October 20, 2011

Guest Post: How to Give Back on a Tight Budget

Finding ways to give back when you are on a tight budget can be tough. Whether you are currently saving up for something special or you need every penny to get by, finding the funds for yet another project can be difficult. What you may not realize is that everyone can give to charity, and every little bit will go toward helping others.

If giving back to others is something you do frequently, you may feel guilty about not doing so in the future. On the other hand, maybe you’ve never given to charity and you would like to start, but you don’t know where these funds will come from. There is good news for you. There are many ways you can make a difference without having to spend much of your hard earned money.


Donate your time
Some charities would like nothing more than your time. Volunteers help some of them stay afloat, and most can’t afford to pay employees to do the work necessary to keep the charity running. Go to your local animal shelter for a few hours a week, help plan fund raising events for local causes, or help serve at a soup kitchen. Your time could make a difference in someone’s life.

Another way to give back without giving money is to donate your clothing, toys, and other items to charitable organizations. The clothing you give could mean someone doesn’t have to go without a winter coat, or it could help someone make their child’s birthday or holiday much brighter.


Save your pennies
Frequently, our pockets can fill up with change, and a lot of that change ends up in places like the couch, vacuum cleaner, and the dryer. You may have already decided to collect your small change in a jar in your home, but many don’t find a purpose for that money. If this is the case, you should consider donating this money. You probably won’t miss the dust collecting jar, and the money you give will definitely help any cause you choose. Even small change can help a charity make a big change.

If you are really excited about this idea, you could ask your friends and family to join you on this endeavor. Put a big jar in your home for family and friends to contribute, or put a jar in your office where your colleagues can see it and donate their change. Most people don’t give back because they don’t want to take the time to actually drive to the location or send in the money. This way, you leave them no excuse.


Giving whatever you can
You may not be able to donate $100, $50, or even $20 each month, but you should still think about committing to a small monthly donation. Skip the morning coffee run one morning, and send in that $2 to $5 for your month’s contribution. You may think that this small amount won’t make a difference, but you need to remember that many of these small acts of kindness can build into a substantial amount of money, which can then help the charity change the world.


Amy Young is an author who writes articles for her company. They strive to educate the general public about credit card resources for first time credit card applicants.