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5 Ways To Give Back on the Cheap : The Money Moguls

Repost: By Dan and Shan of The Money Moguls

I’ve been reflecting a lot lately on things I would like to do once we have “MONEY.” New car – heck new tires on the existing used vehicle would be nice. Improvements to the house beyond a new coat of paint, although that in and of itself would be fabulous. A new wardrobe or even a pair of shoes that cost more than $9.99!

However, since that day is some time in the distant future I am absolutely content with what I have. A beautiful home, a car that runs, and a family that delights me to wake up to each and every morning. Those very important things make me feel that I do have an abundance of blessings and that I ought to be giving back.

Wouldn’t it be nice to provide funding for a wing of a library or hospital? Or to have a foundation that gave scholarships to youths in need, or even assist my local church with the building fund they are collecting for? Maybe someday!

There are things that anyone can do today no matter where they are along their personal financial journey. How to give back on a budget, you ask? There are endless possibilities! Let me just share a few here with you:

1)      Give of your time! There are countless organizations that could use the special skills you possess. You can donate your time without ever leaving your house in some cases or as far away as you can imagine  if that’s your thing. Help out at the local shelter, be a mentor to a child in need, or even bring in your neighbor’s trash can for him once in a while. You’ll make his day, and you’ll never know in what ways that will get paid forward to make our world a little better.

2)      Give of your body! Ok, hear me out on this one. I am a big believer in donating blood. One donation can help save the lives of up to three people! My parents are always donating and it instilled the habit in me at a young age. You can go every 8 weeks, and United Blood Services even has a rewards program to add a little bit of an incentive into the mix if you are looking for one. We recently lost a loved one to leukemia and during his battle learned a bit about bone marrow transplants. It could mean someone’s life someday if you’d be willing to join the donor registry – so please give it some thought.

3)      Give of your groceries! I have been a bit of a couponer since Daniel and I first moved in together and money has always been tight. Nothing like some of the crazy moms you see on television, but I do get a thrill out of saving money on our grocery bill and sometimes even scoring something FREE! Often the free stuff isn’t something I would normally use, but I know other people can. I was very moved by a

book Daniel brought home for me about a year ago  that talks specifically about donating items you get for free or very little money with the help of coupons. We try to pick up at least one item to donate with every grocery trip and donate to our church’s food bank. You never know who you might be helping!

4)      Give of your old junk! You know you have it. Clothes that haven’t fit in years, old appliances that you haven’t taken out of the box since you received it as a gift at your wedding five years ago, sports equipment, tools, toys that have rarely been played with, you name it. Don’t become a hoarder! Make it a point to go through your things once a quarter. If you’re on the fence about something, go ahead and keep it. BUT if you haven’t used it by the time the next quarter rolls around, out it goes. The Salvation Army, Goodwill, and Deseret Industries are some of the major institutions that would love your old, gently used items.

5)      Give of your pocket change! We all have it, but where does it go? Most men I know tend to have some type of large jar where loose change resides into eternity, but I say get the whole family involved. Pick up those dirty pennies you see on the sidewalk – yes they are still worth something! Have a timeframe designated to collect, maybe a year or so, and then as a family decide what worthy cause you’d like to donate to. Then start all over again.

Something else to consider: make sure you keep receipts of items donated if you itemize on your taxes. This should indicate what organization received the donation and what was given (money or property). It may be up to you to place a value on the property that was donated.

What are you waiting for? Find what you’re passionate about and begin the cycle of giving back now! Waiting until you have the “money” might be too late to instill these habits in yourself and in your family. Someone needs what you have to offer today!

Life According To Dad



10 Ways to Volunteer with Family Caregivers

This is a guest post by Heather Taylor. Taylor is a freelance writer, consultant and radio producer.  Since January 2011, she’s also happily served as a job coach in the AARP Foundation WorkSearch Program,  helping adults aged 50+ who are unemployed, underemployed or career-changers to find satisfying work.   You can follow her on twitter at @findingthejobs

10 Ways to Volunteer with Family Caregivers

Quick!  What’s the first thing you think of when you hear the word November?  For lots of us, November means the Thanksgiving feast.  It’s also a month we associate with the sights, tastes and smells of delicious food and spending time with family and friends.  But there’s an “extra helping” of the Thanksgiving spirit that Suzanne Mintz would like us to consider.  And that’s in recognition of the more than 65 million unsung heroes of family life:  family caregivers.

Mintz is co-founder, President and CEO of the National Family Caregivers Association,  a nonprofit that focuses on supporting family caregiving.  NFCA coordinates National Family Caregivers Month, “a time to offer thanks, support, education and empowerment to family caregivers.”

How can you get started volunteering to help family caregivers?  Mintz and the NFCA offer these 10 simple ways to do it:

  • 1. Offer a few hours of respite time to a family caregiver so they spend time with friends, or simply relax.
  • 2. Send a card of appreciation or a bouquet of flowers to brighten up a family caregiver’s day.
  • 3. Encourage local businesses to offer a free service for family caregivers through the month of November.
  • 4. Help a family caregiver decorate their home for the holidays or offer to address envelopes for their holiday cards.
  • 5. Offer comic relief! Purchase tickets to a local comedy club, give a family caregiver your favorite funny movie to view, or provide them an amusing audio book to listen to while doing their caregiving activities.
  • 6. Find 12 different family photos and have a copy center create a monthly calendar that the family caregiver can use to keep track of appointments and events.
  • 7. Offer to prepare Thanksgiving dinner for a caregiving family in your community, so they can just relax and enjoy the holiday.
  • 8. A United States postage stamp honoring the more than 50 million family caregivers in America is officially “under consideration” by the U.S. Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee. Sign the petition and ask others to sign the petition letter.
  • 9. Help a family caregiver find information and resources on the internet or to locate a local support group.
  • 10. Ask your local elected official to issue a proclamation celebrating National Family Caregivers Month.

See original post at : AARP

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