We salute you for being conservative and helping your family become debt-free by living a frugal but simple life. Being frugal doesn’t always mean being cheap, it means you are being smart by not wasting your resources.
Frugal but simple living can be rewarding as well. You can be generous to others and still be frugal. I want to give you some ideas where you can help others and still be practicing a frugal life style.
Invest some of your time into volunteering to helping others.
You can help others by donating your time in volunteering to a group or to just a single person. This can be extremely rewarding, a family fun activity, and build character into your children.
What better way to teaching your children the lesson of generosity than by helping others? Perhaps you can help the elderly couple next door with their yard work. It not only makes your yard and neighborhood look that much better, but it gives you the feeling of pride that you know the elderly people really feel blessed by your actions.
Another idea is to consider donating your time to helping out at the local soup kitchen or homeless shelter. Here you can cook and serve people in many ways. This is a very humbling lesson for young children to witness and learn to help others that are unable to help themselves, whether it is from bad luck or unfortunate circumstances.
You could even coordinate a work party or group from your church to help people in their community. Some ideas to perform outside could be trimming bushes, pulling weeds, building flower beds. Work inside could mean something as simple as dusting, floor cleaning, even touch-up painting. Making your church a beautiful place to worship in is a reward all in itself.
You may even learn a new set of skills to do in your own home by helping other people accomplish work with their home. This helps everyone involved.
Barter and Be the Expert in Solving Issues
Be the one that initiates a good sense of well being. For example, you borrow your neighbors ladder to clean your rain gutters, offer to clean your neighbors gutters also. Same for your driveway that needs a pressure washer cleaning, bartering is a system that people used back before money to buy or exchange something with someone else.
You can do this today by exchanging your time, expertise, or your help for something that someone else has that is willing to “trade” this for something you are willing to give. It can be elaborate or something very simple.
My wife just started embroidery with a new fancy machine but doesn’t have any experience with this machine. She cooks or bakes food to give to her friend that does have the expertise with the machine, trading her food for her friends time in teaching her about the machine.
So bartering can be very simple, with just a little thought you can accomplish almost anything for what you really need, with little to no cost to you.
Create useful items that help others in gift giving
My family use to practice this at special occasions like Christmas or someones birthday. They would use their talent to make a gift to give a family member on their special day. It was much more personal than what you could possibly buy at a store, plus the giver gets the satisfaction in pleasing the gift recipient.
Same is true when attending a party. Don’t go buy something at a store for a hospitality gift, make something instead. You could bake some bread, rolls or biscuits to go with meal. You could pick some very colorful flowers from your garden and decorate an empty jar for a vase.
Not only does dedicating your time to make a special gift much more personal than a bought gift, The gift will be much more appreciated and the recipient much more flattered that you took the time to personalize a gift exclusively for them.
Take the next step
Learn more extremely frugal ideas by practicing these tips. You can do so much more to Live Better for Less if you try to add value into something you do. No matter what it is, adding value will get everyone’s attention.