Happiness is only real when shared

Money … I love it and I hate it. It’s a nice thing to have, but it sucks that you always want more of it and always feel like you don’t have enough (even if you do …). Of course, why should I complain about money? There are people living on the streets, parents who don’t have a dime in their pockets to feed their children, there are people starving because there’s no food of water, young ladies sell themselves because it’s the only way to survive, children are working 10 hours a day just to help out their parents. And these are just some of the few examples and then I haven’t even started to talk about all the animals that get beaten, left alone to die, that have to do the most embarrassing things to entertain humans etcetera.

So maybe instead of spending that money of yours (and mine) on stuff you do not actually need, you could use it to help others out. Of course, I’m not saying you should give it all away and there’s no need to suffer because you don’t have a penny left. You should think about yourself as well. Maybe you can write down how much money you have coming in every month, how much you need to spend on necessary things (like rent, insurance, clothing and food) and how much you would like to spend on non-necessities (like going to the movies and stuff). Then you might want to check if there’s still some money left to put aside for savings. And maybe, if you want to, you could use some of those savings, even when it’s only a dollar, to help someone else.

Here are some ways you can help someone out (if you don’t have money, maybe you have some time):

  • Buy groceries for someone you know who could use it (maybe because they don’t have money, are sick, broke a leg or maybe because someone is just going through some hard times)
  • Donate money to charity (yes, even if it’s just a dollar)
  • Take in an animal from a shelter (or if you can’t, maybe you can volunteer at a shelter)
  • Give some money to a homeless person
  • Volunteer helping out in a nursing home (you would be horrified if you knew how much elderly people are sitting there, lonely, waiting for life to end)
  • Smile at someone who looks sad (and if you want to, ask what’s going on and if you can help).
  • Just smile in generally to someone.
  • When your grocery store if offering a two for one deal, take your free item to a local shelter.
  • Give someone a compliment.
  • Host a movie night for charity. Invite as many people you like, provide the popcorn and drinks and ask them all to donate an x-amount of money and donate all that money to a charity you’ve all agreed on.
  • Babysit someone’s children for free.
  • When doing your groceries, pick up a large bag of cat or dog food and bring it to a local animal shelter.
  • If you have a well-raised dog, call your local nursing home and ask if it would be OK if you and your dog would come and visit. Most people’s spirits really get raised when a loving dog is coming along to get some cuddles.
  • Volunteer to take in young, abandoned animals who still need care but can’t get it from their mother anymore. Caring for such young animals is usually for a short amount of time.
  • Pick up the trash in your neighborhood (nature will appreciate your efforts)
  • Invite someone over for dinner (maybe someone who’s a bit lonely or is just going through some hard times)
  • Get some flowers and bring them to people in the hospital (yes, even when you don’t know them).
  • Maybe you have children who have a lot of toys. Go sit with them and sort out the toys in 3 piles: broken, keep, give away. Bring all the broken toys to an assigned place in your area. Take all the toys that can be given away to a hospital for other kids to play with them (explain to your children where their toys go, because most children aren’t to happy about giving away toys, even when they never play with them).
  • Hold the door for the people behind you.
  • Take care of a neighbors/friends/family members pet when they go away on a short holiday.
  • Donate blood.
  • When you see someone struggling with their bags, ask if you could help bringing them to their car.
  • Drive someone who could really use the ride to the doctors, church or whatever.
  • When sweeping your driveway, it really isn’t that much of an effort to sweep your neighbors driveway as well. Same for putting your trash bin at the curb. Do it for your neighbors as well.
  • Bring your old magazines to the hospital waiting room for others to read them.
  • Take a CPR class. Yes, it might not do something for someone right away, but you never know when you could be the one saving someone’s life.

And yes, I do think you still should do some fun stuff. But I also do think you can feel like a million bucks without spending a penny:

  • Drink out of a wineglass. I don’t drink alcohol, but o boy, do I feel like a lady when sitting on my cheap ass couch, drinking my cheap ass lemonade from my cheap ass Ikea wineglass.
  • Go hiking! Believe me, it’s fun. Go online, find some nice hiking trails near your house and just go. Look around you, there are wonderful things to see!
  • Watch a movie. You can borrow it from a friend or family member, at the library or find some other ways to watch a movie for free. You can even organize a movie night (maybe alone or with friends or family) if you like.
  • Watch a documentary that sparks your interest. You can find a lot of documentaries online or just watch the Discovery channel or something. You will feel smart and motivated after watching it. Or at least you most likely learned something new about the subject.
  • Check out your local agenda and see if there are some free concerts or other fun stuff.
  • Look at the stars. Stargazing can be very relaxing and the moon and stars are wonderful things to look at. And it’s free.
  • Look at the sunrise and the sunset. Yes, it sounds like a cliché, but really, it’s beautiful! Nature is holding such magical things to look at, really, just give it a try.
  • Swap your clothes with a friend. Feel like shopping? STOP! Just call a friend (or more than one) and suggest a clothing swap party. It’s free, it’s fun and you get to see your friends while you’re getting yourself a new wardrobe as well.
  • Read a book. Get a book from the library, borrow one from a friend of family member, get a free e-book online, whatever you like. And just read. Get yourself a nice cup of tea, relax and enjoy.
  • Host a potluck! It’s free, it’s fun and it’s a great way to get to know people.
  • Borrow a plant identification guide from the library and go on a search for some of the plants in the book. Take your camera with you so you can photograph your treasures (or if you like sketching, take your sketchbook and draw the plants you’ve found).
  • Write. Write a postcard, a letter, start a journal, start writing a book, write a poem, just write whatever you like.
  • Get active! Go running, biking or whatever kind of sport you like. Maybe you can try yoga, invite a friend for a nice walk, go apple picking, walk your neighbors dog, take your children (or someone elses children (ask the parents first of course!) to a park or playground, do some push ups, just do whatever you like to do.
  • Play a game. Maybe online or an actual board game. Invite some friends or family members over to play along.
  • Cuddle your pet (if they want to of course).

There are so many fun things you can do for free. Just be creative and think of some things you would like to do and if there’s a way to make them free.

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