we opened our hearts to the possibility of giving, doors opened for us to give in ways we thought were way out there (sponsoring children through Gospel for Asia being one of the big ones!) It is incredible how our saying no to some things has opened up the doors to help those who are in true need.

So with that said, I wanted to share with you some of the ways we’ve used to give as generously as we can at this time. Some of them are easier to do than others, so pick and choose what works for you. You might even be inspired as you read this list to think of your own ideas!

(**Update: This list started as 9 ways to give generously, but I’ve added to it over time because I couldn’t resist! Hope you enjoy. :))

How to Give Generously When You Don’t Have A Dime

  1. Make something. A handmade gift can be a thoughtful way to let someone know you love them and appreciate their friendship. I try to create frugal gift ideas for this site and there are many other sites out there that have great tutorials for crafts and gifts that are very low-cost.
  2. Go through your books and sell them online or to a local used bookstore. We sell our old books locally because we are given a gift card to use at that store. We’ve used that gift card for birthdays and Christmas and just-because gifts. It’s so fun!
  3. Give your time. Your assistance could mean more than any present. A friend might need help with a move. Carrying boxes into a house isn’t glamorous but, wow, what a gift. From someone who has moved more times than I can count, some help on moving day would be appreciated. You could also babysit so your friend can get away on a much-needed personal creative retreat for a couple of hours. Time is so precious these days; don’t underestimate what a gift it can be to someone else.
  4. Use the Ibotta app. If you have a smartphone, you can download the Ibotta app for free, and use it claim rebates on your groceries, crafts, and clothing. Make it a habit to quickly check the app before going to the grocery store—I’ve done this and often get items for nearly free (or more than free when paired with a coupon!) Once you’ve earned $20, you can cash out your rebates for cash or a gift card. Of all the couponing apps I’ve used, this one is my favorite by far. And if you use my referral link to sign up, you’ll get $10 added to your account after your first rebate. How cool is that? :)
  5. Keep a giving jar. We use cash so when we have change, we put it in a jar. I drew up a little label and called it our “giving jar.” Here and there throughout the year, we’ll go to the bank for coin roll wrappers and fill them with our change. We’ve been able to use that money for several things, from helping children through Gospel for Asia to buying staples for our church’s food pantry. I never would have believed that change could actually add up to make such a difference.
  6. Use local couponing sites to buy gift items on extreme sale. I am by no means an extreme couponer, but I have learned a few tips from local couponing sites. I like to check a couple of sites each week to see what is on sale (some of them even post what coupons will be in the paper that Sunday so I know if I should buy a paper or not.) Doing this has allowed me to buy staples for very low prices for my family and for our food pantry. I’ve also found great deals on fun items like lip gloss, which is always a fun gift for the girls in my family.
  7. Make a gift list for the year. At the bottom of this post is a free printable gift list I made to keep track of what my family and friends like and what I’ve bought them. Buy little items as you can afford it throughout the year and store these gifts in a plastic storage bin or box. Put post-it notes on items so you’ll remember which gift goes to each person. This way you won’t be spending hundreds of dollars before Christmas or at birthdays. You’ll already have many gifts (or maybe all of them) ready and waiting to be wrapped. I’ve just recently started doing this and LOVE it. It greatly reduces stress around birthday and holiday-time!
  8. Swagbucks. If you earn just 15 Swagbucks a day, you will earn a $5 Amazon gift card each month. I don’t usually spend too much time on this site but often I’ll use it as a search engine and do the daily poll so I can earn a few ‘bucks’. They do add up. There are so many items that are under $5 on Amazon, and our favorite (of course!) is used books. I love children’s books, and the old library editions usually have my favorite illustrators.
  9. Use your gift cards to buy presents for others. This might be a hard one for you, so I don’t recommend it for everyone, but consider finding something (or several things) for people on your gift list with a gift card someone gave you. It will be the gift that keeps on giving!
  10. Make a treat. My chocolate cake mix cookies, mini-batch chocolate chip cookies, and peppermint bark brownies are all ridiculously inexpensive to make. (For the chocolate cake mix cookies and brownies, I buy the mixes around Christmas-time when they are on sale. You can also check your store’s bulk bins since mixes are usually very inexpensive.)
  11. Write a note of appreciation. Take the time to write a thank you, make a phone call, or send an email to an employee’s boss when you see they’ve gone the extra mile. So often companies only hear from the public when there is a complaint. Sometimes sharing your appreciation for a teacher to the principal or a receptionist to her boss means more opportunities for them as an employee. (If you’re the letter-writing type or want to write more, take a look at The {10 Minute} Letter-writing Retreat. This is an inexpensive resource that includes prompts, tutorials, and pages of printable stationery! It’s basically a gift to yourself that keeps on giving. :))
  12. Make a set of cards. I love making sets of cards for gifts and have several tutorials on this site. You can package these together with a treat for a thoughtful gift. (Here are tutorials on hand-stitching cards and a watercolor leaf card. Sign up here to gain access to a library of resources for creatives including a set of printable watercolor flower cards that you can print and give away.)
  13. Show some blogger love. If you’re a blogger, you know the importance of social media to get exposure for your posts. A great way to be generous is to share posts by pinning them, sharing on Facebook, or mentioning them on Twitter. Once a week, choose a blogger you want to promote and share their stuff. Even better, don’t tag them so it’s a secret. They will so appreciate your kindness!
  14. Give your stuff away. Once a year, go through your clothes
    Cat Spraying No More
    , books, and other household items and donate what you don’t use anymore. You can also ask around and see if anyone you know needs those items. My sisters are great at giving their kids’ clothes to friends who have younger children. This has been a great blessing for us, especially since so many of those tiny outfits were only worn once before their child outgrew them!
  15. Show kindness. When you see a mom struggling to keep a door open while maneuvering a stroller through it, take a minute to grab the door for her. When you notice someone’s smile or cute hairstyle, tell them. When you walk by someone, say hello. It is so easy to stay in our own busy world, but simply showing some kindness can change someone’s day.
  16. Ask how you can help. If you go to an end of the school year party at your child’s school, stay for a few minutes afterward to help clean up. If you work in an office and there is a working lunch, help throw the trash away before you go back to your cubicle. At the end of a long day, I am always so grateful when my husband says, “How can I help you?” It is such a simple thing and doesn’t cost a dime!
  17. Share your talents. How can you use your talents to give to others? Brainstorm a list of things you could do for people by using your natural abilities. You might love organization; could you help a friend who struggles in that area (and who has asked for help :))? If you know how to play an instrument, you could give lessons as a gift to someone. If you love to cook, there are always new moms who would so appreciate a home-cooked meal.

Ultimately, generosity is a heart-thing. You can be the richest person in the world and be incredibly miserly. And you can have hardly anything and have a warm and welcoming heart. When it comes to giving, your heart attitude is what really matters.

So, now it is your turn!

What is another thing you would put on this list? How have you learned to be generous even in times when you didn’t have much to give? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

The Giving Generously Project

P.S. Below is a gift list I made that tracks gifts by each month of the year (with lots of extra space for Christmas!) You can use this for jotting down ideas here and there and for trouble-shooting so you know how many birthdays are coming up in the next few months. There’s a box for checking if you bought or made a card, for when you bought or made the gift, and whether or not you’re shipping it. This tool has been invaluable for me, and I hope you enjoy it!

Original article and pictures take http://www.littlegirldesigns.com/how-to-give-generously/ site

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