It’s easy to be generous when you have millions of dollars sitting in the bank, but it’s a different story when finances are tight. But worry not, as generosity is not just for the 1%, generosity is for everyone. It’s easy to confuse generosity with the single act of donating cash to charities, but it’s so much more. Generosity is about doing for others, going out of your way and offering up your time and talents.
Take my husband as an example. For years he volunteered as a youth soccer coach, (often spearheading two teams at a time) which led to sitting on multiple non-profit boards. He now runs a non-profit CPR initiative, as well as sitting on the board of an adult soccer board. Suffice it to say, he takes his volunteering seriously.
But if his community giving were based on how big a check he could write, his contributions would be next to nothing. Instead he gives of his time and expertise.
Time and expertise.
I like to be generous as well. I’m not a non-profit volunteer like my husband is, but I do like to figure out frugal ways to treat the people in my circle. Yesterday was my mother’s 73rd birthday, so I invited her and my step-father over for dinner. Did I take it as an opportunity to pop the champagne and grill pricey steaks? Nope. I defrosted some 50%-off chicken thighs and prepared a meal of baked barbecue chicken, rice and corn; with a delicious homemade chocolate cake for dessert.
Total cost for the five of us? Around $6.
Sticking with my tight food budget meant I was able to be generous. I cleaned the house, set a pretty table and welcomed the people that I love into my home for a homemade meal. We enjoyed each other’s company, and when the meal was over I set up the TV to watch my mother’s favorite movie, Back To The Future through Amazon Prime streaming. (It’s my mother’s Prime account, but she lets me use it.) Of course, it was free.
Having limited means is not a barrier to generosity. Sure it would be nice to write big fat checks to the charities that we respect, but instead my husband I write a small check each month and then give of ourselves.
Because it turns out you don’t have to be rich to be generous.
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”
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