There is always someone less fortunate than you are! If you are in a lot of debt you may not see it that way right now, but if you just look hard enough you will find them. I do believe giving is great for your budget. Firstly it puts your life in to perspective and makes you see what you truly need, secondly the rewards you get from giving to others will be much greater that anything else currently planned in to your budget.
As a family we have been following Dave Ramsey’s plan for a while now and he suggests that 10% of your income should be given. I think that is a great start but lets be honest you may not be able to afford that. You may not be able to afford any money at all right now but what you do have is time, it may only be half an hour a week or once a year but it is time. Here are my suggestions on ways you can give your time to give back:
Lets face it a lot of us will need blood at some point, whether its an operation or and emergency. It takes very little time and you can book appointments to fit around work or general life. Most people can give blood but there is a criteria that you can find here. I have just registered for my first donation and I am a little excited as my donation may just save someones life.
A charity that means something to you
You don’t have to just give money to a charity that means something. You will find that a lot of them have at least a small part that is ran by volunteers. Find something that means a lot to you and then search to see what volunteering opportunities they have near you . It maybe dog walking at the local animal shelter, planting trees or like me an afternoon tea for the elderly. I have chosen to volunteer for Contact Tea who put on monthly afternoon teas for the elderly to help combat loneliness, find out more here.
From tea and coffee rounds to companions to feeders. Volunteers are a huge support in hospitals and they mean that the doctors and nurses can continue doing their jobs.
If you are a parent of school aged children, I am sure your school is looking for volunteers. From listening to children read, support taking children swimming, school trips or events are to name but a few.
Toddler Groups (Local Churches/Village halls)
As a stay at home mum groups like this are a great resource for not only my children but me as well. They are adult contact, a schedule to keep to and a place for children to have fun and learn so much. Those ran by local churches or mums in the village hall are usually ran by volunteers, setting up, crafts, chatting to mums and making drinks. This may not be the standard form of charity you think of, but the difference you could make to a mum that one day may just need a good chat to a friendly face could be life changing.
These are only a few so please feel free to add more to the comments. Also do you already volunteer?
I hope this list has helped and remember that there is always someone less fortunate than you are!