9 Ways To Be Generous When You Have No Money

9 Ways To Be Generous When You Have No Money

I love to be able to be generous and help others. It is such a fun thing to do, and the Bible says in Luke 6:38: ‘Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’ Generosity is a characteristic we should endeavour to have! But what if you are someone who is struggling to pay your bills, or are in debt? How can you be generous when you have no money to be generous with?

Here is my list of 9 ways you can be generous this week, without needing to spend money!


1. Volunteer 

There are so many organisations that are only possible through volunteers. If there is a particular cause you are passionate about, or a ministry in church that you could support, why not volunteer? We can be generous with our time and energy to help make things happen. When we find ourselves in a season where we do not have a lot of money to spare, sometimes we have time we can give instead.

If you are unsure where you could volunteer, why not contact your local Foodbank, church or charity shop!


2. Handmade gifts or baking

One of my love languages is gifts. I love to receive gifts, but I love to give gifts even more! Spending time thinking about what someone might appreciate and seeing the joy on their face when they open the gift brings me a lot of joy. However, buying gifts for people can be rather expensive! So instead, why not make something for them? Homemade gifts are such a lovely thing to receive because a lot of love and care has gone into them. I created a comic book for my family for Christmas, full of pictures I had edited into a story. It took a lot of time to make, but my family really appreciated it.

Perhaps you are great at baking! Everyone loves a home-baked gift. Perhaps not entirely free, but creating baked gifts can be an affordable way to show generosity and love to someone. Find some great recipes that you can use, often baking in bulk works out cheaper too, so this could be a great idea if you have many people you’d like to give a gift to, for example at Christmas.


3. Hospitality

Being hospitable is another great way to be generous, and depending on your circumstances, there are different things you could do. You could invite someone over for a coffee, dinner, or even ask them to stay with you for a few days. Hospitality is a fun way to be generous and spend time with people and get to know them better. Hospitality does not cost much but can mean so much to people.

Julian and I try to have regular times when we are hospitable (when we aren’t restricted due to Covid!). We have an evening a week we keep free so that we can invite people over. It is so much fun to spend an evening laughing with friends.


4. Acts of Service

Another great way to be generous is with acts of service! There are so many potential services you could offer. Do you have a skill that might help someone out, such as DIY or gardening? Perhaps you know a couple who haven’t been able to have an evening out together for some time – perhaps you could offer to babysit for them.

If you know someone who is finding things a bit tough, find a way you can offer to serve them somehow. Other ideas include cleaning, dropping off a meal or giving them a lift.


5. Sharing

We quite often underestimate the influence we have. We all have friends, relatives or colleagues who we talk to regularly. One thing we can all do to be generous is to recommend local businesses to others. Whether by word of mouth or via social media, tell people about the great small businesses you know. It is totally free to do, and can really help local business owners.


6. Give Blood

A 100% free way to be generous and literally save lives is to give blood. By donating blood, you can help people who desperately need blood transfusions and help the NHS save or extend people’s lives.

For more information in the UK, look here: https://www.blood.co.uk/.


7. Keep in contact

Another way to be generous is with your thoughts and words. Keep in touch with people, whether through a letter, text, social media or a phone call. Take some time out of your busy day to check in with a friend. It can be easy to lose touch, but a simple gesture such as a card can remind someone how much they mean to you.

If this is something you find particularly hard, why not put a calendar reminder in your phone? It might only take you a few moments to do, but I can mean a lot to a friend.


8. Words

Be generous with your words! It costs absolutely nothing but can be so influential. When someone does something well, tell them. Let people know that you appreciate them. When someone is trying something new or stepping out of their comfort zone, be their biggest cheerleader.

So often, we hold back our praise or criticise others. But there is incredible power in being an encourager. Lift up those around you, and spur them on!


9. Donate 

We all have things in our house that we no longer need or use. Be generous with these items and donate them to your local charity shop. Decluttering your home can be so beneficial for your mental health, donating helps to reduce waste, and you can help support a local charity in the process. Some charity shops might even offer you a free coffee as a thank you for your generosity!


Do you have any other low-cost ways to be generous? What are your top tips for giving to others?

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